Lets look into the subject of  Defending drills Football and how to be a better defender.

They say that the art of defending is lost forever but I certainly don’t believe that.  Learning defending drills in football, as a defender is crucial if the team, as a whole is to succeed.

11 players make up a team including defenders, wing backs, full backs, centre backs, the sweeper.  If these players do their job right on the football pitch, then it gives freedom to the rest of the team to score goals.

The game has changed and players have got fitter, stronger and faster for sure.  That means that defenders have to adapt and change too, but the basics of defending remain the same, to stop the opposition from scoring.

Learn to love defending – it is vital in football.

Be the best at it a flourish as a football player. We are not all born as strikers.


This sounds  simple and daft but it’s true. Watch any football match and when the team needs to defend watch which way they are running backwards, then sideways once they are in position.

Your first thought as a defender is get back into position as quick as possible so that you are in control of the game situation.

The key to being successful when running backwards in football is always to be facing the ball. If  you turn your back on the play then anything could happen.  It only takes a second for a goal to be scored.

Try this:

Find an open football pitch.  Start jogging the length of it BACKWARDS, now turn and go backwards to the start.

Do this at least 10 times. How did it feel? Weird I bet.

Remember the more you do it the easier it will become.

Once you feel like “this is fine it’s feeling easier” then it’s time to start adding sideways movement into it.

Use the width of the pitch and run sideways from one side to the other, think of a crab and its movement.

Again start doing this 10 times in a row.

Put the two together.

Start jogging backwards.  After about 10 metres start to jog 5 metres to the side.  Keep going like this for the length of the pitch.  Turn around and go back the other way doing the same thing.

It should start to feel easier and more natural the more you do it.

At football practice, watch how other players are moving, learn from them and start to think about these movements.

The end results should be that you are able to sprint backwards and sideways with ease.



This classic saying for a defender is so true.

It simply means when an attacker is running towards you stay on your feet, remain upright at all times.

If you go to ground it is far easier for the player to get the ball past you, plus you will probably give away a foul or even injure the opposition player.

Practice this:

Find a friend to help you.  Give them the ball and let them be the attacking player.

When they run forward towards you, you need start to run backwards while facing them.

Try to leave a few feet between you as you get moving.

Keep the same distance and run the length of the pitch.

As the defender, try to turn your shoulder slightly so you are running at a slight angle backwards.

If you are too straight the player can easily go past you.  What you are trying to do here is show the player you want them to either go down the line or turn inside if you have other players covering you.


When the final whistle blows and the game is over and the opposition team has scored a big fat 0.

As a group of defenders you should celebrate like you have scored a hat-trick. That is what clean sheet should mean.

Why shouldn’t  you?  Training is fun but hard work.  This is your reward for that effort.

You hardly ever see a striker not celebrate a goal!

The score line whenever a game starts is 0-0 right!  So concentrate for 90 plus minutes and make sure every game ends 0-0.

A clean sheet is your goal, think of it like that.



You as a player, especially a defender, need to be comfortable standing on either foot.

You will be changing direction so fast, from inside to out as players run towards you.

They will be trying all sorts of skills to get past you.  If you have worked on this then you are in control.











Try this:

Use your strongest foot, the one you normally use, keep that firmly placed on the floor.  Now lift the other leg to knee-high.  Keep this position for 1 min.

Did you remain steady and still the whole time?

Now swap legs.  Did you feel the difference?  Which one were you more comfortable standing on?

Do this daily and start improving your balance. Be aware of it in every moment you do.

Start using either side of your body equally.  Both the left and right side.

You will start to notice improvements, this means you are on the right track.


The art of defending is a key element in every footballer make up, especially if you are a defender.

Try to think outside the box and enjoy running backwards and sideways.  Stay facing the ball at all times during a game, get yourself in control of the game situation.

If you stay on your feet and don’t dive in, then you have a much better chance of clearing the ball away from danger.

Start to improve your balance in how you move.  Feel more centered and aware of this.

This will definitely help you improve as a player.

Enjoy keeping a clean sheet more than anything and celebrate it like you have scored when the game ends.

I hope you enjoyed this article.  I welcome and thoughts, please leave comments below.

Remember to keep that striker in your pocket and defend for your life during a game.

Good luck

Yours football madly






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