Preseason training offers a great opportunity for coaches to embed and develop their defensive principles for the season ahead. Alongside energy and intensity, it's also important to establish collective organization alongside individual roles and responsibilities in specific moments of the game. In this free session, we will look primarily at the front three plus the attacking midfielder in a traditional 433 pressing system and offer ideas for coaches on how to build their sessions on this specific topic. If you enjoy the work and would like additional ideas, please check out the Modern Soccer Coach: 30 Pressing Exercises eBook by clicking here.
PART ONE: 6v4 Transitional Rondo
Ten players are divided into two teams. The team in possession will have six players and the defending team will have four players. The exercise takes place in a 15x15 yard box with one mini-goal in each corner. The objective of the defensive team is to win possession back immediately. For every six consecutive passes, the possession team score one point. If the defensive team win possession, they are looking to score in any of the mini-goals. Play for three minutes and then take a one-minute break. Repeat three times.
- Reduce the pass award to five passes for every point. This will put more pressure on the defending team
- Restrict players to two touches
- Aggressive defending from the defensive team as soon as the exercise begins
- Encourage defensive players to restrict space/time for players to find a new pass. Once the player delays, they can then become aggressive and win the ball
- As soon as possession is won, encourage the defensive team to problem solve to score in one of the goals, with individual skill or combinations with teammates.
PART TWO: Pressing the Build-Up
Players are organized into two teams, with a possession team of six, including a goalkeeper, against a 'front four' in red. The exercise takes place inside a 30x25 yard area, with four mini-goals at the top. There are no restrictions in terms of players movements. The possession team are looking to complete 3 passes and can then score in any of the mini-goals for one point. The defensive team are pressing aggressively and are looking to score immediately in the main goal for two points. Play 3x4 minute games and rotate the players after each set.
- Award the possession team a goal if they complete 5 passes or more also. This challenges the defensive team to press aggressively
- If the defensive team win the ball and score, they are awarded four points. Now you are rewarding the transition element of pressing.
PART THREE: 3 Zone High Press
Players are organized into 2 teams. The build-up team in blue will have 9 players including a goalkeeper, organized into a back four, three midfielders and one forward. The defensive team will have eight players, organized into two center backs, three midfielders and three forwards. The exercise takes place on one half of the field and the area is split into 3 vertical zones with mini-goals at the top. There are no restrictions in terms of movement. The attacking team are looking to build and score a mini-goal - as long as it's in a different channel from the first pass from the goalkeeper. This condition challenges the build-up team to change the point of attack and expose. the defensive team to challenges with the overload. The defensive team are looking to press, deny the switch, win possession and score in transition. Play 3x4 minute games with a one minute break in between each one.
- When the first pass moves, all defensive players should be sprinting to apply pressure
- Once initial pressure is applied, then patience, body shape and angles become key.
- Defensively work together to deny options and cut off switch
- If a pass is played across by the attacking team, the defenders must “slide” and cover each other
If you would like more Pressing ideas, please check out the MSC eBook below!!