10 Best Soccer Defending Drills for Kids

It’s all about the defense!


| 16 min watch

Once young soccer players have learned how to dribble, pass and shoot, it’s time to teach them the other side of the game: defending. These 10 soccer drills help players develop both individual and team defending skills, and develop players who know where to be and how to move on the field when they don’t have the ball (yet!).

This small-sided game emphasizes defending and counter-attacking by awarding points according to where on the field a team wins the ball. 

2v2 to Endlines: Defending
Coach your players on how to defend in a small-format activity.

4v4 to Endlines: Defending
Focus on defensive skills with a scrimmage session that emphasizes working collectively to deny the opponent.

Team Shield Steal
Stronger together! This activity helps players develop shielding and ball possession skills.

Capture the Balls
It’s Capture the Flag–soccer-style. Build teamwork, strategic thinking and multiple ball skills with this throwback.

2v2 to Small Goals: Defending
Hold the door! Set up small goals and focus on defensive skills and strategy in this small-sided activity.

4v4 to Small Goals: Defending
Players work on group and individual defending skills in this 4v4 scrimmage with small goals.

Players learn how to protect the ball and poke tackle their opponents’ balls in an epic game of knockout.

2v2 to 4 Goals: Defending
This quick transition activity gets players used to transitions between offense and defense.

4v4 to 4 Goals: Defending
This game forces players to both attack and defend immediately when the ball changes ownership.

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