Demo Session: Progressive Sessions

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Pressing + Defending Practice (25 mins)


  • Wide free players can dribble in the field.

  • Wide players play 1 touch

  • Take wide players away and add additional midfielder each (leave the ‘1st zone’ with an overload for the attacking team to promote build up).

Defending Coaching Points:

  • Striker isolates a defender on the ball by moving into the passing lane between defenders. If they can also stop the ball going back to the gk then that is helpful too. Avoid ‘over-committing’ to the press at this point as we want to avoid a ‘bounce pass’ from CB to #6 and out the other side.

  • As the ball moves to either CB, the defending #6 quickly moves up the field to be within striking distance of a tackle to her/his opposite #6 should they receive the ball. At the same time they must protect a split pass to the striker. Wide players should also be compact but within striking distance to tackle opponents

  •  If the attacking #6 plays back to either CB then the wide defender on the same side as the ball rapidly advances to press the receiving CB being careful to block a pass around her/him to the player they have just left. Angle run, be quick to press and receive communication from deeper #6 would help here.

  • Defending #6 assists the press by protecting the pass to opposition #6 and deeper defender comes higher up the field to add to the numbers up too.

  • Win the ball when the opportunity presents

Attacking Coaching Points:

  • When the defending team recovers the ball high up the field they should look to get the ball to a central striker to either turn and shoot or hold the ball up for supporting runs from wide players

  • If the team recover the ball from a deeper position after being breached then retaining possession and getting team into a balanced position is important.

Learning Objectives

Technical (26%)
Pressing Opponent and staying tight
Tactical (20%)
Spatial awareness
Physical (20%)
Strength on the ball
Psychological (14%)
Stay Focused
Social (20%)
Communicate and SUPPORT

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Pattern of Play


11 v 11 Focusing on Green team playing out from the back and team-mates focusing on creating space to create multiple build-up play opportunities. 

Spend 10 minutes on green team and switch to the blue team and apply same methodology. 

Coaching Points:

Ensure that full back receives ball to start with with light pressure from the number 9. If no options to play out then play back to GK and look to play out other channel. 

Coach creating space, communication, first touch, weight of pass


Centre-backs split and GK has to play quickly to make play unpredictable

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Animation 3 (15 mins)

Organisation: 3 teams of 4 - units. 40 yards x 30 yards. Red markers show the outside player receiving a pass through the line must not receive inside this red box.

Content: Unit work playing through the line but also from a defensive point of view working together to stay compact and let let passes through.

Progression: Initially only one defender at a time can enter the possession zone to press.

Progressions two defenders at a time can enter the possession zone to press.

Key Ideas: Move the ball quickly to open up gaps in the defensive line - Scanning to spot opportunities to play through - Movement to receive in relation to the position of the defenders - Quality first touch and ability to play through the line under waist height.

SCORING - Initially the Defenders will get a point each time the intercept a pass. 

PROGRESS TO - Attackers get a point each time they play a pass through the line to the opposing team. 


YouTube Video

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Pitch Line 1
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