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Defensive Block - Game related

Exercise Description:

Area – 34X25 with two 12x25 yard end zones and a 10x25 yard center zone. Suitable for 12, 15, or 18 players split into 3 teams. Two teams are in each end zone and a defending team in the middle zone.

1. The coach plays the ball to the blue team.

2. Two defending yellows enter the area. The blue team keeps possession and attempts to pass the ball to the opposite red team. They can pass across after 4 or more passes.

3. The defending yellow team makes play predictable. The two players inside the end zone press the ball while the other three cover, balance, and block passing lanes. They move into one half of the middle zone and work as a defensive unit behind the ball.

4. The ball cannot go above head height.

5. The team that loses the ball becomes the defender.

Variation: Switch defenders

Coaching points:

Team-work and communication

Positional sense, angles, and the balance of the three players in the middle zone.

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.

  • Decision-making is needed.

  • Possession team, go through, around or over?


You can now pass the ball over head height and there is no limit to the number of passes.

Possible Performance Problems:

The middle three forget to move into half of the middle zone.

The possession team tries to force the ball to the next group.

Be ready to focus - Make decisions

Keep scanning the area and visualize playing in a game.

Accept mistakes - Find solutions

Coach your teammates


Applaud good play


Be willing to move

Work at game speed

Keep working and believing

Move as a unit

Body shape - Defensive stance

Angles and distance

Target players, look for gaps

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