4 tips on how to scan when defending the box

Scanning at the right time can gain a defender the upper hand on an opponent!

February 8, 2021

Scanning is important for all positions in any situation on the pitch. And even though we often talk about scanning during situations of possession, it is equally important to acknowledge the importance of scanning when defending. 

As a matter of fact, scientific studies have shown that scanning frequency is higher in areas in and around the box

Train defensive situations with the Be Your Best Trainer

In the Be Your Best Trainer we have simulations for all sorts of match situations. Did you know that you can train scanning and decision making while defending?

Our match simulations are based on real situations from Premier League and Champions League games - meaning you'll be training situations that were originally experienced by great defenders such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Stefan De Vrij, Matthijs De Ligt, Andrew Robertson and more. 

Box defending

One of the hardest moments to defend in football is in crossing situations, especially when movements in the box happen at a high pace. This means that your scan frequency needs to be even higher!

Here are a 4 tips on box defending with increased scanning:

  • Open body position: position yourself early and with a large view of the pitch.

  • Look for opportunities for your opponents: as you scan, read the situation around you, anticipate your opponents and close that gap!

  • Read your opponents' scanning: your opponents will also be scanning and looking for space to move forward. Reading their gaze to understand what they're thinking can let you predict their movements.

  • Scan timing: Make sure to time your scanning to when the player in possession of the ball has some distance to the ball. In a crossing situation for example, when the player in possession is not near the ball then you know that the cross is not going to come right away, so this is a perfect time to check your surroundings

Use these tips and work on your scanning as a defender in our Trainer! Keep pushing and get the ball out of the box! 

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