Faisal’s Coaching Corner, Defending on 1v1’s

By Faisal Amir Khan, AFC C Licence Coach

Defending on 1 on 1 situations can save a team a game or cost a team the same, so it is vital to be able to do this well when the need arises. 1v1 is not just when you are a last man, there are many 1v1 situations in a game, if you as a defender can win most of them you have done well for the day and your team is likely to have a solid defence. If you end up losing these situations you’ll heap pressure on your team mates.

Here are some points that can help you defend well in these situations, they need to be understood well and practised during sessions and applied in the games.

I would love if young players would discuss every point in the comments if not clear.

1)      Never stand parallel footed i.e stand side footed so that the ball does not pass between ur legs.

2)      Stand on your toes.

3)      Your weight should be on stronger foot.

4)      Knees should be bent.

5)      Lower ur body a little bit so that your centre of gravity lowers and your balance is stronger and powerful.

6)      Keep eyes on ball and not on opponents body so that you don’t get body dodged.

7)      Open up your arms and elbows to make yourself big.

8)      Try to take the opponent  to the sideline rather than inside i.e show him one side where you want him to go.

9)      Do not tackle unless you are sure that the ball is in your grasp and you will take it off the attacker.

10)   Don’t give the opponent much space because he might accelerate and beat you.

11)   Be very agile and if the defender is coming from the side of goal post then he should make an approaching angle and show the opponent a little more of one side.

Before starting this exercise make sure ur players are totally warmed up and they have sprinted 30-40 yards 5 times at least so that there is less chance of injury. In future I will certainly tell you basic of tackling of all types.