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1st (Containing) Defender Assessment Game
This game assesses a player's natural inclination to defend, their current ability to defend, their knowledge about defending and what they need to learn.
Print Assessment Form (link opens in new tab). Enter players name or uniform number in 1st column.
In the 2nd column score each defender's attempt at defending. Enter their score in a small box for each opportunity they have to move to defend against an opponent with the ball as follows:
In the 3rd column score any defenders who must make a recovery run when the attacking player with the ball gets past them as follows:
Two cone goals are placed at each end of a tunnel. Tunnel length is the distance players can firmly pass the ball, but not more than 20 meters (66 feet). Tunnel width is not more than 10 meters (33 feet). To keep players from going against the same opponents every time one line at the end of the tunnel should have one or two more players than the other line.
Players become bored, lose focus and don't learn when they are standing in lines waiting. To keep lines short multiple side by side tunnels should be used.
Attacking players, without soccer balls, are at one end of the tunnel. At the other end of the tunnel are defending players, each with a ball.
The first player in the line of defending players with soccer balls passes the ball to the first player in the line of attacking players at the other end of the tunnel and:
The 1st defender wins if they:
The 1st attacker only wins if they get the ball over the defenders end line.
After each attempt players go to the end of the opposite line.
Observe in Assessments but Teach in Practices
The assessment game is to evaluate how well players defend and is not for teaching players how to defend correctly during the evaluation. Note what 1st defenders need to learn to do to be successful during the evaluation. Then in practices during the season teach players who to defend without making errors.
"If we score we might win"
"If they don't score we can't lose"
Christine Rampone, U.S. Women's National Team, 1997-Present
Teaching in Practices - How Assessments Help Players
This "tunnel game" was used by a new coach to identify weaknesses in the defending abilities of the boys on the last place team in the bottom U14 Boys Division of the National Capital Soccer League in Washington, D.C.
In assessments 15 boys attacked 6 times and defended 6 times against their teammates. Out of the 90 attempts the defenders were beaten 89 times for 89 shots on small goals. Over the fall and spring seasons the boys learned the roles of 1st and supporting defenders.
The end of the spring season 13 boys traveled to play in a tournament in New Rochelle, New York. On arrival the team was told they had been moved to the Premier Division of the Tournament because 2 older boys teams from the club had won National titles. All of the teams they were to play in the tournament were either State Cup Champions or Finalist.
The boys advanced to and won their semi-final game on Sunday and lost to the New York State Cup Champion 1-nil in double overtime on Monday.
Player Risk Taking Assessment
Supporting Teammate With the Ball
1st Defender Assessment
2nd Defender Assessment