Football/Soccer Session (Academy Sessions): Defending: Pressure, Cover, Balance in a Counter-Press (1st defender)

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Pro-Club: RBNY Academy Inc

Juan Figueira, Adult Member

Profile Summary

Juan Figueira
Name: Juan Figueira
City: Hillsborough
Country: United States of America
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer

Description

Learning Outcomes:

1. The objective here is to understand the role of the first defender in a high-press.
2. Understand how and why it is important for the first defender to press aggressively.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Overview

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Overview
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Overview

Defending: Pressure, Cover, Balance in a Counter-Press (Session 1 of 5)

Session 1: The pressure

We will focus on the pressure first defender (the #9 forward) in a 1-4-2-3-1 and 1-4-3-3. Particularly, the run to press itself and the outcomes.

We will focus SOLELY on the pressure defender: his/her intensity of the press, when to press and how to press.

Relevant Coaching Points for Pressure Defender:

(1) Who is the first defender? The player closest to the ball (circumstantial).

(2) Individual pressure is intense; the goal is to force the opponent to put his/her head down as pressure is coming towards, intimidate. 

(3) Pressuring at an angle to make play predictable and eliminate options.

5ws

- What: Pressuring opponent player on the ball.

- When: When opponent has the ball.

- Why: In order to recover possession.

- Who: First defender or player closest to the ball.

- Where: Anywhere on the field, except defenders when press gets broken (here, we delay).

What ifs?

- What if first defender does not succeed in press?

- Global:If press gets broken past first defender, then cover player pressures, if cover player also gets beaten, balance players has to measure whether to step up or if it delays (decision based on circumstances). 

- #3 - Do I go or stay? What if pressure gets broken up?


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Introduction

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Introduction
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Introduction (15 mins)

Organization:

  • 3 identical stations stations parallel to each other: each with three cones forming a triangle, 9-10 meters apart, or adjust as necessary. 
  • A gate in front of the deeper end of the triangle (as shown).
  • 1 player at each cone (3 total). 
  • Balls starts from the top.
  • Progression incorporates GK and mini-goals at half of field or close to it (4 minigoals).

Instructions:

  • Player in starting cone (1) passes to player in second cone. After passing, receiving player passes to third player (pass 2). At this point, player that initiated the activity sprints to small gate.
  • Third player in progression (white), receives and dribbles to the gate in front. The goal of this player is to arrive to gate before player (1) does so.
  • If player (1) makes it to gate before third player first, he/she gets 1 point.
  • Rotation is chronological.
  • Play for 4 minutes and move to progression. Immediate progression follows: Player 1 makes the sprint and dribbles to gate in a 1v1 to avoid opponent from entering gate.

Coaching Points/Questions:

  • Coaching Point (1) 
    • Player 1: Can we sprint as fast as we can! All out sprint off the ball.
    • Encourage high energy and fast pace in the sprints: maximize sprint through the gate.

Regressions/Progressions:

  • First progression: 1v1 at the gate
  • Second progression: If first defender steals the ball he/she can score on big goal (with GK), has 4 seconds to score after stealing ball.

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Main Activity

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Main Activity
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Main Activity (30 mins)

Organization:

  • 45m x 40m grid
  • 3v3 in the middle
  • 4 players for each team on each side of the grid.
  • 2 minigoals

Instructions:

  • 3v3 in the center grid attacking 2 mini goals on each side + 4 players for each team on each side of the playing grid. Directional while in possession.
  • First possession and any restart throughout the game begins with one of the two teams dribbling in and the opponents start at the opposite end line of the grid (don't restart until everyone is ready in initial positions).
  • Players can use players on sides as support to keep the ball

Scoring

  • If team steals the ball on opponent's half = 1 point.
  • If team steals ball on opponent's half and scores on mini-goal= 3 points.
  • If team scores from own half = 1 point.
  • 7 consecutive passes = 1 point.
  • Once team scores on mini-goal, they restart with ball and switch sides.
  • First team to 10 points before switching inside/outside players.

Coaching Points/Questions:

  • Coaching point (2)
    • Who is the first defender? (player closest to the ball)
  • Coaching point (3)
    • Force opponent to panic and look down
  • Coaching point (4) 
    • What angle should we run at to force a mistake? Make predictable or force mistake?


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Conditioned Game

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Conditioned Game
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Conditioned Game (20 mins)

Organization:

  • 5v5 game in full field (GK + 4 field players).
  • 4-minute games, winning team stays on.

Instructions:

  • Teams score regularly, but for the goal to count all players have to over the half (not GKs).
  • Players can also score by  completing 7 passes in a row.

Coaching Points/Questions:

  • Coaching point (4)
    • When do we go at an angle?
  • Other relevant:
    • First defender: can we recognize opposition quickly and press?
    • Rest of the team, can we stay compact in order to help first defender?


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Game

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Game
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Game (30 mins)

7v7 scrimmage with 14 minute halves. Re-state coaching points from previous sections when relevant in the game. 


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Movement
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Pass
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Dribble
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Pitch Line 1
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