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Zonal Defending DVD


5+ Stars, Our Highest Recommendation
Best DVD For Zonal Defending and Defending Overview
For Coaches of U-8 & Older and Players U-10 & Older
Every Coach and Serious Player Should Own This

"Zonal Defending" DVD

How To Coach and Play a Zone Defense; First Defender, Second Defender & Third Defender; and 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 Defense
Tony Waiters, Technical Director, based on the book by Jack Detchon
36 Minutes Total
DVD Only
This will play in any DVD player worldwide.

How We Rate Videos and Books: We have watched over 220 soccer coaching videos (DVD's and tapes) and read over 70 soccer coaching books. Unfortunately, most are not good, many are a complete waste of time and money, and some are actually counterproductive. We only sell videos and books that we truly believe are the best and worth buying, and that we can give 4 or 5 star ratings (on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best). Our ratings consider the quality, length and value of an item, how it compares to other similar DVD's, and how well it meets the needs of the targeted audience. We reject about 90% of the videos we watch.

Main Topics on This Video: Topics covered include: overview of man marking and zonal defending; requirements of zonal defending; defining the zones and positional responsibilities; defending 1 v 1; marking and covering 2 v 2; marking, covering, balancing 3 v 3; the Flat Back Four (first defender's job, second defender's job, third defender's job, collective defending); body position, covering angle, distance, patience. See below for details.

Review: This is among my Top 10 favorite soccer coaching DVD's. It is excellent, concise and brilliant, and Tony Waiters' stamp is clearly on it (Tony was the Technical Director and has directed some of the best soccer coaching DVDs ever made, including Keeper!, Coaching Set Plays and Systems of Play). It is the best DVD we've seen for explaining in a clear, concise way how to coach and play a zonal defense; the differences between zonal defending and a man-marking/sweeper style of defending; the duties of players in 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 defending; and the roles and duties of players in a zonal defending system, including midfielders. A very effective blend of graphics, game footage and commentary that is both interesting and educational. I really wish this had been available when I started coaching - it would have kept me from making a lot of mistakes and I would have become a better coach much faster. Trust me on this: Unless you are a really good coach or a great defender, you will benefit from watching this DVD, and it will keep your interest and you will enjoy it.

Who It's Suitable For: All coaches of U-8 and older and players U-10 and older.

Tony Waiters: Tony Waiters is one of the best, most knowledgeable and most successful coaches in the world. In addition, I've talked to him and he's a nice, modest guy. Tony played professionally for 10 years in the top division of the English League and with the England National Team. He was a Manager/Coach of the Liverpool FC Youth Development Program, Manager/Coach of the England Professional Youth Team, in 1978 he was Coach-of-the-Year in the North American Soccer League, and he coached the Canadian World Cup and Olympic Teams in 1982-86, including the Canadian men's team that went to the World Cup in 1986. We also believe Tony is one of the best soccer coaching teachers in the world and this DVD is among the best ever made.

Navigation and User Tips: Excellent organization and easy navigation. After 45 seconds of opening credits, the Menu will automatically pop up. Your choices are "Play All" or you can select from the 6 Sections listed below.

Detailed Index of Contents:


Minute Topic
  NOTE: Our times start from the Introduction, and do NOT include the 45 seconds of opening credits.
0:00 Section 1: Introduction and Requirements of Zonal Defending
A brilliant, clear, concise overview of man-marking/sweeper and zonal defending styles of defense. . Uses excellent graphics and commentary to explain the "man-marking/sweeper" system and the "zonal defense system".
Summary of Zonal Defending:
  1. Emphasis on marking space
  2. "Passing on" attackers
  3. Communication
  4. Awareness of Offside
  5. Maintains "Team Shape"
5:22 Section 2: Defining the Zones and General Positional Responsibilities Responsibilities (the parts of the field defenders are responsible for.) Excellent use of graphics, game footage and narration.
Summary of General Positional Responsibilities:
  1. Emphasis on marking space
  2. "Passing on" attackers
  3. Communication
  4. Awareness of Offside
  5. Maintains "Team Shape"
11:35 Section 3: Defending 1 v 1 (responsibilities and jobs of players). This is outstanding. Excellent use of game footage and commentary.
Tip: Once the ball is lost, all players become defenders, so all players must be able to defend 1v1. When the ball is lost, every player must think about whether he can win the ball back, and if that is possible, must pressure the ball or if he is the 2nd or 3rd closest to the ball he should support the player pressuring the ball by being the Second or Third Defender.
Summary of 1 v 1 Defending:
  1. When the ball is traveling, cover the distance to marking as fast as possible, but stay under control (slow down as you approach the attacker and get between the ball and the goal)
  2. If unable to win the ball, adopt a slightly crouched and sideways position about a step or two from the attacker, depending on the attacker's distance from the goal and how quick he is. (When close to the goal, mark more closely to try to keep the attacker from having a clear shot).
  3. Be aggressive, but be patient and don't get beat.
  4. Ideally, if the attacker's back is to the defender, as the ball is moving to the attacker the defender should move close to the attacker's back and try to stop the attacker to turning (try to force the attacker to pass backward or to dribble back toward his own goal).
  5. If the attacker is already facing the defender, the defender should:
    1. Threaten the ball (from 1 or 2 steps away)
    2. Be patient (don't get beaten)
    3. Being too close to the Attacker is as dangerous as being too far away. The ideal distance is 1 or 2 steps, depending on the attacker's quickness and distance from the goal. (When close to the goal, mark more closely to try to keep the attacker from having a clear shot).
  Section 4: 2 v 2 Defending, Marking & Covering
(Explains how to decide whether to man-mark or defend space. Excellent use of graphics, game footage and commentary).
Summary of 2 v 2 Defending:
  1. "First Defender"
    1. As the ball moves toward the attacker, run toward him to be in position to apply pressure.
    2. Body position crouched and half-turned.
    3. If his back is to you, don't let him turn.
    4. Be aggressive but patient.
  2. "Second Defender"
    1. Angle to cover (support) the First Defender.
    2. Ability to mark the Second Attacker if the ball is switched.
    3. Distance form First Defender should be close enough to deal with the Attacker if the First Defender is beaten, but not so close that the Attacker can beat both Defenders.
    4. When the ball is played to the Second Attacker, the Second Defender becomes the First Defender and the First becomes the Second

Tip: Communication is critical to success. The Second Defender is the "eyes" for the First Defender and should tell the First Defender which way to funnel the Attacker.

23:43 Section 5: 3 v 3 Defending, Marking, Covering & Balancing
(Explains the concepts of "Pressure, Cover, Balance" and uses graphics to demonstrate proper positioning in various situations by the First, Second and Third Defenders).
Summary of 3 v 3 Defending:
  1. First Defender - plays tight 1 v 1
  2. Second Defender's job is to cover (support) the First Defender
  3. Third Defender's job is to take up the position that best balances the defense and gives the least attacking options and the least opportunity for attacker's to penetrate

Tip: Defender's jobs change as the ball is played into space. The Second and Third Defenders should be aware of maximizing the offside advantage. One of the Third Defender's jobs is communication with the First and Second, since she will be behind them and have a better view of play.

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