Developing Play with a Defending Back Four

developing play with a defending back four
  1. The session is designed to show how to work on team shape building up from a back four only. Side cones are 25 to 30 yards apart as are the defenders and the coach. The coach moves with the ball and the defenders mirror the movement maintaining the distances between them.
  2. You can use the signal words UP, OUT, HOLD, DROP, and SLIDE, to determine the movement. Eventually we need to work up to an 11 v 11 situation showing how to work a team as individuals, as units and ultimately a team.
defending back four
  1. Here the coach moves to the outside and the whole back four adjust their positions across the field (slide) to compensate for this movement, (2) being the player to apply immediate pressure on the ball.
  2. Re-emphasize the idea that the players are tied as links in a chain and so have to move together as links of a unit or even tie them up so they feel how it is when they move together. Coach moves back up the field the back four condense up also based on the position of the ball.

Introduce Attacking Opponents

Introduce Attacking Opponents
  1. Players with the ball pass it across in front of the defenders. Defenders adjust their positions to mirror this movement. This is working on marking zones and marking players and distinguishing between the two depending on where the ball is. 
  2. Pass across to the next player and hold the ball there, check the defenders positions, then move the ball again.
  3. Use the side cones as guides to distancing between units as they are introduced.
  4. The ball has been passed inside and the defenders adjust closing down the player on the ball and closing down the spaces around the ball.
  5. This is continued using all the players sometimes missing a player out with a pass so it goes across two players to test the defenders and how they adjust. Once they have grasped this concept you can move the players to the next progression. In the next phase of the session have extra balls ready in the center circle to keep the flow of the session going.
developing play
  1. The coach now has players to pass the ball to (opponents).These players initially must be in static positions to check the set up. You can us a rope to tie the four defenders together to get the idea of moving as a unit. Players maintain an open stance so they can see opponents as well as the ball. When the ball is at (C) or (D) the back four take positions with regard to (A) and (B) and do not get drawn to the ball. Defending team can win back the ball only with interceptions of passes not with tackles to allow us to look at the shape they achieve.
  2. Here we see how the back four should look once the ball has been passed wide and defender (2) has closed the ball down.
  3. Notice the back four is NOT flat but like angled links between each player with the central defender (5) the deepest player. This player can effectively be called the sweeper. When the ball is at (B) on the other side, (4) becomes the sweeper.
  4. The second center back is the deepest player and the two center backs share this responsibility depending on which side of the field the ball is positioned.