Saturday, March 29, 2008

Defending on corner kicks - a win-win

The video (15 seconds) is a simple corner kick and header for goal. Simple for the offense, because the defense might as well be taking a tea break.

When defending on corners, one of two systems will work, but something must be done.
Defense #1 - tight marking in which movement by the offense is mirrored by movement by the defense. Simple to say. Tricky to implement since corner kicks put a lot of moving bodies close together and nobody (except maybe Brian McBride) likes to get hurt. Still, regardless of movement stay with your offender and DON'T LET THEM GET THE BALL before you do. This works well for teams that work well as teams.

Defense #2 - use just three of the taller mid and defending players and as the ball comes they focus on the ball, not really worrying about the offensive player that may be about to be involved.

In both cases, the key is determination to get the ball.

Talent is fine. But determination can sometimes trump a lot more talent on the other side. And curiously, through determined play, those very players playing with abandon become better skilled. Double win.

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