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Defending in the wide channels in defensive third

Here are a progression of defending exercises that I created for my D License course. The theme is defending from the flank in your own defensive third.

Major coaching points:

- First defender (fullback) needs to go out and engage the winger by the touchline. Defend further away from your goal. Don't let your attacker build speed on the dribble. Need to close space down quickly!

-Show the winger wide. Dont let him cut inside and combine with central players. The fullback can do this by bending his approach to the ball and using his hips/stance to show the attacker one way.

-CB needs to slide over and be cover to the fullback. His positioning needs to be close enough to help fullback if he gets beat on the dribble but also far enough away to step and potentially incercept a ball into the CF. Its a fine balance.

-CB needs to communicate and give direction to the fullback. Encourage him to keep the winger wide.

-Other backs need to slide across as well and stay tight/connected with defenders. They need to be alert and ready to track runners into the box for a potential service.


I am a youth and college soccer coach who is passionate about making coaching my career and helping assist players in their development. I am always trying to learn from the game and always willing to share with others the insights I have made from the game. If you have coaching tips or materials you would like to share, just contact me.

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