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I’m now officially finished with my fall season. Two of my teams played in a tournament last weekend to finish off the fall.
I always put this tournament on my schedule but it’s hard to know what to expect from the weather. We were really lucky last weekend as it was mostly dry and not as cold as it’s been some years.
Having a tournament at the end of the season is a great way to finish it off. It gives me a chance to see how far we’ve come and what we need to continue to improve on during the winter and spring. But the potential for some really nasty weather is always there in the late fall.
This weekend we’re looking at lows in the single digits on Saturday for the boys tournament. Luckily, I have all girls teams this year 🙂
Today’s question comes from long time listener and contributor Sammy. His question is about defending.
Sammy says, “When defending, what are your thoughts on pressuring players to the sideline vs pressuring players to the middle where help is?
I used to always coach players to pressure attackers into the sideline and use the sideline as an additional defender. The problem I found is that when my team wins the ball, we now have the same problem that we created for our opposition. The sideline is there acting as a defender and our counter attack are severely limited.”
Thanks for the question Sammy!
I prefer that defenders take the line away and force attackers to the inside for a number of reasons. First, that usually puts the attacker on their weaker foot. Second, there is so much more cover for the defender on the inside of the field. If a player is beaten down the line they can take a lot of space before facing pressure again. Lastly, as you said, when we win the ball we are in a position to move it into space and away from pressure very quickly.
The only area on the field that I want defenders to show the player toward the line is near the edge of the penalty area. Then it’s more important to keep the ball out of the danger area.
There’s no one right answer to this one, forcing wide attackers back inside it just my preference.
In This Episode
As our club wraps up the outdoor season we take the time to complete evaluations for each of our players. Today I’ll describe why we feel this is important, how our evaluations are structured and the tools we use to make these evaluations useful to the players their parents and their future coaches.
Next week I’m going to describe a change I’ve made to the movement pattern I use for all of my technical training activities. It may not seem like a huge difference but it’s always been a sore point for me and this simple solution just didn’t occur to me until recently.
I agree with you Tom if you force the left winger or right winger to go inside they will times out of 10 be on their weaker foot and easier to pressure to get the ball back of. Also the chance of giving a bad ball or not making their cross increases.