Graham’s Guidance

The defensive triangle of two central backs supported by a keeper can become a wall of defense.

Much of their work is done off the ball, as much of it is coaching each other to be in the right place at the right time, to complete their defensive duties. Verbal homework is of the highest quality is demanded of each player. Silence is an enemy for back players but yelling and screaming is not the answer either. The best players are calm but firm with verbal praise behind the effort.

One of the common errors often seen by youth players and even in the World Cup when fatigue creeps into their play is responding to each other constantly throughout a game.


That should be your maxim throughout a game.  Otherwise gaps will appear between the lines of the team and that spells trouble. I would recommend watching the Arrigo Sacchi DVD on U-Tube for more ideas on back play and defending.

Teams need to practice on a regular basis and correct each other to build a strong defense.  This is especially true with the ‘keeper & central backs as a strong defense is the basis of a good team.


Graham Ramsay

Executive Director – The Soccer School