Soccer Defending Drills

Latest Soccer Defending Drills


1v1 Diamond Shooting Drill

This 1v1 drill focuses on a passing combination with movement off the ball and finishes with a one vs. one to goal. If players miss they become the keeper and the game continues. Players love the fun, competitive twist of being able to make a player become a goalkeeper.


Clean Your Room

This soccer game is a great drill for U5 through U8 players. The clean your room soccer drill will focus on dribbling under pressure while also working on defensive pressure as an individual or a small group.


3v1 Rotating Defenders

This 3v1 game will focus on keeping possession in a tight space. Work on passing, decision making, movement on and off the ball as well as improve communication.


2v2 Quick Attacking Soccer Drill

This 2v2 soccer drill is a great game to work on quick attacking and defending skills. It is a very fast paced and dynamic soccer game that the kids will love.


Triangle Goal Game

The Triangle Goal Soccer Game will focus on all aspects of the game such as passing, moving, and finishing. The players will have to work together as a team to quickly off-balance the defender and catch the goalkeeper off guard.



1v1 Defending the Dribble with Teammate

The purpose of this drill is to isolate the defender to focus on the first defender and defending the dribble while working with a teammate. This teaches young soccer players to work together with your teammate to shut down the attacker.


1v1 Dribble Attack with Shot

The purpose of this 1v1 drill is to focus on dribbling to beat a defender and finishing with a shot. This drill can also be used to focus on defensive players defending the dribble.


1v1 Defending the Dribble

The purpose of this drill is to isolate the defender to focus on the first defender and defending the dribble. This drills focus can be modified to focus on the first attacker taking on the defender.


Teaching 1st Defender without Opposition

This soccer defending drill is great for teaching young players how to defend when they are the closest player to the opponent with the ball.


Circle Keep-Away Passing Game

This is a fun passing game for younger players that allows them to focus on the passing game while playing keep away.

Top Rated Soccer Defending Drills


Pirates of the Pugg

This soccer dribbling drill is a great soccer drill using a Pugg Goal that can be tweaked to focus on many aspects of the game. For younger players ages 8-11, the primary focus should be on proper dribbling technique in traffic which requires vision and awareness. The coach can also focus on the transition from offense to defense if the ball is lost, or recovering from a tackle and finding safety. Defensively, this allows defenders to steal the ball from attackers and play to a particular goal or target.


4v3 Attack vs. Defense

This attacking soccer drill is a great drill to focus on finishing. Since the attackers have the numerical advantage, they should learn how to exploit their advantage and finish with a shot on goal.


The Numbers Game

The Numbers Game soccer drill focuses on the 1v1 situational play for younger players. This  1v1 drill works on all dynamics of this game such as dribbling, shooting, shielding, turning and beating an opponent.


3v3 Plus 3

This drill focuses on keeping possession. Passing, receiving, movement, and angle of support can be singled out. Causes players to look up and be aware of the surrounding players.


Four Corners Passing Game

The Four Corners Passing Game is a great soccer drill to focus on passing, changing the point of the attack, and timing of runs and passes.



4v4, To Lines or Small Goals

In Soccer, 4v4 is the smallest version of a full-sided game. While on the attack, to be successful in a four vs. four matches, players must penetrate via the pass, dribble, or shot; players must provide support to the player with the ball, and players need to create width to the field. On the defensive side of the field, players must provide pressure to the ball, delay the attack, cover for the player pressuring the ball, and balancing the field of play. This 4v4 practice focuses on all aspects of the match including attacking, defending, passing, receiving, support, penetration, and spreading the field.


Attack vs. Defence Shooting and Defending Drill

This drill is one that the kids love. The players will get to work on both attacking (shooting) and defending skills and if ran correctly, very fast paced.


4V4 With 5 Goals Inside The 18

This 4v4 finishing drill is one of my favorite soccer finishing drills as it works on every aspect of finishing inside the 18-yard box. This drill focuses on soccer finishing skills such as chipping, crossing, heading, finishing and composure in the 18.


Finding the Target Player

This drill is designed to encourage midfield and defensive players to look up field to find the "Target Player" and play to that Target player.


Angle of Support Possession Drill

This soccer passing drill is a great drill for teaching young players angle of support and spacing.

Most Viewed Soccer Defending Drills


Pirates of the Pugg

This soccer dribbling drill is a great soccer drill using a Pugg Goal that can be tweaked to focus on many aspects of the game. For younger players ages 8-11, the primary focus should be on proper dribbling technique in traffic which requires vision and awareness. The coach can also focus on the transition from offense to defense if the ball is lost, or recovering from a tackle and finding safety. Defensively, this allows defenders to steal the ball from attackers and play to a particular goal or target.


Four Corners Passing Game

The Four Corners Passing Game is a great soccer drill to focus on passing, changing the point of the attack, and timing of runs and passes.


The Numbers Game

The Numbers Game soccer drill focuses on the 1v1 situational play for younger players. This  1v1 drill works on all dynamics of this game such as dribbling, shooting, shielding, turning and beating an opponent.


Angle of Support Possession Drill

This soccer passing drill is a great drill for teaching young players angle of support and spacing.


World Cup Soccer Drill

The World Cup Soccer Drill is a great shooting game for kids of all ages. The World Cup Soccer Drill is a great game to work on game like situations with number down situations.



3v1 Rotating Defenders

This 3v1 game will focus on keeping possession in a tight space. Work on passing, decision making, movement on and off the ball as well as improve communication.


2v2 Quick Attacking Soccer Drill

This 2v2 soccer drill is a great game to work on quick attacking and defending skills. It is a very fast paced and dynamic soccer game that the kids will love.


Triangle Goal Game

The Triangle Goal Soccer Game will focus on all aspects of the game such as passing, moving, and finishing. The players will have to work together as a team to quickly off-balance the defender and catch the goalkeeper off guard.


Split the Defenders Passing Game

This soccer drill is great for a little more advanced player from 11 years old to 14 years and focuses on passing to split two defenders.


Attacking from the Midfield

This attacking soccer drill focuses on building an attack from the midfield and focuses on the midfield players getting forward into the attacking third.

All Soccer Defending Drills


Pirates of the Pugg

This soccer dribbling drill is a great soccer drill using a Pugg Goal that can be tweaked to focus on many aspects of the game. For younger players ages 8-11, the primary focus should be on proper dribbling technique in traffic which requires vision and awareness. The coach can also focus on the transition from offense to defense if the ball is lost, or recovering from a tackle and finding safety. Defensively, this allows defenders to steal the ball from attackers and play to a particular goal or target.


Four Corners Passing Game

The Four Corners Passing Game is a great soccer drill to focus on passing, changing the point of the attack, and timing of runs and passes.


The Numbers Game

The Numbers Game soccer drill focuses on the 1v1 situational play for younger players. This  1v1 drill works on all dynamics of this game such as dribbling, shooting, shielding, turning and beating an opponent.


Angle of Support Possession Drill

This soccer passing drill is a great drill for teaching young players angle of support and spacing.


World Cup Soccer Drill

The World Cup Soccer Drill is a great shooting game for kids of all ages. The World Cup Soccer Drill is a great game to work on game like situations with number down situations.



3v1 Rotating Defenders

This 3v1 game will focus on keeping possession in a tight space. Work on passing, decision making, movement on and off the ball as well as improve communication.


2v2 Quick Attacking Soccer Drill

This 2v2 soccer drill is a great game to work on quick attacking and defending skills. It is a very fast paced and dynamic soccer game that the kids will love.


Triangle Goal Game

The Triangle Goal Soccer Game will focus on all aspects of the game such as passing, moving, and finishing. The players will have to work together as a team to quickly off-balance the defender and catch the goalkeeper off guard.


Split the Defenders Passing Game

This soccer drill is great for a little more advanced player from 11 years old to 14 years and focuses on passing to split two defenders.


Attacking from the Midfield

This attacking soccer drill focuses on building an attack from the midfield and focuses on the midfield players getting forward into the attacking third.



Guard the Castle

This drill is a great small sided game that focuses on passing in numbers up situations This is a fun drill and the kids will love it!


Attack vs. Defence Shooting and Defending Drill

This drill is one that the kids love. The players will get to work on both attacking (shooting) and defending skills and if ran correctly, very fast paced.


3v3 Plus 3

This drill focuses on keeping possession. Passing, receiving, movement, and angle of support can be singled out. Causes players to look up and be aware of the surrounding players.


4v3 Attack vs. Defense

This attacking soccer drill is a great drill to focus on finishing. Since the attackers have the numerical advantage, they should learn how to exploit their advantage and finish with a shot on goal.


Circle Keep-Away Passing Game

This is a fun passing game for younger players that allows them to focus on the passing game while playing keep away.



1v1 Competition

This drill is great to focus on 1v1 play. It is flexible and can be used to work on the offensive side or the defensive side. On the offensive side you can get attackers to attack the defenders with speed, quick change of pace with an explosive touch to get away, getting behind the defensive players and shooting at half chances. On the defensive side, you can focus on closing down quickly, forcing the attacker to the side and closing down the attack.


Clean Your Room

This soccer game is a great drill for U5 through U8 players. The clean your room soccer drill will focus on dribbling under pressure while also working on defensive pressure as an individual or a small group.


5v2 Rotating Defenders

This 5v2 drill will focus on keeping possession by making good passes as well as good passing decisions, moving to open space, and good communication.


4V4 With 5 Goals Inside The 18

This 4v4 finishing drill is one of my favorite soccer finishing drills as it works on every aspect of finishing inside the 18-yard box. This drill focuses on soccer finishing skills such as chipping, crossing, heading, finishing and composure in the 18.


1v1 Defending the Dribble with Teammate

The purpose of this drill is to isolate the defender to focus on the first defender and defending the dribble while working with a teammate. This teaches young soccer players to work together with your teammate to shut down the attacker.



1v1 Dribble Attack with Shot

The purpose of this 1v1 drill is to focus on dribbling to beat a defender and finishing with a shot. This drill can also be used to focus on defensive players defending the dribble.


1v1 Defending the Dribble

The purpose of this drill is to isolate the defender to focus on the first defender and defending the dribble. This drills focus can be modified to focus on the first attacker taking on the defender.


Attacking the End Line Crossing Game

This drill focuses on attacking from the end line from the flanks and serving a ball in. This is a great crossing game to isolate the flank players and getting them to serve the ball in front of the goal.


3v2 Flying Changes

This drill is designed to focus on all aspects of the game in a 3v2 situation. Mainly runs of attackers, angle of support, passing vs. shooting decisions, defensive shape, and recovery runs, along with working on mental attentiveness.


4v4 Playing Wide Out of the Back

This drill is designed to get players to play balls wide when playing from the back, the defensive third of the field. Players recognize that they find more time and space on the outsides of the field and they are relieving the center of the pitch from dangerous play.



4v4 + Target Players with 2 Goals

This is a great 4v4 soccer game that teaches players to play into their target player. This adds a more realistic twist to the normal 4 on 4 soccer game.


Finding the Target Player

This drill is designed to encourage midfield and defensive players to look up field to find the "Target Player" and play to that Target player.


2v2 Challenge

This 2v2 soccer drill focuses on putting players in 2 vs. 2 situations while attacking the goal. The dynamics of the games works on transitioning, and fitness demands on the players can be intense at times.


Teaching 1st Defender without Opposition

This soccer defending drill is great for teaching young players how to defend when they are the closest player to the opponent with the ball.


Lane Spacing and Separation Soccer Game

This soccer game uses lanes to divide the soccer field into three equal areas to teach spacing and separation to young soccer players.



Quick Transition Game

This soccer drill is a great way to focus on attacking and defending and is great for teaching the basic principals of soccer. The game can be modified to teach many aspects of the game.


4v4 Zone Game

This 4v4 possession soccer drill helps players keep possession for a purpose with short and long passing combinations. This drill also allows one to focus on defensive transition by quickly close down space and eliminate passing lanes.


1 v 1 to Goal

1 v 1 to Goal is a great soccer drill to improve goal scoring. This drill focuses on beating the last defender, staying in control of the ball and finishing with a good shot on goal.


Soccer End Zone Game

The soccer end zone game is a great soccer drill that will help coaches focus on all aspects of attacking and defending in soccer. With incorporating end zones into the game it gives players a chance to learn to attack space behind the defense and allows defenders to learn how to deny space behind them.


Defensive Speed Course

This soccer fitness drill is designed to improve defensive speed and quickness in front of the goal. This is desitned to be more of a fitness training drill than a technical or tactical defensive soccer training drill.



2v2+1 (2 vs. 2 plus target attacker)

This 2v2+1 soccer drill is a great situational game that allows you to focus on numbers up attacking situations or numbers down defending situations.


4v4, To Lines or Small Goals

In Soccer, 4v4 is the smallest version of a full-sided game. While on the attack, to be successful in a four vs. four matches, players must penetrate via the pass, dribble, or shot; players must provide support to the player with the ball, and players need to create width to the field. On the defensive side of the field, players must provide pressure to the ball, delay the attack, cover for the player pressuring the ball, and balancing the field of play. This 4v4 practice focuses on all aspects of the match including attacking, defending, passing, receiving, support, penetration, and spreading the field.


1v1 to Multiple Goals

This soccer drill is great drill for focusing on teaching players attacking skills such as taking on their opponent or learning to attack space. Defensively it will teach players the responsibility of man marking.


1v1, 1v2, 2v2 - 4 goal game

This 1v1 soccer drill puts soccer players in 1v1 situations with multiple goals. 1v1 soccer helps players focus on penetration by forcing the player to dribbling to beat their opponent and allows players to make the attack unpredictable through creativity. Your kids will love this soccer drill!


Target Players

This attacking drill focuses on playing the target players from the attacking third of the field.



Improving Speed of Play - Passing Drill

This soccer drill is designed to improve the speed of play, decision making, and passing accuracy under pressure.


Transition Drill

This drill is designed to be played at a quick pace. This dynamic game will allow you to focus on transition from offense to defense.


1v1v1 Triangle Game

This drill will focus on the attacking in number down situations and will mainly encourage players to dribble, take players on, shielding and vision to find the open goal. Defensively this drill encourages players to stay aware of their defensive shape and tackling players on the dribble.


Tunnel of Death

This drill can be used to focus on either attacking or defending. It teaches players to take advantage of an off balanced defender by attacking with speed or could be used to focus on good defensive posture and transition.


2v2 or 1v1 - Get Outta Here

This drill is a very fast paced1v1 or 2v2 game that focuses on aspects of the small sided game such as dribbling, passing, and scoring.



Diagonal 1v1 Soccer Drill

This 1v1 soccer drill is great to focus on 1v1 play whether it is on the offensive or the defensive side. On the offensive side, you can get attackers to attack the defenders with speed, quick change of pace with an explosive touch to get away, and getting behind the defensive players. On the defensive side, you can focus on closing down quickly, forcing the attacker to the side and closing down the attack.


Dribbling to Beat Defenders, Take on Defenders

This drill is a great soccer drill to teach players to dribble at and beat defenders. It also focuses on other aspects of the game such as passing, receiving, and support. Teaches players to take on defenders.


Pressure/Cover Tactical Defending Soccer Game

The focus of this soccer game is to teach players recognize the first defender (closest defender to the ball) and second defenders (player covering/supporting the first defender). The drill is geared towards teaching the players how to pressure the player with the ball and proper cover positioning.


Great Attacking Skills

This drill focuses on attacking in a number’s up situation and opening up and finding the attacker in a 1v1 situation. This drill puts much emphasis on good passing, receiving and general possession.


1v1 Diamond Shooting Drill

This 1v1 drill focuses on a passing combination with movement off the ball and finishes with a one vs. one to goal. If players miss they become the keeper and the game continues. Players love the fun, competitive twist of being able to make a player become a goalkeeper.

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