Defensive Block

Exercise description:

Area – 20 x 15 (Two 10 x 15 areas)

3v3 with 1 or 2 target players outside the area. The coach has all the soccer balls.


1. The 3 players must stay in their 10x15 zone.

2. The coach serves in a ball.

3. The objective of the exercise is for the players in possession to pass to any of the target players. The ‘back three’ move as a unit to block the passes.

4. If a pass is blocked the game continues. If a pass is made to the target players they pass the ball to the opposite team for them to continue. Keep the score.

5. Change target players with defenders.

Coaching points:

Team-work and communication

Positional sense, angles, the balance of the three players.

Intended outcome:

  • To encourage teamwork.

  • Improve communication, angles of support, and reactions.

  • This exercise instills togetherness. It gives players the belief, that working as a unit can be difficult for the opposition.

  • Improve the reactions in the transition, A>D, D>A.


Play 3v1 in each zone. This is a lot harder to find the target player, keep the ball and beat the defensive block.

Technical / Tactical:

  • Body shape, defensive stance

  • Angle of support

  • Pressure, cover & balance.

  • Quality passing

  • Target players looking for gaps in the backline

  • Communication

  • Reactions


  • Be ready to interact with teammates.

  • Communicate.

  • Applaud good play and work ethic from teammates.

  • Offer help if you understand the exercise

  • Have fun!


  • Always work at game speed

  • Be ready to explode into a defensive block.

  • Be ready to pressure.


  • Be ready to focus and react in the transition

  • Embrace failure.

  • Remember the instructions of the exercise. 

  • Decision-making can only happen if we are open to finding answers.

  • Gain confidence

Possible Performance Problems:

On the transition. If the defending team wins the ball, the opponent is out of balance. They must react quickly and set a defensive block.

Players treat it as a possession exercise. Encourage them to keep trying to find the target. Remember, you are working on the defenders.