Defensive Stop

Drill Purpose

The primary purpose of Defensive Stop is for the defensive player and goalie to practice tackling skills. In addition to being a soccer defensive drill, the offensive player sharpens dribbling skills.


1. Three players per drill group are utilized. The distance from the offensive player to the defensive player is about 30-35 yards. Defensive Stop is a drill utilizing an entire half of the field.

2. On your whistle, the defensive player starts the drill by kicking the ball to the center circle where the offensive player receives the ball.

3. The offensive player then dribbles forward towards the 18-yard line. While the offensive player dribbles towards the goal, the defensive player tries to gain possession of the ball, preferably through slide-tackling.

4. If the defensive player gains possession of the ball, play is repeated by the next two players in each line.

5. If the offensive player beats the defensive player and is able to maneuver the ball into the penalty area, the goalkeeper comes out and tries to stop the player.

6. No shooting at the goal is permitted by the offensive player. In order to score, the offender must dribble over the goal line with the ball.

Points of Emphasis

Defensive Stop is a soccer defensive drill. Players will have sufficient time to make a decision, whether defensively or offensively. During a Defensive Stop match, instruct players to…

– (defensive) practice slide tackling.
– (defensive) attempt to contain the offensive player and not allow him/her to proceed forward. Only reach for the ball with the leg if you’re sure the offensive player won’t go around you when you do.
– (offensive) practice any soccer ball drills that have been learned in order to break the defense and close in on the goal.
– (goalie) comes close to the 18-yard line and acts as a 2nd defender if necessary.


As players gain an understanding of the game, further variations include:

1. Using two or more defenders.
2. Using two goalkeepers.
3. Requiring defensive players to only be allowed to stop an offensive
player through the use of slide tackling.

Motivation / Teaching Tips

Tip #1 – Reward any offensive player that scores a goal, as beating
two defensive players in this drill is difficult.

Tip #2 – Encourage offensive players be creative and use any
fancy soccer ball handling drills they feel comfortable with.

Tip #3 – Have offensive players begin to develop the sixth-sense
of knowing where defenders and goalkeepers are on the field who
are trying to stop them.

2 Responses to Defensive Stop

  1. kamil May 19, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    I think it is a very nice pracice but the sp ace is very big and the the player can not find it when he in the game or in elevn side gam


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