Happy Friday Coaches! It’s that fabulous time of the week again. Friday afternoon and a whole weekend of fun and relaxation, (or studying for our coaches in training) ahead. To make it that little bit sweeter, you guessed it…it’s Fresh idea Friday time.

Part 3 of 3 is here and to round up our three key areas of ‘What Wins Matches?’, we are looking at

Centre Pass Defence

Following last week’s focus on consolidating Centre Pass Attack, today we are excited to share some key activities from Colette Thomson, England Assistant / Development Coach. Colette has shared some key activities to work on Centre Pass defence. We hope that you enjoy…

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  1. Start defending immediately after a goal
  2. Set up early
  3. Clear communication between C/WD/GD (normally WD to initiate)
  4. Understand what you are trying to create
  5. Be flexible/react to changing in attacking positions
  6. Variety of strategies.
  7. Quick recovery from Phase 1 to Phase 2
  8. Prevent driving 2nd Phase

Activity 1


  1. Attacking the flight of the ball
  2. Anticipationactivity 1

In 3’s or 4’s

  • Using a triangle/square
  • Attackers move along the sides
  • Defenders inside the shape
  • Defenders need to get x interceptions before swapping


Activity 2  


  1. Attacking the flight from CP
  2. Recovery to Stage 2activity 2
  • In groups of 3 (C, WD, WA)
  • Centre to Toss to simulate whistle
  • Attacker to aim to receive ball in blue area
  • Defender to intercept
  • If ball lands with WA, WD must get around to stage 2 mark


If ball lands with WA , C provides a lateral middle option. WD to tip, intercept or get the ball lifted.


  • Flat ball
  • Attacker to start wide to give defender best chance of interception. Gradually allow attacker to move more centrally
  • Defender to try variety of start positions

Activity 3 


  1. Attacking the flight from CP
  2. Recovery to Stage 2activity 3
  • In groups of 4 (C, CD, WD, WA)
  • Centre to toss to simulate whistle
  • CD and WD to work together to prevent attacker receiving the ball in the blue area.
  • 6 attempts
  • 2 points to defence if ball is intercepted
  • 1 point if  3 second call
  • 1 point attack if ball is received in area


If ball lands with WA , CD/WD to prevent C from entering the goal third


  • CD/WD to vary start positions 

Activity 4


  1. All of the above plus
  2. Recovery to Phase 2activity 3

In groups of 6 (C, CD, WD, WA, GD, GA)

Attacking Aim:-

  • 1st and 2nd phase of CP
  • WA starting wide
  • GA starting deep
  •  WA can receive pass anywhere along the line
  • GA can come over the line if necessary

Defensive aim:-

  • 2 points for an interception
  • 2 points for 3 second call on CP
  • 1 point if 2nd phase is received in front of the yellow line

All activities can be done on both sides of the court; WA side (as shown in diagrams below) or GA side.

Thank you to Colette for sharing! We hope that consolidating your squads;

  1. Through Court Attack
  2. Centre Pass Attack
  3. Centre Pass Defence

supports you in your last few training sessions to strengthen key areas on court to win your matches. Do let us know if you use any of the practices and how you get on. If you haven’t seen April’s Top 10 make sure you also take a look at tips from coaches at this time of year.

With a few weeks remaining of the Super League why not have an end of season celebration with your team and catch one of the final matches. The final is on May 7th at The Copper Box arena, buy tickets here. If you have been following this season, why not share your opinion by Voting for Sky Sports Vitality Superleague Player of the Season.

Team Coaching


Previous Story Fresh Idea Friday: CP Attack
Next Story Managing the Bench

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