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Practicing defensive patterns and skills are vitally important to your team’s success. It is an aspect of the game lots of coaches “under coach” and al lot of the time to their demise. In this article I have outlined a few key points that you should reinforce during your defense sessions.

Players must talk to each other they need to work in unison and let their teammates know what number they are marking and when to move up and apply pressure. There is nothing more intimidating then an effective defense that moves as one and is vocal.

Line Speed
It is a race to the advantage line; whichever side gets to the advantage line first in a structured well-organized way is the side that will have the upper hand. Close the space down quickly and effectively.

Tackling Technique
Often neglected this intricate part of a defense system is not coached nearly enough, especially with senior teams, allot of coaches just presume that players know how to tackle. Key areas to coach are head positioning; arm wrap; body position; leg drive and releasing the man after the tackle before getting to your feet. Watch out for these errors, it is all good and well getting up on the offense quickly and effectively but the player still needs to technically and effectively pull off the tackle.

Teach your team to be able to adjust during a game. Your defense pattern can be targeted by offense and if it is not working then you should be able to adapt the pattern to tighten up and regain your teams ability to block the strikes against it.

Pressure The Attack
The defense must always make the offense play by forcing a pass or to make contact. Press up on the offense then pressurize them to play, don’t just stand or be in their space, make them play.

Stay In Your Channel
Coach your players not to slide off their channel early as this can create a hole for a cut back attack or the opposite number to step and push through. However players must be taught how to assist their outside mans inside shoulder but only when the ball has moved past them can they look at moving across to help.

Defense – Key points for Practice

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