Defensive Shifting

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on Defensive shifting

Start with a keeper in goal, four defenders across the back and two center midfielders.


The attacking team has a center midfielder who initiates the play, two forwards and two outside midfielders.


The center midfielder starts by playing the ball out to either of the two wide players.


As the ball is played, all of the defending players shift. The objective is to maintain good defensive balance and to have more defenders in the area around the ball than there are attackers.


The ball can then be played back to the center midfielder and the players rotate back to how they started.


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The ball then gets switched to the other side and the same type of rotating takes place.


The attacking team keeps switching the field while the defending team works on rotating to provide balance and coverage. The defending team tries to make sure there is always at least one more defending player than there is attacking player on the side of the ball and if this means leaving a player on the far side open, so be it.

Gradually allow the attacking team to try to get to goal and also be willing to add more attackers.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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