Once you are on the field you have functional responsibilities. The nature of those responsibilities depends on the position that you are playing. There are two significant factors to remember; attack or defend. You must perform equally well in both areas. There are important moments of the game, those are called transitions and they are the vital parts of your performance. You will be judged on the speed of your transition from defense to attack or attack to defense. Keep in mind that when a team attacks, everyone attacks and when a team defends, everyone defends.
That brings us to the other moments of the game. The speed of offensive organization and the speed of the defensive organization. All of this happens while recognizing the function of each individual player. During the play, suddenly certain roles will be recognized, the role of the first, second and third defender as well as the role of the first, second and third attacker.
Let’s focus on the defense of your team. You must play defense with the concept of pressure, cover and balance, while there is a verbal and visual communication between the players.
A) The role of the first defender (player closest to the ball) is to provide pressure.
1) Apply pressure to regain possession if possible. 2) Dent penetration of any kind from the opponent. 3) Select proper angle of challenge. 4) Select proper speed of challenge.
B) The role of the second defender (can be more than one player) is to provide cover.
1) Provide support/cover for the first defender. 2) Select proper angle of support which will vary according to: – pressure by the first defender. – position of supporting attackers. – location on the field. 3) Select proper distance of support
– should be a distance that allows the second defender to tackle or immediately close down the opposing attacker who has beaten the first defender. – distance of support will vary depending upon the third of the field and the amount of pressure on the ball – responsible for tracking supporting attackers who make forward runs
C) The role of the third defender (the remainder of the team) is to provide balance.
1) Track attackers who are making forward runs away from the area of the ball 2) Squeeze space toward the center of the field to lock up vital areas 3) Preserve balance and shape of the teamDefense starts at the moment when your team looses possession of the ball. When loosing possession the closest player to the ball becomes the first defender.