5 Great Warmup Drills for Defenders
For defenders to be at their best on the field, they need to properly prepare themselves prior to the game.
Warmup drills are extremely important in helping a defender get into a rhythm, as they can work on various skills before taking the field.
Here are 5 great warmup drills for defenders.
1. Quick feet drills
Drills such as going through ladders, are good for every player to work on increasing their quickness and foot speed. Defenders need this in order to chase down attackers. It also enables them to step quickly to defend. There are many different variations you can do just to warm up your legs and practice quick, choppy steps.
For defenders it is important to make sure you do some repetitions of going backwards through the ladders as well. While doing this, keep your knees bent and your chest straight up. Many people end up leaning too far backwards that results in being off-balance. Attackers will see this and take advantage so make sure you are practicing proper form.
2. Playing a game of 3v1
This is essentially keep-away or monkey in the middle with a group of four.
One person is in the middle and the other three are standing around them. They are passing the ball around and trying to keep it away from the defender in the middle. The defender has to be smart and quick to step in order to not end up chasing the ball around for an extended amount of time.
3. Kicking long balls
Good distribution is a big part of being a great defender. You have to be able to kick far, but more importantly, you have to be able to kick accurately over distance.
Your legs should be warmed up a bit before you do this but kicking long balls will also help your hamstrings and quads prepare for the game or practice ahead. Y
ou can start passing with a partner from a short distance and gradually back up so that you are kicking across the field from sideline to sideline.
4. Settling the ball out of the air
Have a partner either toss or kick a ball in the air for you to settle using your instep or chest and then quickly pass back to them accurately.
Use both feet and repeat as many times until you feel confident that you have a good touch.
Have a partner either toss or kick a ball in the air for you to jump and head back to your partner.
As a defender most of the time we want to head the ball far to get it out of dangerous situations. Focus on meeting the ball at your highest point of your jump. Timing is very important, as is footwork.
Focus on really snapping your entire torso through the ball for the most power.