INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Coping with pressure

Players can find the game mentally tiring and it is important they retain their composure. This session will help them pass and receive the ball when the opposition puts them under intense pressure.

What this session is about

  1. Keeping cool when the opposition “presses” the ball.
  2. Passing and receiving.

What to think about

Players need to:

  • Spread out to create space.
  • Play with their head up.
  • Show good receiving technique. Ideally, the first touch into space, on the half turn and receive
    with the back foot, know the next pass before receiving the ball, etc.
  • Show good passing technique – eg. sidefoot through middle of ball; use the correct pace, timing, accuracy.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
5 minutes15 minutes20 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out two 10-yard squares, which are two yards apart, as in the top picture. Place three players – the attackers – in each square with one ball per square. The remaining six players – the defenders – line up outside the first square.

Once the attackers make their first pass, the first defender enters the first square to win the ball or force the attackers into losing possession in a 3v1 while the attackers try to retain the ball for five passes. Once either event happens, the first defender enters the second square to repeat.

As that happens, the second defender enters the first square. After trying to win possession or force a mistake in the second square, the first defender joins the back of the queue of defenders.

The drill is continuous, but make sure only one defender is in each square at a time.

Defenders take turns to try and win the ball from three attackers in two 3v1 situations.

Defenders take turns to try and win the ball from three attackers in two 3v1 situations.


Development

Mark out an area with a full-size goal at one end and two target goals at the other.

Three attackers plus a keeper stand in the half of the pitch with the full-size goal. The other players (defenders) line up in pairs at the end with the target goals, as shown in the middle picture.

The first pair of defenders enters the pitch. From their half, they play a long pass to one of the three attackers. As soon as the ball crosses the halfway line, both defenders apply pressure.

If the defenders win possession, they try to score in the full-size goal while the attackers try to score in the target goals.

Once a goal is scored or the ball goes out of play, a new pair of defenders enters the pitch to repeat the drill.

A pair of defenders try to stop three attackers scoring in the target goals. Defenders can score in the full-size goal.

A pair of defenders try to stop three attackers scoring in the target goals. Defenders can score in the full-size goal.


Game situation

Mark out an area and split it into three equal zones. Play 6v6 (including keepers).

One team must play a high-pressure defence so that when possession is lost, all of its players squeeze up into the two zones farthest away from its goal, to make the pitch compact.

The opposition plays a low-pressure, counterattacking tactic and when possession is lost, it drops back to the two zones nearest its goal, leaving the opponent’s defenders free from pressure at the back. Each team plays one half using each tactic. The team that scores most goals wins.

In a 6v6 game, one team defends with high pressure while the other team uses lowpressure defending.

In a 6v6 game, one team defends with high pressure while the other team uses lowpressure defending.


What to call out

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