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Long Ball Defending for U11s Help

I run a U11 team that is reasonably successful and plays with confidence and spends a lot of the time on the front foot. However we seem to get caught week after week by the simple long ball over the top and would welcome some tips/drills to help the lads improve this part (it's driving me mad!). Thanks in advance.

Encourage your goal keeper to be an extra defender, so the gap between defence and  your goal keeper is reduced.

Set your defence line to Play Deeper against teams who play the long ball. Alternatively, set a 4-3-3 formation to close down the opposition defence if they pl;ay their long balls from the defence line.

Multisesson approach:

1) Back line must learn to read pressure on the ball,i.e., when to drop and when to step. Use a simple session of small sided game - play on a rectangular reduced field. One at a time, put one of the defenders in charge of when to drop and when to step. Communication is mandatory. 

2) Rest of team must work to keep pressure on the ball.

3) Must raise the confidence of the team, particularly the back line, in back passing to the keeper. When running the session ( use half a field) be sure to cover not only how to do it but as a progression make it more gamelike by putting backline players under pressure and serve difficult balls to the keeper such as bouncing or balls that are not served to feet. Where do you want the keeper to clear the ball to - suggest intersection of midfield line and touchline.

4) Keeper must be active and able to read and judge when do they come off the line. Create a simple small game where balls are chipped in and add pressure of a pursuing attacker from midfield. Good conditioning too.

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  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans