In the clip below Tony Massie, a Celtic Soccer Academy coach, leads his 4 v 4 drill as part of his Defending as an Individual and in Pairs demonstration at a recent Glazier Soccer Clinic. Coach Massie is an experienced coach in youth and academy soccer with his current role as the International Soccer Academy Manager for Celtic Football Club.
This drill is set up by splitting players into two teams with four players on the field from each group. The defensive group of four players is defending the big goal along with a goalkeeper. If they win the ball, they are attacking the small goals set up on the opposite end of the grid.
The offensive group of four players is attacking the big goal and trying to score. If they lose the ball, they are defending the small goals behind them. Extra players can be used on both teams, which allows players to rotate and rest before going back on the field.
Also, you can switch the groups halfway through the drill or at certain time frames to ensure all players get experience on both ends.
If you are interested in gaining access to Coach Massie’s entire presentation, as well as hundreds of other clinic presentations, clik the link Glazier Clinic Vault.
Coach Massie makes a couple important coaching points during this drill. First, he discusses the importance of not running out of position when defending. If a right back runs to the middle to defend a player, they are opening a big gap and area for the offensive players to attack. This happens very often during games and good teams are able to take advantage. Next, Coach Massie discusses pressure and how he wants to see if the defenders pressuring the ball are causing the offensive players to make mistakes. Forcing players to move, think, and play quicker is one of the best things you can do as a defender. This is a great drill for allowing players to practice defending in larger numbers and more of a game type setting. Allow your defenders to work together and figure things out as they should understand their strength is in numbers and staying organized as a unit.