EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Press like Barcelona

Barcelona are, arguably, the best club team in the world. They use a pressing style of defence, at maximum speed with high energy levels. This session encourages pressing your opponent quickly on losing possession and improves individual and small group defending.

What this session is about

  1.  Pressing your opponents like Barcelona.
  2.  Forcing mistakes.
  3.  Working hard to regain possession of the ball.

What to think about

When a team loses possession of the ball, the nearest defender has a decision to make: 1. To immediately press the opponent with the ball. 2. To hold his position and wait for the opponent to advance before applying pressure.

Once the defender decides to press, his team mates must follow his lead and blitz the surrounding area to outnumber the opponent.

The key for the first defender is to close the space between him and the opponent to stop longer passes. Now the team mates can get tight to the opponents near the player in possession and be ready to intercept passes.

On regaining possession, the team is ideally positioned to quickly counter attack.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out three identical areas, each has a six-yard square containing three passing players with a ball.

Three defenders (D1, D2 and D3) line up to begin the racing game. On your whistle, the defenders sprint into the square to defend 1v3. Defenders must win the ball by intercepting a pass or forcing a mistake, now the defender races out of the area to collect a ball and dribble to beat the mannequin/pole and shoot into the target goal.

The defender who completes the circuit first wins.

Now one of the passing players, in each sixyard square, becomes the new defender and the previous defender joins the passers.

Defenders run into the square, intercept the passers, run out and collect a ball so they can dribble around the mannequin and shoot.

Defenders run into the square, intercept the passers, run out and collect a ball so they can dribble around the mannequin and shoot.


Development

Mark out an area with a mini goal on each side line, as shown in the middle picture.

Use two teams. Each team defends the goal behind them and to the left and right. It also attacks the mini goal in front and the ones to the left and right, when it has possession.

Teams can only shoot at goal after completing three consecutive passes. This rule forces opponents to push forward and reduce the space for the team in possession to pass the ball or score in the mini goals.

Two teams play in an area with four goals. They protect three and attack three of the goals.

Two teams play in an area with four goals. They protect three and attack three of the goals.


Game situation

Mark out an area with a goal at each end and two flag/pole goals on the halfway line.

Play a small-sided game. Each team has a keeper, four defenders, one midfielder and two forwards.

Teams score goals by passing/dribbling through the flag goals or by scoring in the big goal.

When defending, each team must push right up to the flag goals to prevent the opposition passing/ dribbling through them and to defend with a high defensive line.

Defending with a high line closes the space between defenders and midfielders, and allows midfielders to press the player in possession. If the opponent breaks over the halfway line to attack the big goal, the two forwards (of the team not in possession) must run back into their own half to block the flag goals so the opponent cannot turn backwards and score through them.

These rules ensure all players are working to their maximum when the team is defending.

Teams can score in the big goal or through flag goals in either direction.

Teams can score in the big goal or through flag goals in either direction.


What to call out

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