Cover also known as Depth, is a fundamental principle in soccer that involves defenders providing support to their teammates who are trying to win back possession of the ball. This principle aims to disrupt the opposition’s attacking play by creating a solid defensive structure that covers potential gaps and reduces the space available for the attacking team to exploit.
Cover involves covering and supporting the defender who is trying to win back possession of the ball. Defenders should position themselves in a way that covers the spaces that the defender pressing the ball may leave open, providing support if the press is unsuccessful. If the defender pressing the ball successfully wins possession, the supporting defenders should adjust their positions to cover any spaces left open by the pressing defender, preventing the opposition from exploiting these gaps and creating goal-scoring opportunities.
Benefits of Cover
The successful implementation of Cover in a team’s defensive play offers several advantages:
Increased defensive stability: By providing support to their teammates, defenders can create a solid defensive structure that is difficult for the opposition to break through
Reduced attacking space: Defensive Support reduces the space available for the opposition to exploit, making it harder for them to create goal-scoring opportunities.
Better defensive organization: Defenders working together and communicating effectively create a more organized and cohesive defensive unit.
Easier transitions: When the defensive team wins possession of the ball, effective Defensive Support can facilitate quick transitions to the attacking phase of play.
Key Concepts of Defensive Support
To effectively implement the principle of Defensive Support, coaches must teach players the importance of the following concepts:
Covering: Defenders must provide support to their teammates by covering spaces that may be vulnerable to the opposition’s attacks.
Communication: Effective communication is key in Defensive Support, with defenders constantly communicating and providing information to their teammates.
Anticipation: Defenders must be able to anticipate the opposition’s movements and actions to provide effective support.
Coordination: Effective coordination and teamwork are essential for effective Defensive Support.
In the subsequent lessons of this training course, we will delve deeper into the specific moments when Defensive Support should be employed, the technical and tactical skills required for successful implementation, and the role of each player in applying this defensive principle.