What are the methods of learning defense?

(We explain in the example of the 3: 2: 1 zone and the principle applies to other formations)

In a good 3:2:1 defense, the front line of the defender effectively performs triangle movement, and in the bad, the defenders are not good at it.

Thus, the foundation of good front line play is the fast and aligned triangle movement of the defenders, the most important ability for effective triangle movement is agility of the player, and the key biomechanical element is cross step. 

All of these prerequisites are the same for center half, especially if the attack is played with 2 line players.

This is what we see after 5 minutes of watching the match.

Is a good triangle movement of the front line a cause or effect?

If we think of the cause, we will base learning of the 3:2:1 defense on the persistent repetition of the triangle movement for the sake of automation, and as the cross step enables the effective triangle movement, we will persistently practice the cross step.




The learning order is as follows:

  1. By persistently repeating the cross step, we will create the preconditions for a quick triangular movement.
  2. By persistent triangular movement along the lines set by the coach, we will create the preconditions for a good 3:2:1 defense.

We call this method of learning “traditional learning”.

Another way of learning are pre-arranged responses to all the different situations that the coach predictes to occur during the game.

We call this “patterned learning” because the function of the player is to remember and accurately perform pre-arranged movements for specific situations in the game.


Read more about defense basic principles here

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