Specialty Skills: Defending

No-fear Defending

A class that teaches defending tactics, techniques and attitudes. Players will gain clarity on notions such as jockey and delay, stabbing at the ball, shepherding, foot and hip positioning, aggressive/assertive play, decision making, and yes, even slide tackling—using our state-of-the-art 12″ thick dive mat. This class is a must for kids who don’t “get it” and for players who are ready to accept the responsibility of contributing when they are not actually in possession of the ball.

Jockey & Delay

Even Lionel Messi commented on the jockey and delay tactics of Liverpool stalwart Virgil van Dijk.
“He is a defender who knows how to judge his timing and wait for the right moment to challenge or jockey,” the Argentine told Marca.

Hmmm, So what is all of this about and why is it worth learning at Avila? Simply put, Delay is a Defensive principle that slows down the opposition attack to allow cover to get behind the pressure on the ball.

The Defending player applies immediate pressure on the ball, not necessarily stealing it or making contact, they act as if they are going to rush the player, but then slow down and even back up. They arc, get low as they approach, and get the left/right foot forward to push the attacking player on their weaker foot, jockeying the player to delay.

The idea is that expertise in this sort of cat and mouse technique alone without actually having to make a tackle often times, when applied correctly by the defender, is enough on its own to foil the play and cause the attacker to either lose the ball or choose to go back. Sometimes Defending is simply managing.

Don’t jockey and delay, hah, sign up for this class!

Vector Defending

While one defender presses the ball, the other should cut off the space behind by taking a position goal side and slightly to one side of their teammate, taking the shape of a vector symbol. But who presses the ball? Who covers? And why? If you miss this class, there’s no defense!


Tackling is very much about bravery, whereas Marking is really about soccer IQ. Marry the two in one special Avila Class and the result is a player who chooses their battles wisely and wins them fiercely every time!


Our Goalie Class provides specialty training that focuses specifically on technique. Learn the mechanics of diving and how to make the all-important “second save.” Our 12-inch diving mat allows you to train without fear, and in turn you will develop the ferocity and skill needed to defend the goal. This class is designed for those who wish to work hard in their pursuit of goal-keeping mastery.