Advanced defending for the more accomplished defenders

At football training sometime last month with RMFTA, we did a simple segment, where a single attacker goes one-on-one against a single defender and tries to beat him to score.

I was pitted against my brother, a 120kg behemoth, who is a rock as a centreback, but as an attacker, not someone that’ll make me quake in my boots. So here I am, facing up to my bro, tilting my body to show him to my left so I can move in for the steal when he goes for the shot with his masterfoot.

Instead, he did the unexpected and cut the ball to his left, ghosting past me like I wasn’t there. If he took an extra touch or two after getting past me, I might have been able to recover and put in a tackle. But he took the right option for an early shot with his first touch after getting past me, smashing an unstoppable left footer into the net that would have made any striker proud.

Damn that was a rude wake up call!

Probably overconfidence on my part. And some impressive footwork on his part. (There! I said it! You happy now?) But I also realized there’s something fundamentally wrong with my defending in one-on-ones situations.

Came across a Nike Academy training video that really shed some light. Not just on individual defensive skills, but the collective defensive covering and movement as well. Have a look at the video and you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

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Do go read some of their other articles, which follows the author in his attempts at getting himself match fit for his Sunday games.