How to properly position yourself and have good body orientation when defending

Jan. 18, 2018, 11:59 a.m.

How to properly position yourself and have good body orientation when defending

In this post we are going to speak about a very important topic that has to do with a team’s defensive phase. It is an aspect of the game that we tend to believe that’s only individual but it can have a strong impact on the team’s performance if it’s not handled correctly.

A properly positioned defense takes into account how the player's body is positioned in relation to the other components of the game. In particular how a player is positioned towards the ball and the closest opponent, always taking into account the location of the goal that the player is defending.

When a team is in a defensive phase, and from the individual’s point of view, he must have a body orientation that allows not to be overcome by the direct opponent in a 1 to 1 confrontation. The player needs to be positioned correctly between the ball, the opponent and the goal. The most frequent mistake is to be centered exclusively on the ball which allows the direct opponent to easily overcome the defending player.

In the body orientation we can find two defensive situations:

  • Body orientation in relation to an opponent who does not have the ball, but is ready to receive it and the defense must prevent this. The defending player must position himself between the ball and the attacker, having the goal that he defends always to his back not to be passed by the attacker.
  • Body orientation on a 1vs1 dispute against an opponent who has the ball. The defender will try to guide the advance of the attacker by positioning his body towards zones that do not endanger his team. The defending player will position himself depending on the laterality his rival. If the player is right-handed for example, the defense will cover the exit towards his natural leg, forcing him to move instead towards his left side. In areas near to the goal, the defender will force the attacker to move away from the central zone for him not to create dangerous situations.

These moments, may seem insignificant during the game, but they can originate a problem for the team, for example, a goal from the opposing team. It is because of this, that a team must work in their defending strategy from an individual point of view which will then have an impact on the entire team’s performance.