Possession vs Pressure

It is important for players to understand and rehearse multiple scenarios they may face within the game; they must also be instructed the ‘why’ – what are the reasons, the advantages + disadvantages, etc.

The following session / activities will develop an understanding of the differences between (1) maintaining patient possession and (2) pressure to regain possession + transitions to attack quickly.

There will be moments within any game when patient possession may be required and other moments where that same patient possession may actually be detrimental to your ultimate target – ‘scoring goals’.

Scenarios can be created – (ex) you can instruct your team – “We are ahead 1-0 with 10 min to play”, “We are down 0-2 with 10min to play”, “We are ahead 2-0 but down to 10-men with 15min to play” etc etc etc – you can be as creative as you like! The players need to understand that these different game-day scenarios will require differing tactical solutions.


1.

Setup:

Two teams of 5 plus 2 ‘Free’ players are organised as shown; the 2 ‘Free’ players support the team in possession. 3m wide scoring zones at each end of the playing area. One team (Red) positions 1 play central + 4 players on the perimeter as shown.

Diagram A
Diagram A

Instructions:

Possession team: be patient in possession, use the numerical advantage to keep the ball. Defensive team: work as a unit to attempt to quickly regain possession. On winning possession look to score as quickly as possible.

Coaching Points:

  • Possession team
    • Be patient in possession, use the numerical advantage to keep the ball
  • Defensive team
    • Work as a unit to attempt to quickly regain possession
    • On winning possession look to score as quickly as possible

2.

Setup:

A 5v5+2 is organised as shown; the 2 ‘Free’ players support the team in possession. 3m wide scoring zones at each end of the playing area.

Diagram B
Diagram B

Instructions:

Play begins with a pass from the Coach (C) to either team; the team in possession has a numerical advantage (7v5) – they must complete 10 consecutive passes before attempting to dribble / pass into the scoring zone. The Defending team must attempt to regain possession and immediately transition to attack – they can score without completing the 10 consecutive passes.

*Next ball starts from Coach each time

Coaching Points:

  • Possession team
    • Be patient in possession, use the numerical advantage to keep the ball
  • Defensive team
    • Work as a unit to attempt to quickly regain possession
    • On winning possession look to score as quickly as possible

3.

Setup:

A 5v5+2 is organised as shown; the 2 ‘Free’ players support the team in possession. Mini-Goals added at each end of the playing area.

Diagram C
Diagram C

Instructions:

Play begins with a pass from the Coach (C) to either team; the team in possession has a numerical advantage (7v5) – they must complete 10 consecutive passes before attempting to score in the mini-goals. The Defending team must attempt to regain possession and immediately transition to attack – they can score without completing the 10 consecutive passes.

*Next ball starts from Coach each time

Coaching Points:

  • Possession team
    • Be patient in possession, use the numerical advantage to keep the ball
  • Defensive team
    • Work as a unit to attempt to quickly regain possession
    • On winning possession look to score as quickly as possible
    • If not possible to score after a few seconds, understand you have a numerical advantage and be patient in possession – the opponent must now attempt to regain possession

4.

Setup:

A 6v6+2 is organised as shown; the 2 ‘Free’ players support the team in possession.

Diagram D
Diagram D

Instructions:

Play begins with a pass from the Coach (C) to either team; the team in possession is instructed -“You are 1-0 ahead, last 10 minutes of game” and told to maintain possession as long as possible through their numerical advantage (8v6) – they must complete a minimum 20 consecutive passes before consider scoring. The Defending team is instructed – “You are 1-0 down – last 10 minutes” – they must attempt to regain possession and immediately transition to attack – they can score without completing the 10 consecutive passes.

*Next ball starts from Coach each time

Coaching Points:

  • Possession team
    • Be patient in possession, use the numerical advantage to keep the ball
    • If an opportunity to score arises – take the opportunity
  • Defensive team
    • Work as a unit to attempt to quickly regain possession
    • On winning possession look to score as quickly as possible