Get level and either side (off the shoulder) of the defender

  • If the passing lane for you to receive the ball is very close to your defender, either look to receive the ball in behind or drop to see the ball and the defender
  • When your defender moves forward to cut out a passing lane (to you), you should move at the same time to maintain the level and outside position and consider moving behind your defender to receive the ball, if it is on.
  • The distance between you and your defender will be determined by where you are on the field and will often be closer when you want to get in behind the defence from a position where you can get in behind, or run across the face of the defender or peel away when he/she looks at the ball

Why is this important

  • More specific body positioning to see your immediate opponent and be able to get behind him/her more easily, after you have ‘trained yourself’ to see your defender and the ball. You can see the defender so you know when he/she cannot see you, i.e. when he/she looks at the ball
  • Your 1st touch can be made past your defender and you can face forwards.
  • Staying level and either side ensures that if your team loses the ball you can recover to a goal side position of your immediate opponent very quickly. If you run behind the line of defence you cannot affect the play if you lose the ball

NWS Spirit Mens First Grade example