Build Out, Press High

SoccerSpecific

Here is an economical way to work on breaking pressure when building out of the back with your back four/holding midfielders as well as organize your front four attacking players to effectively defend and press high up the field. Your defensive minded players can focus on their attacking principles while your attacking players can sharpen their decision making skills while defending.

1. 6V4 Possession Breaking Pressure

Setup:

12 players total, 6 red and 4 yellow players organized as shown. Two additional yellow players will exchange with their teammates after each 2.5 minute progression. Red team represents your back four (2,3,4,5) and two holding midfielders (6,8) and the yellow team represents your three forwards and attacking midfielders (7,9,10,11). Your two additional yellow players are extra central midfielders 6,8, or 10s.

Diagram A
Diagram A

Instructions:

6V4 possession game. The objective of the red players is to maintain possession, dictate the tempo and play away from the pressure. The objective of the yellow team is to pressure and win the ball collectively. If the yellows win the ball they must dribble it over one of the lines, meanwhile the red players on the outside can enter the playing area and prevent the yellow team from penetrating. Three progressions include: unlimited, two touch, one touch restrictions.

Coaching Points:

  • Red team Emphasize spacing
  • Movement off the ball
  • Speed of play, and rhythm
  • Yellow team focus on small group defending and pressing as a unit

2. 6V6 Possession Breaking Pressure

Setup:

Width of the 18, top of the penalty area to half field. Back four and two holding midfielders shown in red, six yellow players start on the outside of the grid as shown. Coach has a group of balls at the penalty spot.

Diagram B
Diagram B

Instructions:

The coach plays an uncontested ball out to a red player, as soon as the first touch is made any of the six yellow players may enter the field of play and start defending. Once the the second pass is connected a second yellow can join his teammate who is defending. The idea is to build it up to a 6V6. If yellow wins the ball they can play it back to the coaches feet. Red is simply trying to connect as many passes as possible.

Coaching Points:

  • Focus of the red team:
    • Spread out and make the field as big as possible
    • Recognize where the pressure is coming from and play away from it
  • Objective of the yellow team:
    • Win the ball
    • Get good defensive shape as quickly as possible
    • Stay connected
    • Try to condense the field making it predictable for the next player entering the field of play

3. 6V6 Possession Breaking Pressure Directional

Setup:

6V6 directional play. The six red players represent good starting positions for building out of the back and the six yellow players are outside the grid at midfield.

Diagram C
Diagram C

Instructions:

The coach plays the ball out of the back to the #6 who plays it wide to the #3. Meanwhile the first and second yellow players have joined the field in order to press and win the ball. The red team must connect six passes before they score on one of the small counter goals. The yellow team must win the ball and play it to either the coaches feet or score on an empty big goal in the air.

Coaching Points:

  • 6V6 directional game with counter goals
  • Manipulate the yellow players to join the field on each connected pass leading up to 6, every 3 seconds, or every 5 seconds. This influences the level of difficulty on both sides of the ball
  • The focus for the red team is to efficiently connect six passes without taking risks and then looking to play forward, pentrate, and break lines of pressure
  • Get the yellow team defending together as quickly as possible, disciplined small group defending, win the ball and go to goal

4. 7V6 Breaking Pressure

Setup:

7V6 organized as shown, 6 red players plus their GK try and build out against 6 yellow players organized out of a 4-4-2 formation. Coach is at midfield with a group of balls.

Diagram D
Diagram D

Instructions:

The objective of the red team is to build out from their GK and score on one of the two counter goals. The objective of the the yellow team is to press high, win the ball, and score on the big goal.

Coaching Points:

  • If either of the teams are having too much success, the session can be manipulated by the following:
    • Add a neutral player making it a 7V6+1, any time the ball goes out the coach can play the next ball in from midfield thus opening up the field of play, and lastly the GK can play a long goal kick to the coach and then play starts from there