Soccer Middle Zone w Defenders Training Drill

Middle Zone w Defenders

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Basic Information

Age Group: (5-7yrs) (8-11yrs) (12-15yrs)
Number of Players: 6+
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 10 min.
Emphasis: Defending, Dribbling

Field Preparation:

  • each dribbler with a ball
  • cones to mark off area
  • middle zone 2-5yds deep
  • pinnies for defenders to carry with their hands


  • objective is to dribble across middle zone without losing the ball
  • each time a defender wins the ball his group awarded a point
  • switch group of defenders every 2 minutes
  • group of defenders with the most points wins


  • vary number of defenders
  • defenders are awarded a point as soon as an attacker’s ball leaves the grid
  • adjust spacing depending on the age and ability of the group if necessary

Coaching Points:


  • agility and balance
  • deception
  • set up defender
  • change of speed & direction
  • protect the ball
  • vision
  • close control
  • attack open space


  • body shape, balance, and foot positioning
  • timing and decision to tackle

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