The Proactive Counter Press

SoccerSpecific

The Proactive Counter Press focuses on three major principles for teams when they are in possession; their balanced attacking shape and how this protects against potential counter attacks, their immediate reaction to counter press to win the ball back and their recovery as a team to defend once the opposition has broken the press. This session gives players plenty of repetitions in these situations allowing them to begin to understand the nuances of defensive transition.

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The Proactive Counter Press

1.

Setup:

Players are organized into groups of 7-8 (one GK per group of 7-8- in green in the diagram). 2 x 10 x 10 grids with 6 v 2 in one grid and 2 mini goals at the end of the other grid (see diagram). One group defends for 1.5 mins each.

The Proactive Counter Press 1 | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

Counter press rondo – Ball played in by the coach or a player. A 6v2 rondo takes place within the bottom grid. 2 defenders attempt to win possession of the ball- if they win possession they attempt to score through one of the mini goals. The red team attempts to counter-press against to win the ball back as soon as possible. Rotate Defenders on set.

Progression:

  • Competition- 15 passes by attacking group is a goal, a steal and going to goal is a point for the defenders. Every 3rd steal from the defenders, the next ball comes in to the defenders who can go to goal.

Coaching Points:

  • Possession shape- attempt to stay together in order to make the counter press easier when losing possession
  • Decisions in possession- play good quality passes and don’t take unnecessary risks in possession
  • Counter-Press- react immediately to losing possession- create a web around the ball

2.

Setup:

4 v 2 to 2 v 3 recovery defending- 10 x 10 rondo box set up at the halfway line. 2 v 3 in favor of the attackers set up in the defensive third. Team takes turn in possession (red) and out of possession for 4 minute sets.

The Proactive Counter Press 2 | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

Balls played in by the coach or a player. The team in possession (red) attempt to connect 10 passes for 1 point. The team out of possession (black) attempt to win the ball and play to one of their three forwards. At this point, the attack is live and the players from the rondo (2 reds and 1 black) can join to create 4 v 4 to goal. After one wave is finished, new players enter and restart the rondo.

Coaching Points:

  • Possession shape- attempt to stay together in order to make the counter press easier when losing possession
  • Decisions in possession- play good quality passes and don’t take unnecessary risks in possession
  • Counter-Press- react immediately to losing possession- create a web around the ball

3.

Setup:

Counter attacking game – 4 v 4 + 2- 1 v 1. Two teams of 7 players (adjust as needed) set up in a 4 v 4 (with 2 neutrals) in the middle box (20 x 20) and 1 v 1 in each 18 yard box. 4 min games.

The Proactive Counter Press 3 | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

A 4 v 4 + 2 possession starts in the middle box. The team in possession can score by completing 10 passes. After 5 passes, the team in possession can attack the goal and must combine with their forward before going to goal. To start, only one player can break out to goal from the possession box. At any point upon winning possession from the opposition, the team who won possession can play to their forward (must be in 2 passes or less). This will give plenty of opportunities for the counter press.

Coaching Points:

  • Possession shape- attempt to stay together in order to make the counter press easier when losing possession
  • Decisions in possession- play good quality passes and don’t take unnecessary risks in possession
  • Counter-Press- react immediately to losing possession- create a web around the ball

4.

Setup:

7 v 7 + 2 counter attack game (7 v 7 + 2 neutrals). One game to 2 big goals- 5 yard channel for each wide player on each side, as well as a 10 yard gate on each wing in the attacking third. 80 yds x 60 yds, 5 mins games.

The Proactive Counter Press 4 | SoccerSpecific.com

Instructions:

Play starts from either goalkeeper. Both teams start defending from behind the wide gates in their own half in order to invite the team away from their own goal. Whenever there is a turnover in possession, the team who won possession attempt to penetrate immediately through the wide gates to the neutrals. At this point, all players can recover into the defensive third. If possession is lost in transition, play continues with the defensive team getting back into their low line of confrontation.

Coaching Points:

  • Speed of play to play forward quickly; weight and quality
  • Possession shape – attempt to stay together in order to make the counter press easier when losing possession
  • Decisions in possession- play good quality passes and don’t take unnecessary risks in possession
  • Counter-Press- react immediately to losing possession- create a web around the ball