The other thread is harping on this idea of teaching "pressure-cover-balance" a lot. I don't know if I'm the right guy for the job but I just want to share some ideas to teach it. It's probably the single simplest thing, even for a novice to learn because it doesn't require ball skills. Maybe tackling, but that's another thing. I don't mean for this to be condescending but it's what I wish someone pointed out when I started. Teach this in phases: Defending starts the moment you lose the ball. PRESSURE: Player closest to the ball (also called "1st defender" approaches ball carrier in a controlled manner. Coaching points: • help players identify the moment they lose the ball and the proper response to it (player closest to ball approaches in a controlled manner). There are more nuances on how to approach the ball carrier but this is the first part. • "1st defender" doesn't have to win the ball back. He just has to slow down the other team so his teammates can complete their roles in the "Pressure-Cover-Balance" scheme COVER: Call for backup. 2nd player "2nd Defender" closest to the ball slides in a couple of yards behind the "1st Defender" (ideally at a 45° angle). This person's job is to anticipate "1st Defender" getting beat and be there to steal the ball away. Most dribblers are taught to push the ball/explode past the defender. The 2nd defender should know this and be ready to jump on the ball when it's pushed past the "1st Defender" coaching points: • be on your toes BALANCE: Every other player should drop back behind the 1st and 2nd Defender and protect the front of goal and mark opposing players. coaching points: • Ball watching is a sin. Most young kids playing defense lock in on the ball and become unaware of everything else around them. Teach them to scan the field: locate the ball, locate an opponent. Stay goal side of that opponent. ----- Q: What if the "1st Defender" gets beat? A: The "2nd Defender" now becomes the "1st Defender" and the next player becomes the "2nd Defender" and so forth.