Tactics board from youth module course

Coaching Session of the month

Defending against the counter attack-

Main focuses- delaying, Shielding, sliding, compactness, and recovery runs.

Activity 1

2x players

1x ball

15 yards apart

Player 1 makes a pass to player 2. Player 1 follows the pass. Players 2 dribbles the ball to where player 1 started with player 1 jockeying on the way back (delaying)


Progression 1-

The player jockeying ask them to stand side on not flat footed and low down (surfboard)

Repeat so both players have multiple goes at this.

Progression 2-

Player 1 who makes the initial pass to bend their run. Player 2 (the dribbler) to change direction so delaying player has to change body position.

Repeat so both players have multiple goes at this.


Progression 3-

Player 1 must run 5 yards behind player 2

Player 2 does 5-10 top taps on the ball then dribbles to the other end

Player 1 chases player 2 back to the line to try and win the ball (recovery run)

Repeat so both players have the opportunity


Activity 2

11 players (can be more or less to suite needs of session)

2 teams 1x GK

See diagram for set up

Ideally final 3rd of pitch but can be made smaller to achieve outcomes


Defending team start with the ball and play into attacking team (replicating losing the ball)

Defender who ‘loses’ the ball makes recovery run (2)

2nd defender delays run the attacker (either with the ball or without) (5)

Change to give player a chance in each position


Progression 1-

Add a goal at the other end for the defending team to play into.

Key points

Recovery run



Stay central

Defender 2 to Force player down the line


Progression 2-

Attacker 2 to make diagonal run. This gives attacker 1 the option to play down the line or to cut inside.

Defender 1 to make fats recovery run

Both defenders may have to swap the player marked depending on the attacking players movement.


Small Sided Game


2x teams

Sort into a 1 (GK) 2 2

The 2 attacking players must touch the post of the opposition goal when the ball is played by the keeper. Making a 4v2 over load with the other 2 players making recovery runs to win the ball back.


The 2 players (2 & 3) in the 4v2 try to delay the attacking team.

Small Sided game

Both teams must leave one player at the top end of the pitch (no off sides)

The defending team if they win the ball can play a long ball over to the attacking player meaning they start the counter attack.

Focus then starts on the recovery runs.

6 delay 2, 3,4 and 5 recover