Tag: defense

Clearing the ball in the defensive end

Clearing the ball in the defensive end is not enough.  When you clear the ball you have to have purpose.  This is especially true when clearing the ball from corner kicks.  Many players make the mistake of clearing the ball up the middle of the field…we all know where those clearances usually end up: right back into your net.  Here are 3 tips to make sure you effectively clear the ball every time.

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What’s my position?

A reader by the name of Angela sent us an e-mail saying her coach has put her to play on defense against her will.  She told the coach that she wants to play midfield but the coach hasn’t changed his mind.  Angela goes on to ask, “why do coaches put players where they don’t belong?  Is there a reason for this?”

Well Angela, there’s often a method to anyone’s madness, you just have to be open to change.

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Teamwork: Understanding the 4-5-1 Formation

The 4-5-1 formation has become an increasingly established European formation. Coaches and teams alike in Europe have proved it is – if played correctly – one of the most effective soccer formations.

Some of the notable teams that use this formation are:

  • Spanish, European and world champions FC Barcelona;
  • English Premier League champions and European runners-up Chelsea FC; and
  • AC Milan of the Italian Serie A among others.

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Defending the Set Play


FREE KICKS, including corners and throw-ins are match winning situations, so defending at set-plays needs informed planning if you do not want to concede goals.

Consider the games dead ball specialists: David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Zola and Dennis Bergkamp. All these players and many more practice for hours perfecting their technique but as defenders how often do you practice defending against them? Very little I expect.

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Lead the Way – Passing in the Defense

There are many components of the game of soccer that are over-looked – much like every aspect of life.  The reason some players are better than others can be attributed to talent and work ethic, but quite a bit can also be attributed to paying attention to all the details of the game; that is what makes a player great.  The difference between good and great is inches; the difference between good and great boils down to the meticulous fine points.

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Defensive Strategies: Dealing with Fast Attackers

It is a problem players and coaches of all levels face and often struggle with – speed.  In soccer, as in many sports, teams have a very difficult time arranging a strategy to deal with pace.  The saying “speed kills” is more often true than not.

When a soccer team is put together, the fastest player is usually put in the forward position.  This does not always hold true, but is a tactic many coaches use.  A quick forward does not necessarily have to be skilled to be effective.  Because there is so much room in an outdoor soccer field, quick forwards have endless opportunities to put their speed to use.  When a forward has speed, his teammates will send him on runs to out-run the defender and score breakaway goals.

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Fundamental Soccer Strategies of the Stars

“I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘born’ soccer player. Perhaps you are born with certain skills and talents, but quite frankly it seems impossible to me that one is actually born to be an ace soccer player.” – Pele

So you think you’ve got the dribbling skills to nutmeg the best? Your bicycle kick wows all of your friends? Think of yourself as the second coming of Lionel Messi? All these showboat moves mean nothing unless you know the basics fundamentals of soccer.

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