The defender’s main goal is to reduce penetration. This means preventing the attacker from either passing forward, dribbling to the goal or shooting. The best way to achieve this is by applying pressure and strategic positioning.
Priorities for a pressuring defender
The defender should prevent a pass before individual duel occurs. The defender should try to position themselves on the goal side of the attacker, so that there is visibility of the ball and the attacker.
Look to tackle the ball as the attacker makes their turn. If this was unsuccessful consider tackling the ball before confrontation occurs with the offensive player.
Make the attacker screen the ball when the ball is touched. Prevent the attacker from turning with the ball and facing the goal.
Look at facing the attacker halfway through their turn. Good defenders will know when an attacker has decided to turn.
Avoid leaning on your attacker. Some attackers will use this to spin and play the ball into the space left open by the defender.
Position the attacker into the least dangerous space. After the attacker has turned, guide him in the direction that you believe will cause the least damage.
You can then set your trap, by being applying the correct speed. Avoid closing down on an attacker’s space too quickly, as this may cause the offensive player to play the ball behind the defender. A move that is too slow, can give the attacker too much time to play.