How to perfectly press with these 5 soccer drills for pressing

Pressing in soccer will always look a lot easier said than done. They require teammates to be on completely the same page as one wrong decision can lead to the press being broken and provide the opposition with a free attack. In this post about soccer drills for pressing your team will learn the basics of what makes an effective press and how they can successfully implement it throughout a full game.

What is a press in soccer?

Firstly what is a press in soccer?

A press-in soccer involves your team pressuring the team in possession of the ball as a cohesive unit.

The goal of a press is to force the opposition into mistakes that your team can capitalize on in dangerous areas of the pitch.

Typically the players leading the press will be the forwards and midfielders and they must work together by setting traps and closing off passing lanes to reduce the option oppositions players have on the ball.

By working together they can also force opposition players into certain areas of the pitch where they know they’ll have a higher chance of winning the ball back.

However, all the players must be on the same page because all it takes is one player to not do their job and the press can be easily broken.

Below are my top 5 recommended soccer drills for pressing that will ensure your team will capitalize on any mistakes the oppositions make.

If you like these soccer drills for pressing then download the free PDF at the bottom of the page

Soccer drills that help your team with pressing

Small-Sided 3v3 Soccer Game for Pressing

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to reward players for pressings successfully in a game-like scenario

Set up:

  • 20 x 40-yard area
  • 2 goals
  • Visible halfway line
  • 6 players (2 teams of 3)

How the drill works:

Set up your area and divide your players into 2 teams of 3.

This will be a regular scrimmage but to reward teams for successfully pressing they will gain 3 points for scoring a goal if they win back possession in the opposition’s half.

If a team scores a goal by not doing this then they will gain 1 point.

Coaching points:

  • Communicate with your teammates to ensure that you are all pressing
  • Force the opposition to play into a certain area by cutting off passing angles
  • Wait for the opposition to make a mistake before committing to winning the ball

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What can you do to ensure you all effectively press as a team?
  • How can you force the opposition to play into certain areas of the pitch?
  • When should you step in to win the ball?

Click here for more small-sided 3v3 games

Defending 1v1 to work individuals’ body shape for pressing

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help improve players’ body position for closing down angles and showing opposition players certain areas of the pitch.

Set up:

  • 15 x 20-yard area
  • 2 tall cones
  • 1 soccer ball per pair
  • 2 Players (1 defender, 1 attacker)

How the drill works:

Set up your area with the tall cones opposite each other in the middle of 15-yard lines.

This should divide your area in half vertically.

The defender will start in the corner with the ball and pass the ball to the attacker who is standing diagonally opposite the defender.

The attacker will then try to dribble past the line that the defender has started on.

If the attacker can dribble past the line in the half that the defender started on they will get 3 points.

If they can dribble past the line in the half they started on the defender and the attacker will get 1 point each.

The defender will get 1 point if they can prevent the attacker from dribbling past the line, with the attacker getting 0.

If the defender can prevent the attacker from dribbling past the line they will get 1 point and the attacker will get 0.

If the defender can steal the ball and dribble past the line (on either half) that the attacker started on they will get 3 points.

Coaching points:

  • Pressure the attacker the quickly but stand them up when you are about 2 yards away
  • Stand them up at an angle, if you want to show them right then stand moreover to the left and vice versa
  • Do not commit too much, force the attacker into a mistake.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How should you approach the attacker?
  • What can you do to control where the attacker goes?
  • When should you step in to try and win the ball?

Click here for more defending 1v1 drills

4v2 rondo for pressing

Purpose:

The purpose of this is to help players pressure as a pair to force the opposition into mistakes.

Set up:

  • 10 x 10-yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 6 players (4 possessing players, 2 defenders)

How the drill works:

Set up your area with your possessing players around the outside (1 per side).

The 2 defenders will be in the middle of the square and they must work together as a team to force the possessing players into a mistake.

If the defenders can force the possessing players into a mistake they will get 3 points.

However, if the possessing team can play a pass that splits the defenders then they will get 1 point taken away from their score.

The defenders will work in the middle for 3 minutes.

After the 3 minutes are up rotate the defenders in the middle.

The winning defending team will be the defenders with the most points.

Coaching points:

  • Communicate with your teammate (let them know who to press, which way to force them and where you are)
  • Step in to win the ball when the opposition makes a mistake
  • Focus on closing off passing angles

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What can improve how effectively you press the possessing team?
  • When should you step in to win the ball?
  • How can allow the possessing team fewer options on the ball?

Click here for 10 more rondo soccer variations

Pressing in a pairs soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this pressing soccer drill is to improve on working together in pairs to prevent the opposition from playing forward.

Set up:

  • 10 x 10-yard area in the shape of a diamond
  • 6 players ( 2 defenders, 4 possessing players)
  • 2 tall cones
  • 1 soccer ball

How the drill works:

Set up your area in a diamond shape with the 2 tall cones opposite each other on a point.

Place your 4 possessing players around the outside on a point each.

The 2 players who are on the tall cones will be the target players.

The possessing team must try to work the ball between the target players, every time the possessing team achieves this they will get 1 point.

rotate the defenders in the middle every 3 minutes.

The winning defending team will be the team where the possessing team got the lowest score.

Coaching points:

  • Quick to press the player on the ball to prevent the pass forward
  • Shut off passing lanes/ options
  • Communicate with your partner to ensure a coordinated press.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How should approach the player in possession of the ball or who is about to receive the ball?
  • What should you focus on to prevent the ball to played forward?
  • How can you and your teammate press effectively?

4 players pressing soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to make the press as match realistic as possible with the front 4 players working together to form an effective press.

Set up:

  • 9 Players (1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 4 players pressing)
  • 4 goals (1 large, 3 pug goals)
  • 40 x 30-yard area

How the drill works:

Set up your area with the larger goal in the middle of the 40-yard line with the 3 smaller goals spread out.

These goals will represent players the defenders and goalkeeper could pass to in a real match.

The ball will start with the goalkeeper from either in their hands or on the floor and be played short to the defenders to try to pass the ball into either of the 3 pug goals.

If the defenders can score they will get one point.

The goal of the attackers is to press the defenders and force them into a mistake, steal the ball, and score.

If the attackers can get the ball to go out of bounds or gain possession of the ball without scoring in the phase of play they will get 1 point.

However, if they can score a goal from a successful press then they will get 3 points.

This soccer pressing drill will follow the normal rules of soccer however there will be no corners and play will resume with the goalkeeper.

Play will also resume from the goalkeeper if the defending team score.

Coaching points:

  • Press quickly to restrict the amount of space the defenders have to play with the ball
  • Close off passing lanes to limit the number of options the defenders have on the ball
  • Step in to win the ball when see you your defenders make mistakes or panic on the ball.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Why should you press quickly?
  • How can you limit the number of options the defenders have on the ball?
  • When should you step in to win the ball?

Soccer drills for pressing conclusion

This post should have helped explain what a press is and 5 soccer drills for pressing you can use with your teams to improve the quality of their presses.

It is important to remind your players that the work they put in off the ball is just as important as the work they do on the ball.

Pressing is no different from acquiring any other skill in soccer, as a coach you must be consistent and patient when teaching your players a new skill.

If you found these soccer drills for pressing helpful or you know a coach that would be please share it with them using our social media buttons on the page.

Also if you know of any other soccer drills for pressing that other coaches may enjoy then please leave a comment below.

Thank you,

Toby.

Related posts:

My recommended Soccer Coaching eBook to help your team with pressing

Use code AFL-PHGD at the checkout for 5% off this eBook!

Soccer drills for pressing PDF

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