To develop the defender’s ability to change direction quickly and in control when in pass coverage.

Have the players form a line, with the first player in line stepping forward and turning around to face the line.

Diagram demonstrating the multitude of angles we can use the Retrace drill to practice.


Player performing the retrace drill at a 90 degree angle.



  1. On the coach’s signal, the players will break and begin to backpedal.
  2. On the next signal from the coach, the player will plant their back foot and drive forward, retracing their steps and sprinting past their initial starting position.
  3. Next player in line steps up and repeats the drill.

Coaching Tips:

  • Once your players are comfortable with the backpedal, teaching them how to quickly and efficiently change directions at full speed without getting their feet tangled or throwing their balance off will give them the foundation to build on and develop their game sense and ball skills.
  • Focus on making sure players are making that transition without any false steps or wasted motion.
  • There are also variations of this drill; next we will use it to work on breaking forward at a 45 degree angle, breaking to the side at a 90 degree angle, and dropping back at a 45 degree angle, preparing them for a wide variety of game situations. Also – make sure to run this drill moving to both the left and right sides.