When planning a proper “training” for each of the positions on the field, it is vital to outline a concrete strategy. In the case of this article, we will delve into training for the fullbacks.
The fullback position, both left and right, has a very defined defensive role. It is true that in some very specific situations, they can move up to the attack, becoming an offensive fullback, although that role is usually marked by the figure of the center back.
The fullbacks, a term used to refer to players located in the defensive zone, are a key figure on the field.
Their job is one of the most complex, as they have to flank the goal and support their teammates on the wings and center backs in returning to their starting position as quickly as possible.
Therefore, they must possess specific physical and technical qualities that must be developed and enhanced during training sessions.
Physical and mental characteristics of a good fullback
- Fast speed changes.
- Immediate strategic decision-making in the face of strong opposition
- Taking care not to leave any open places.
- Returning to his original position
- Possess a 360º spatial vision of the field.
- Total mastery of ball control and passes, short and long.
- Fluent communication skills with the rest of the team.
- In times of intense stress, the mental ability for quiet and introspection is essential.
Once we understand the fullback’s physique, we can go on to learning how to create an effective training program for our athletes.
Specific training exercises for fullback
The coach’s initial step should be to outline the tactical and technical goals that must be met, such as increasing defensive timing, ball stealing, dribbling, or marking.
The appropriate physical targets for these goals can then be created depending on the objectives in question. Consider the ability to react, change speed, jump, or boost physical build for higher strength in one-on-one play.
We recommend using Bcoach, a multidisciplinary tool for professional football coaches that will serve as a multidisciplinary tool to design tasks, describe all types of plays through its virtual whiteboard, and keep track of the statistics of both players as well as the matches and trainings that are carried out.
For perfecting footwork, rondos exercises are ideal, as they encourage precision and control of ball handling. This is a fundamental part of the work of the fullbacks.
In the same way, with these, we work on the plays in an intensive way, looking for the passes in a coordinated and strategic way, avoiding that the central players manage to intercept the ball during the pass.
In the following simulation, we see the example of two teams with six players in each of the zones.
The ball is passed from player to player with the intervention of several outsiders, who will come in and out and be the attackers and try to intercept the ball.
Passing and Receiving
Passing and receiving drills are essential for fullback preparation since they are the two sorts of plays that they will employ the most on the field.
What exercises can help us enhance our performance in these two areas?
One of them is the running pass, putting the ball in motion and introducing attacking players to get the ball, while the fullbacks avoid the steal.
Another, simple, but very practical, is to position several wingers in a straight line and, in front of them, place another row with the same number of players. The objective is to pass the ball to the player in front of them, and every “x” time, increase the distance between them.
Marking the opponent and stealing the ball
In addition to the defensive action, the fullbacks have the mission of covering and surrounding the opposing team’s players when they approach the area in order to steal the ball and clear it from the goal area.
To do this, a common marking exercise is to do a one-on-one, where one has the attacking position and possession of the ball and the fullback defends and tries to steal it.
Alternately, the fullback will start the play again with the ball at his feet and try to prevent the opponent from taking it away from him.
When practicing fouls and corners, defensive drills should also be focused on covering the attacker. In this case, such moves are done with more players or by doing simulations in different areas of the field.
Finally, we recommend crossing through to prevent dropping the ball. Only two players are required, and one of them will pass his body over the ball, obstructing it and preventing the other player from gaining possession of it.
Attack – Defense
One of the fundamental aspects to work on during training for fullbacks is attacking and defensive plays.
With this objective in mind, during the training sessions we work specifically on shooting exercises.
To illustrate this, we leave an example performed with the Bcoach App, where a long delivery is carried out towards the defensive line with the aim of clearing the ball to the sides in a 1-3.
Another technique is to go in pairs of two and place cones or markers equidistant from each other on the field. The attacking player will carry the ball to one of the cones, while the defending player will attempt to take it away with a lateral tackle.
When they reach the indicated position, the tables will be flipped and they will race towards the opposing cone, transforming the lateral defender into the attacker.
These are just a few examples of fullback training drills, but if you want to learn more, check out our whole goalie training guide.