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Coaching a team on when to press and drop

Drill Objective(s)
  1. Coach a defending team on when to press the attacking team.
  2. Coach a defending team on when to drop and low pressure an attacking team.
  • Drill No:               FD3
  • Age:                    13-Adult
  • No Players:        10+
  • Difficulty:            Medium/Advanced
  • Area/Time:         60x45 yrds (2/3 Pitch)  (25 mins)
Diagram 1 (High Pressure)

ORGANISATION:

Mark out an area approximately 25x45yrds in the central area of the field with cones.  2 gate goals should be placed at the end farthest away from the goal as targets for the defending team.  Play with 5 defenders and 4 attackers.

 
INSTRUCTIONS:

The start position where the centre back is playing.   The centre back passes back to the goal keeper to start the function.  The goalkeeper then clears with his feet, unopposed up the field to the attacking teams midfield.   The attacking team receiving the clearance attempts to score and the defending team works to gain the ball back and play the ball through one of the 2 gate goals.  If needed, let the strikers first touch be unopposed then play live.

  1. D2 passes the ball back to the goal keeper.
  2. GK clears the ball up field at the other team’s midfield.
  3. A1 or A2 control the ball and start an attack combining with their forwards.
  4. D5 decides whether to pressure high or low depending on his distance from the attacking player with the ball.  In the diagram D5 decides to pressure and show A2 inside.
  5. D4 pressures also and supports D5.
 
SCORING:

2 teams compete and attempt to score.  The attacking team scores by scoring on the goal.  The defending team scoreing in the gate goals.

 
KEY COACHING POINTS:
  1. The defenders have to make a decision on whether to pressure or hold and just cover.  see Diagram 2 for an example of low pressure defending.
  2. The first defender asks himself ‘Can I get close and pressure while the ball is travelling to the attacker’, If so then  ‘Press’, if no then ‘hold and cover’, make play predictable and slow the play down.  Play compact.
  3. Curve runs and body position to force the ball either inside or outside depending on team tactics.
  4. Communication between the players to indicate whether to press or cover.
  5. Watch attackers first touch to help indicate whether to pres or not.
  6. If there are opportunities to intercept and win the ball do so.
  7. Team shape should remain compact if not pressing hard.
  8. With low pressure, covering, get players behind the ball to defend and be patient.
 
PROGRESSIONS:
  1. Require a certain type of combination to score.  For example (1-2, overlap, or takeover).
Diagram 2 (Low Pressure)
 
VARIATIONS:
  1. Vary the start position of the two front defenders (D1 and D2).  Start them deeper to encourage low pressure defending as they can’t apply pressure as quickly.  Start them closer to the attacking midfielders to encourage high pressure.
 
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
The players have to communicate in this activity so that team movement is coordinated.  Especially D1 and D2 so they are either pressing or covering together.
 
Diagrams were generated using Easy Graphics.

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