Play this three zones game to get many repetitions and opportunities to press up high!
GAME PHASE & COLLECTIVE ACTION
DEFENDING, PRESS: Deny Build Up. Regain the ball or prevent opponent from breaking first line of pressure.
ORGANIZATION & DESCRIPTION:
Make a 60 x 44 field with a five yards zone in the middle from one goal to top of the center circle (box width) and divide the players in three teams of five with two goalkeepers.
The game starts with one team playing out of the back. That team needs to keep possession for six seconds (starting to count when the first defending player steps on their zone) to be able to play the ball to the team on the opposite side of the field. The remaining team is in charge of pressing, but can only cross four out of the five players. The remaining player has to stay in the middle zone trying to intercept the ball.
If the team pressing wins the ball back, the five players are allowed to finish it as quickly as possible trying to score in the zone they’re pressing. If they fail to win it back, they reorganize crossing four players to the opposite zone to restart the press. When the ball goes out of bounds, the team that lost it presses on the opposite zone. The team pressing earns points from scoring and the others from managing to escape the press and playing to the other zone.
KEY COACHING POINTS (PICK TWO-THREE MAX FOR ONE SESSION):
- Together! Pressing is a collective, team action. When we go, we all go!
- Cues to Pressure: Apart from specific situations (like a goal kick), recognize bounces, bad first touches, technically poor players, and opponents playing back to goal as individual cues for pressuring.
- No foul! Avoid the foul when you’re pressuring, you’re solving the problem for them when you do.
- Lead to ‘hotspots’: Define where we want to lead their play to apply high pressure, where the ‘hotspots’ will be. There are many ways of doing this. That’s up to you coach to decide.
- Shadow Press: As the first defender in the press, utilize a curved approach that removes a passing line and offer a pressing direction to the rest of the team. This approaching run most frequently attempt to lead play to the sideline and ‘cut the field in half vertically’ but that’s not a rule and fully depends on the coach’s pressing strategy.
- Find the man on the strong side, balance on the weak side: If the first defender ‘cuts the field in halves vertically’, the team behind should quickly identify the strong side (where play is being led to) and the weak side (the opposite side). On the strong side we need to quickly apply pressure over every passing option, while on the weak side we balance, adopting intermediate marking positions.
Find Guided Q&A, Activity Animation and Additional Comments on The Rush Coaching Manual!