As players mature we need to start doing more functional training and a bit less general training when it comes to tactics.
The center back position is so important for a teams success but it’s one that frequently gets neglected when it comes to functional training. This is part of a progression working on training the center backs while also working with other players as well.
A server starts with a ball around midfield and there are two target players and two center backs.
The server plays the ball into one of the target players and the center back marking that player pressures the ball while the other center back falls off and provides support.
The ball then gets returned to the server and he plays it to the other target player for further adjustments.
After this is done a few times add two attacking center midfielders, two attacking outside midfielders and two defending center midfielders. Also, add a keeper in goal.
Now the center backs have to adjust when the two center midfielders receive the ball so that they are providing support while also making sure the target players are being marked.
When the ball gets played out wide to an outside midfielder (who is limited to staying out wide and crossing) the center backs will drop off their marks to prepare for the runs into the box.
In this type of activity you would want to make around 75% of the coaching points geared toward the center backs but you also want to spend around 25% of your time on the other players to keep them interested and involved.
This type of an activity, along with many others can be found in the book, Full Season Training Program U14.