Apply pressure, regain possession and then use the ball in this three-part session. By MICHAEL PHILP MORE
This practice works on players’ pressing as a unit and the transition into gaining possession in advanced areas.
Use half a pitch and a full-size goal. An end zone is marked out just before half-way and players are split into three teams of three, two defenders and a goalkeeper.
Whites start in possession, with Reds passively pressing (no tackling). After 5-6 passes, the coach plays a pass in behind the Whites for the Reds to receive and attack the defenders (Blacks) 3v2. After attacking, Reds become the passing team, while Blues press and Whites rest.
Progressions: Add medium pressure where the pressing team still can’t tackle but can intercept. Progress further by allowing full pressing, while the in-possession team can score by dribbling or passing into the end zone.
Focus on the positioning of the three pressing players. First defender – Close down quickly and pressure the ball. Delay the attacker. Second defender – Provide cover for first defender. Positioning to intercept/block a pass/ shot. Third defender – Provide balance and ‘weak side’ support. Encourage players to read triggers and transition to attack quickly.
1. The Reds begin by pressing the Whites, who are in possession
2. After Whites have completed a set number of passes, the coach plays a ball for the Reds to attack. Reds then play 3v2 against Blacks
3. Reds become the new in-possession team, with Blues pressing. In the progression, Reds can break out and try to score in the end zone