Hot press

This activity will teach individual players to understand their roles in defensive pressing by applying the general pressing cues in a functional and geographically specific context. This activity encourages the defensive team to squeeze the attack.

Set u[

Organize two side-by-side 47×35-yard areas from the top of the penalty area to the bottom of the centre circle in the opposite half. In the far corner of the top end of each, build a four-yard cone goal. We’ve used seven players.

How to play it

Play three attackers against four pressing defenders. Two defenders and an attacker are at each end, with an attacker in the middle. Start with a pass from the attacker at the end opposite the goal to the attacker in the middle. As the pass travels, the receiver can attack the goal, with support from the other two attackers.
As the pass travels, the defensive players read cues and attempt to press to win the ball. Defensive players score by winning the ball and dribbling over the top line, while attacking players score by dribbling through the cone goal. After three plays move to the other grid.


Focus on defenders reading cues before the ball is played, attempting to arrive as or before the receiver’s first touch. Defenders should adopt an angle of approach that denies options.

    1. The game starts with a pass from the attacker at the opposite end to the goal to the attacker in the middle. All three attackers should react to the pass
    2. Defenders must react to the pass, moving into positions to press the ball and cover the attackers

    3. After three plays move the attack to the other grid so players get used to defending both sides of the pitch
    4. The play is the same but players must think about defending the goal on the other side

    5. Here the defenders must cover the goal and the supporting players must get goal-side as quickly as possible
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