Pressing From The Front – Session Plan & Key Coaching Points

Pressing from the front is one of the most important elements of the modern game. As opposed to a low-block and allowing the opposition time and space to play out from the back, almost every professional team in existence presses high up the pitch, vigorously and rigorously in an attempt to win the ball back and go on the attack right away, closer to the opposition’s goal. As a result, coaches of any age group should be looking to teach players young and old the necessary steps to win the ball back high up the field through putting pressure on their opposition. In order to help guide these coaches, we examine some of the most important elements of pressing from the front through a session plan all about this essential topic.

WARM-UP

Set-Up/Execution: Rondo with four players on the outside up and down a line, two on the inside. The inside two should be front players, as they will be the focus of the session. Inside two defend and work on who pressures and who covers. If defending team wins the ball, they try to keep possession as two players can come inside to win it back and reset for the team.

Coaching Points:
– Closest to the ball pressure immediately and intensely.
– Presser angles body to cut off one outside option. Covering player fills the gap accordingly by cutting off other two options with their position.
– As the ball comes across to a new player, the other defender may now be closer and as a result should pressure right away.
– Outside players should be making quick decision making. 3 seconds, one/two touch play ideal as the focus is on the defending team’s ability to press and cover quickly. 

activity: 4+4 v 4

Setup/Execution: Green and White have three players in their defending zone + one in middle zone. These players are locked into their zones. Defending team (Black) is not locked into their zone (the middle zone) but must start there until the first pass is made from the goalkeeper. Black team presses from the front to win the ball back and try to score on either goalkeeper. White and green work together to pass the ball from one goalkeeper to the other. White and Green get a point every time they can connect from one goalkeeper to the other. Black gets a point for every goal. Ball always restarts with the goalkeeper.

Coaching Points:
– Striker first to pressure the ball, near-sided winger covers player, far-sided winger comes to the middle, central midfielder covers option.
– Striker pressures immediately and intensely. Angles body to force
opposition team back toward their own goal, where the far-sided winger waits.
– Central midfielder shift with the play.
– If the opposition complete any passes, pressing becomes systematic with the closest to the ball pressuring and the other players completing the diamond.

activity: press from the front to score

Setup/Execution: Focus is on the striker, two wingers and CM in their diamond shape. Goalkeeper/coach plays the ball out to attacking team and they try to play out from the back, attempting to score on any of the three mini goals. Defending team (team you are focusing on) tries to win the ball back through pressing from the front. Defending (pressing) team: 2-3-1. Attacking team: 3-3-0. Change the shape of the pressing team if you want two central midfielders or two strikers instead of a back-two based on the shape/game format you play. Ball always restarts with the goalkeeper.

Coaching Points:
  
– Striker first to pressure the ball, near-sided winger covers player, far-sided winger comes to the middle, central midfielder covers opposition midfield option.
(Don’t overload this all at once. Gradually progress). 
– Striker pressures immediately and intensely. Angles body to force opposition team back toward their own goal, where the far-sided winger is waiting to pounce.
– Central midfielder shifts with the play, as do the defenders in behind.
– After winning the ball back, look to score right away.

GAME: 6V6

Setup/Execution: 6v6 game or adjust based on your numbers. Before starting,
encourage players to huddle up and discuss how they are going to press from the front. This is an opportunity for the players to test their learning and repeat back to each other what they have learned over the course of the session.

Coaching Points:
– Striker first to pressure the ball on goal kicks, near-sided winger covers player,
far-sided winger comes to the middle, central midfielder covers option.
– Everywhere else on the field, closest to the ball pressures the player.
– Striker pressures immediately and intensely. Angles body to force
opposition team back toward their own goal, where the far-sided winger waits.
– Central midfielder shift with the play.
– If the opposition complete any passes, pressing becomes systematic
with the closest to the ball pressuring and the other players completing
the diamond.


So there it is! A session plan all about pressing from the front! Pressing is an essential element of the modern game and as a result, all coaches should be looking to teach their players how to win the ball back high up the field and the necessary steps of pressing from the front. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @mastermindsite. Thanks for reading and see you soon.

More on pressing….

How To Coach Pressing
-> Pressing From The Front – The Basics
-> Pressing From The Front (9v9)
-> Pressing in the 2-4-2 Formation (9v9)

More session plans….

-> Playing Out From The Back – Session Plan
-> Switching Play – Session Plan
-> Attacking Transitions – Session Plan
-> 1v1 Attacking/Defending – Session Plan

4 thoughts on “Pressing From The Front – Session Plan & Key Coaching Points

  1. Hello Sir I hope this email finds you well. I really appreciate it Many thanks Stay safe

    Mr Mohamed Werfalli Libyan Football Federation Technical Director

    Liked by 1 person

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