Football: Roles in defense.

When a team is not in possession of the ball, it’s the defending team.

All players in the defending team should be able to help out with defensive duties.

The roles in defense are; pressuring defender (first defender), covering defender (second defender) and the balancing defender (third defender).

Its important that football players are taught the roles of defending after understanding principles of defending.

Pressuring defender (first defender); this’ the player closest to the ball, the role of the first defender is to apply pressure on the ball.

Pressing the ball helps to delay the attackers by denying penetration, forces them into mistakes and if possible then wins the ball to regain possession.

The pressuring defender’s other roles include selecting the proper angle and speed of challenging for the ball.

Covering defender (second defender); this’ the player closest to the pressuring defender.

The second defender’s role is to offer cover to the pressuring defender.

The covering defender should always be positioned between the pressuring defender and the goal they are defending.

The distance has to be appropriate enough to enable the covering defender to react fastest to the ball in case the pressuring defender is beaten.

The covering defender should be able to communicate verbally with the pressing defender.

“A good defender is verbally loud.”

Balancing defender (third defender); The role of the third defender is to balance the defense by maintaining compactness or tracking attackers running off the ball.

The balancing defender should be able to maintain sight of the ball, have a clear vision of the whole pitch and to communicate verbally with the covering defender.

The roles performed by defending players are within the principles of defending. The pressuring defender performs immediate chase or delays the attacker. The covering defender offers depth while the balancing defender creates compactness.

It’s very important for all players to be capable of executing football defensive skills because at one point they will find themselves defending as a first, second or third defender.

5 thoughts on “Football: Roles in defense.

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