Posted by Jeff Stiffler on Mar 19 2004 at 04:00PM PST
Getting back defensively When a defender is marking a player with the ball and that player passes the ball, there is a tendency to do one of two things. Either the defender decides to chase the ball to wherever it was passed OR they stop playing and relaxes with the idea that their job is done. Generally speaking, both of the above decisions are the wrong ones. The reason players shouldn’t automatically chase after the ball is that the ball can travel much faster than the player so it turns into a useless chase PLUS it frequently results in the defender getting caught so far out of position that not only can’t they put pressure on the player with the ball, but they also can’t help mark the player they just left. There are a few occasions when following the pass defensively is the right decision and those are usually when the pass is an EXTREMELY short one and there is defensive support behind but this situation is much less frequent than defenders think. The problem with the defender relaxing after his player passes the ball is that it allows the player he is marking to make a run to get behind him and at that point, he is beat (for example, a wall pass will beat this type of defender every time). As a general rule, the proper thing to do when a player you are marking passes the ball is to get back quickly. By doing this, it eliminates the chances for success of a wall pass plus allows the defender to provide support by becoming the second or third defender. Getting back defensively after a pass is hit is an easy thing to do IF you remember to do it! This is where communication becomes vital since players behind the defender (keeper, sweeper or other defenders) should be directing the defender what to do as much as possible. .


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