Defending line by Dominick Smyth


When a team forces their opponents to throw to one side of the pitch, it gives other defenders a chance to stand on that side of their player in position to get an interception. This drill gives a chance to practice staying on that side, even as the attacker moves.

DefenceDefending CuttersDefending Handlers
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4 cones positioned in a straight line. Outer cones should be roughly 12m apart. One inner cone should be roughly 1m from outer cone, second inner cone should be roughly 2m from outer cone.


Attacker > Defender

Step 1

Image of Defending line
  • Attacker tries to touch outer cone before defender can touch corresponding inner cone.
  • Attacker can fake and change direction at any time. This means defender should be ready for these changes and thus not over commit in any direction.
  • As ability and understanding improve, defenders can look to position their body between attacker and the closer cones. This prevents the attacker from running straight at the cone.


  • Dominick Smyth says:

    If seen as going left to right, the cones can represent the open (cones close together) and break side (cones further apart) of the pitch.

    If seen as going up and down, cones can represent close to thrower and further away.

    Since one set of cones are close together, the defender should stand on that side of the attacker. When the attacker attempts to run to these cones, the defender will be in position. Also, when the attacker runs to other cones that are further apart, they will be able to touch their cone before attacker reaches their's.

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