Defend your goal game

by Pablo M29th Apr 2020

Drill created with Tactics Manager

Often goalkeepers are beaten by the opposition and defenders have to rush to cover the goal. This defend your goal drill simulates such scenario.


This drill requires you have access to a full size goal and a good number of balls (at least 1 per attacking player). If you can’t use an actual football field to practice, you will need cones and poles to mark the pitch.

Ideally, you want to practice this drill with a minimum of 6 players. Divide your players into two teams: shooting players and defending players. Position the defending players in line at the corner flag and the attacking players at the corner of the edge of the box. Attacking players should have 1 ball each. Have a look at the diagram above for more details.

If you are struggling for numbers, you can play this game with as little as 2 players. On the other hand, you don’t want to have too many players waiting in line. You want everyone moving constantly.


This is a simple shooting and defending game. The game starts when the first attacking player touches the ball and runs towards the shooting mark. As soon as they start running, a defending player must run into the goal to defend the shot. Defenders cannot use their hands or run towards the attacking players, they must remain in the goal area (one or two steps from the goal line). The attacking players can only shoot once they get around the mark outside the penalty area. Attackers are allowed only “one touch” after passing the mark to shoot. If you have a limited number of balls, attackers are expected to retrieve their ball after they shoot.

To maintain intensity and everyone running, use a time limit for each shooting round, reverse teams roles and keep score.


While emphasis is on defense, this game also helps players to improve their shooting accuracy and power. Key skills that this game targets include:

  • Timing when clearing the ball
  • Using whole body (except arms and hands) to protect the goal
  • Keeping eyes open
  • Kicking technique to clear the ball
  • Heading technique to clear the ball
  • Shooting accuracy