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A couple of players run with a ball in training while under pressure from defenders.

Marking session: marking attacking players

Joe Joyce, FA youth coach developer, shares a session focusing on the importance of marking in today's game.

Tactics board

Looking for a bit more detail? Check out Joe’s tactics board video for this session.

Coaching tips

In the 2v2, the first defender should look to mark the player who has just received the ball. If the ball is played across, the second defender aims to cover the other opposition player.

Try getting the attackers to start in a wider position. This will provide a different situation for the defenders to attempt.

Try adjusting the space of your area using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). Using a range of tight and wide spaces will help your players adjust for real game scenarios.

Ensure you get your players to think about scanning all over the pitch. It's important they’re aware of where the ball and players are. Effective scanning will help players move effectively and position themselves correctly.

Have your players consider when to time their runs to close down and put pressure on the ball.

Encourage your players, especially the defenders, to focus on verbal and non-verbal communication.