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Centreback Curriculum

Playing centre back in any team is difficult. You are normally the last line of defence before the goalkeeper and should you make a defensive error it often leads to a goal. So lots of pressure. On the positive side though you are often a leader on the pitch and there is never a dull moment! There are so many key attributes you need to develop but there is a heavy focus on defending and physical attributes.

We have broken down our curriculum into three sections:

  1. Specific Attributes
  2. In-Possession
  3. Out-of-Possession

We have also suggested some training videos in each area.



  • 1v1 excellence – including counterattacks
  • Reads the game well
  • Positions effectively
  • Understands when to mark a player or the space
  • Presses opponents effectively
  • Intercepts passes – spoiling opponents’ possession
  • Containing attacks
  • Runs with the ball with composure
  • Passes the ball with both feet with any surface and varied distance and technique
  • Can beat an opponent with a safe trick


  • Understanding how to defend individually and collectively
  • Adjusts positioning to receive depending on opponents pressing strategy
  • Defends with composure
  • Defends with accuracy
  • Reads and anticipates the play
  • Makes good decisions
  • Supports receives and passes in and from the defensive third
  • Can move into midfield to combine intelligently


  • Explosive over a short distance
  • Quick
  • Powerful
  • Endurance
  • Spring – the timing of spring
  • Height when jumping
  • Upper body strength


  • Mentally adaptable in a variety of defending circumstances
  • Tactically capable in a variety of defending circumstances
  • Courageous
  • Focused
  • Composed
  • Competitive
Centre back out of possession curriculum

Centre-back Out of Possession

There are 6 key areas to focus on for a Centre-back when out of possession:

  • 1v1 excellence
  • 2v1 excellence
  • Big picture excellence
  • Dealing with long balls
  • Dealing with crosses
  • Three D’s – Delay, Deny, Deflect
Centre Back In Possession Curriculum

Centre-back In Possession

Again there are six areas of focus when In Possession, clearly showing how important the role is on the pitch:

  • Receiving skills
  • Distribution 1st line
  • Distribution 2nd line
  • Distribution 3rd line
  • Attacking headers
  • Safe trick

Other positions