Coaching Defense in Youth Soccer
Have you ever heard the saying, "The best offense is a good defense?" Without a strong defense, nothing that you do on offense will matter. The next step in coaching your team is to teach the fundamentals of defense that will help keep the ball out of your team's goal.
When playing defense, body position is very important. By getting in the path of the attacking player and the goal, a defensive player can force the offensive player out of shooting position simply by being in the correct place. Also, when the offensive player has to change up dribbling technique or try to pass, a defensive player can make an attempt to steal the ball. A great way to practice defense is in a one-on-one drill, where the defender can work on pushing the offensive player to the outside [source: PlaySportsTV].
Defensive players also need to be agile and learn to stay on their toes while defending. Using footwork that requires defenders to move forward, backward and from side to side will teach players how to maintain their speed so they can stay right next to the offensive player heading toward the goal [source: Soccer Drills Tips]. These drills can be done solo or in pairs and will benefit the entire team -- at some point, every player may need to play a little defense.
While all defenders are important to the game, there is one position in particular you should pay special attention to: the goalie. Keep reading to learn how to teach the fundamentals of goaltending.