Pressing and covering – Practice


This practice enables players to develop concepts of pressing and covering.


Set up a playing area 40 yards long by 28 yards wide. Divide this into two 15-yard end zones and a 10-yard central zone, with two wide channels also marked out. Place two mini goals at each end. Divide players into two teams of four, a team of six and two neutral players.


Neutrals are locked into the central zone to start with. The teams of four take an end zone each, while the team of six start in the middle zone as defenders. The two end-zone teams look to switch the play between them, using the neutral players where possible. The defending team can send two players into the end zone to press the ball. If they win possession, they can score in the mini goals, competing against only the two central end-zone players. Full-backs in the wide channels cannot play down the line to their opposite full-back, but can play a diagonal pass in the air if not put under pressure.


  • Two pressing defenders must block passes through the centre
  • Central zone defenders should work on spacing, shifting with play and shape
  • Wide defending players should have recognition to press the full-back when in possession
  • Fast attacking transition

1. Blues in one end zone look to switch the play to reds in the other end zone

2. Full-backs can play a diagonal pass in the air if not put under pressure from defending whites

3. If whites win possession they can counter to the mini goals against the two central blues/reds

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