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FIFA Futsal Coaching Course

Nicosia (Cyprus), 29/6-3/7/2009

Instructor: Mico Martic (Croatia)

Defensive Tactical Actions

Defensive Tactical Actions
Defensive transition actions
Back-up actions
Marking Actions
Ball cut-off actions
Concept of defensive tactical action
- a defensive tactical action is a set of tactical actions used by a defense to block or impede
the ball’s advace during the opposing team’s attack.

Defensive tactical actions can be performed on their own, as occasional actions in a given
offensive situation, or as a part of the defensive tactical system.
A combination of actions is also common, in order for the two actions together to be more
Types of defensive actions
Defensive transition actions
Withdrawal – is the action performed individually by each player, and the
entire team collectively, when ball possession goes over to the opposing team.

- positional withdrawal
- non-positional withdrawal

(video + ppt)
Types of defensive actions
Defensive transition actions
Stalling – is the action performed by one or several players to delay the
opponent’s attack with the main aim of gaining time for their teammates to organize themselves

Stalling is performed over the opponent possessing the ball.Therefore, it will be done by player
nearest that opponent, alone or with the assistance of a teammate, who helps applypresure or
prevents the opponent from putting the ball into play

If stalling is impossible, or has not met its goal, and your withdrawal is not complete, it is
possible to commit a tactical foul.

(video + ppt)
Types of defensive actions
Back-up actions
Help – is defensive support action for a teammate marking the opponent
who has the ball, to increase pressure (a 2x1)

Defensive help can be performed very close to the attacking opponent, pressing the ball, or at a
short distance, pressing the balls trajectory, to cut off the pass.
Types of defensive actions
Back-up actions
Coverage – is the assisting action made by a player over a teammate at
risk being beaten by an opponent, aspecially one in possession of the ball: the opponent would
gain numerical superiority by beating the teammate.

As opposed to help, coverage is carried out from behind the teammate and at the certain
distance (sliding off) so that, if the opponent manages to beat the teammate, he immediately
runs into another defender who cuts off his route.

(video + ppt)
Types of defensive actions
Back-up actions
Exchange – is the trading of positions (marks) with a teammate after he
has run coverage for another player, because that player has been beaten by the attacking
opponent. The aim is to mark opponent that the teammate has left free by performing coverage.

(video + ppt)
Types of defensive actions
Marking Actions – include the actions related with direct interaction (of greater physical closness)
of the defender with the opponent

Marking – is the action of close marking and physical pursuit that a

defender performs on a given attacking opponent (man-to-man marking) or on the attacking
opponent in his defensive zone (zone marking). In the first case, tha marked attacking opponent
becomes the pair of the defender marking him.

Depending on the specific aim desired, marking cen be:

- Interposing mark (prevent ball receiving)

- Containment mark (prevent progressing with the ball)

(video + ppt)
Types of defensive actions
Marking Actions
Pressure – is the action that, individually or collectively, is performed on an
attacking opponent who may or may not possess tha ball (man pressure and ball pressure) or on
the possible passing lines (trajectory pressure) to actively recover the ball or make the opponent
lose it.
Types of defensive actions
Marking Actions
Charge – is an action of direct, active pressure that is carried out with the
shoulder and part of the torso as elements of physical contact, with the aim of the stealing the
ball from the opponent or gaining possession of it in an open dispute (“a split ball”)

The physical strength used in a charge should be correctly measured so as to not commit a foul.
Types of defensive actions
Marking Actions
Tackling – is a direct, active pressure action performed with the legs and
feet. Tackling has the same aim as the charge: to steal the ball or kick it away.
This is the action whose performance places the defender most at risk of committing a foul. If
instead of striking the ball he strikes the attacking opponent. Nonetheless, the aim of a tackle
can be a foul , as a last resort to prevent an attacking opponent’s progress toward your goal, for
example, in a breakaway.
Types of defensive actions
Ball cut-off actions – are those that directly interfere with the ball trajectory, with the aim of
gaining controll of it or, if this is not possible, kicking it away or sending it out of bounds.

Interception – is the action of interrupting the ball trajectory to keep it from

reaching an opposing player, kicking it away, deflecting it or recovering it in an opponent’s pass
or play.

It tends to be combined with anticipation.

Types of defensive actions
Ball cut-off actions
Anticipation – is the action of anticipating an offensive action that an
attacking opponent aims to make, surprising him with the aim of intercepting the ball.

It requires quickness, vision of the play (knowing the opponent and analysing the possibilities of
success) and timing (being in the right place at the right time).
Combination of defensive actions
- defensive tactical actions have their own separate purposes, but in real play it is common for
certain combinations of them to be used.

The combinations can be:

- simultaneous (performed at the same time by 2 or more players)
- sequential (actions are performed one after the other by a given player)

Some of the usual combinations are:

- withdrawal – stalling
- coverage – exchange
- anticipation - interception
Thanks for your attention !