Rangers have won their 55th Scottish Premiership title and my congratulations go out to the Head Coach and mastermind of their win Michael Beale. I met Michael way back when he was a coach at the Chelsea Youth Academy in Cobham. We used to meet up and he’d give me sessions to use in Soccer Coach Weekly and that led to him writing a number of youth coaching books for Soccer Coach Weekly. MORE
Hunting in packs
When trying to pressure opponents, it’s important that players don’t work alone as they will be outnumbered and simply played around. The key to regaining the ball quickly is for players to work together and hunt aggressively in small groups.
What this session is about
- Improving team work.
- Learning how to pressure the opponent in order to regain possession.
- Learning how to defend in small groups.
What to think about
- When defending it’s important to keep the ball in front so the goal is not threatened.
- This style of defending keeps the defence in line and together.
- Once the system is in place, players can begin to move out and pressure opponents.
- However, pressure must be applied by groups of players, otherwise individual pressing defenders will be easily played around by opponents.
Create a 40 yards by 30 yards playing area with a 5 yards wide channel across the centre.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10-15 minutes||10 minutes||15 minutes||10 minutes||10-15 minutes|
What you get your players to do
The white team must stop one grey team from passing through their area to the other grey team. The white team players must not leave the central channel and should work together to move across to block any attempted passes. The aim is to keep the ball in front of them.
Allow one of the white team players to pressure the player in possession. The other white team players then react and take up positions to support their team mate, and settle into a position to block any attempted through passes.
Have eight versus four in a possession based game. The white team players must work together and think about their roles. It’s important that when one player goes to close down the ball, all the players hunt together in a pack. The job of the player closing down is to put the ball carrier under pressure, so their head goes down as they concentrate on protecting the ball rather than looking for a pass. Supporting players should squeeze into space and man mark the players closest to the ball carrier to reduce passing options.
What to call out
- “Communicate with each other.”
- “Move across and adjust your position in relation to the ball.”
- “Keep the ball in front of you.”