Do All Big Ten Teams Play Each Other In Football Defensive Tactics for the Young Player in Australian Football

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Defensive Tactics for the Young Player in Australian Football

When you are a defender or have to assume the role of defender in Australian football you have two main tasks. The first is to prevent your opponent from getting the ball. You may need to create a stop. Another role is to collect the ball and send it in attack towards your goal.

For me it is important that every player in the team plays the role of defender and attacker. The great Hawthorn coach, Alan Jeans, had the following mantra for his team.

If we have the ball, you go into attack mode. If they have the ball or the ball is in contention, you go into defensive mode.

So below, you’ll find several ideas on how to get into defensive mode. These include

  • Always play inside your opponent I. e. Place yourself between your opponent and the ball.

  • When standing next to your opponent when you are not directly involved in the play, place your hand on the opponent’s chest so you know where he/she is.

  • Then when the ball gets close to you, use your hands to push against your opponent’s chest to launch you towards the ball.

  • When chasing your opponent, always run inside your opponent to drive him to the boundary line. This means he/she is pushed away from his/her goals and has a low percentage of goals when running from the boundary.

  • When running towards the ball with your opponent, hit your opponent two meters away from the ball and get closer to the ball.

  • When you are on the mark; Stand tall with your arms outstretched to try to distract the kicker;

  • When you are on the mark, watch the football carefully for a chance to touch or spoil the kick.

  • When hitting the ball, focus your hands and arms on the ball. Be ready to retrieve the ball from Smother.

  • When fouling the mark, punch towards the boundary and chase the ball to collect. If you are in the forward line, punch the ball towards your teammate as it comes down the ground.

  • As a general rule always defend the boundary with your kicks. Never make short passes to the back line unless you are under pressure and your teammate is a close competitor.

  • Kick to the open side of the field away from the side from which the ball came.

  • Always follow through or foul your kick or handball.

  • Remember that windy conditions will move the ball differently. Against the wind, the football will suddenly drop in front of the pack and be blown over the pack by the wind. With a cross wind, the ball will float across the pack. So position yourself for these terms.

  • Adapting to wet conditions by keeping in mind the ball slides across the wet grass, stops in a pool of water and slips through the hands of the marked player.

  • Switching opponents with a trainer’s agreement when you are too big or small or too slow for your opponent.

  • Always use two hands to catch the ball.

  • Keeping your feet. If you fall, you are out of the competition.

  • Recovery I. e. Ability to make a second attempt to retrieve a spilled football.

  • Talking and shepherding your team mates.

Here are several ideas to incorporate into your defensive game. Make a list of the ones you need to add. Prioritize your list and add one at a time to your game plan. You can ask the coach what he/she thinks is most important for you to develop first.

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