My college team worked on pressing in 3 areas of the field this week. I always like to teach that the counter attack starts when we don’t have the ball. In this exercise we outline two pressing (countering) zones in red, located just above midfield where we look to press, win the ball and then counter (later we add one area in middle we press in as well). The blue team drops off (on full field to half-way line with the exception of the forward in a 4-2-3-1 formation). Our striker will push the center backs in white to play one direction. As the center back plays the ball wide to the wingback – our striker then cuts the back pass to the center back off. The winger closes down their wingback who is receiving the pass from the center back when the ball is in flight. Our #10 will cut off any pass inside to their defensive center mid. If the white team switches the ball the other direction our striker can exchange places with our #10, so he does not have to run across the field non-stop. The idea is to press in 3’s when the ball is in flight – create a turnover and counter with speed. This exercise is divided into 3 vertical zones – the defending team should occupy only 2 zones at a time. This will ensure the defending team is compact. Have both teams do this. The team in possession can be in all 3 zones. The blue team has 2 goals to score on so the white team must press the blue team into corners and try to keep them their and create the turnover. This is another great exercise that works all 4 phases of the game. We play this game on 90 yard field but it can be lengthened. The dotted line behind the blue team can be used in many different ways. One way is to allow no blue players behind the line and give the attacking team only 3 seconds to score. A second way is to allow 1 blue defender over and 2 white attackers. This can be changed to 2 blue and 3 white etc. I hope you enjoy the exercise! Be sure to check out the “Online Cognitive Soccer Instructors Course” at www.soccersmarttraining.com
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