Defending Crosses: Recovering Defenders

Play Video

Defending Crosses: Recovering Defenders

Watch this video on


Soccer Drill Diagram

This is a crossing practice so we are recreating the defensive third. Mark out a typical penalty area with cones including the 6 yard box. You don’t need the penalty spot or the ‘D’ on the edge of the area. 1 Goal with a GK.

2 wingers will start the practice on a wing each, left and right.

Play starts from a central position on the edge of the defensive third. The ball is played directly to either winger by an attacker, who has to take the ball beyond the edge of the area before crossing. When the pass is made to the winger, 3 central attackers can attack the goal, starting from just outside of the area.

2 defenders start the sequence outside of the box near 2 separate mannequins or cones. They must start with their backs to the goal. The defenders become live when the ball is played wide and they must defend the goal.


Add extra defender to make it 3v3 in the area. Defenders’ start position is still on the edge of the box but tighter together. Coach can also ‘block’ a defender’s path to create game like scenario.

Skill Development

Concentration, heading, finishing technique, shot stopping, communication.

Coaching Points

  • Recovery run to get into a position to defend
  • Attack the ball
  • Be aware of the attacker runs
  • Use the pace on the ball to clear the danger area
  • (P) Concentrate on lines of the recovery runs, don’t all run to the same position

2014-06-24 15:03:42.317500