2 v 1 + 1 Varied Pressure

By Chris Kouns
USSF A License (USSF Coaching Education Instructor) – NSCAA Premier Diploma (NSCAA Coaching Education Associate Staff Coach) – Head Women’s Soccer Coach – Georgia Gwinnett College

In these activities we are working on players recognizing and exploiting numbers up situations.

Set Up:

There are two 10 x 10 grids placed back to back. Within each grid there will be a defender. The defender in the first grid starts in the center of the grid while the defender in the second grid will start from the end line. There will be two attacking players in each grid who will face two 2 v 1 battles.


The two attacking players will take on the individual defender in each grid. Their job is to get the ball across the end line in the second grid. They will face high pressure in the first grid with the defender starting in the center of the grid and lower pressure in the second grid as the defender starts farther back and cannot come into the grid till the ball passes into the second grid.

WCC 38 #1

Coaching Points:

  • In higher pressure situations the player with the ball should go at the defender and the second player should position themselves at a wide angle off the shoulder of the defender
  • The other option for the attacking pair in a high pressure situation is to play a vertical ball quickly past the defender so the second attacker can exploit the space behind
  • As the ball enters the second grid try to do so with runners and balls at angles. This will make it difficult for the oncoming defender to figure out which approach to take as they try to close the ball down
  • If the defender hangs on the line go right at them and use their lack of mobility against them
  • If the defender rushes forward look for the space where the ball can beat the defender using their own momentum against them

Final Third Countdown

Set Up:

In an area approximately 42 yards by 30 yards you will have four attackers who will face varying numbers of defenders on their way to goal. The defenders will stagger their entrance onto the field and will come in from various designated points of pressure.


The four attacking players will need to complete four (4) passes in the first grid in order to go to the next grid. After their first pass the defender on that entry point will come onto the field. If they can successfully get to the next grid then they must complete three (3) passes in that grid before entering the final grid. As soon as the ball enters into the second grid that defender comes alive and must be beaten to get in the final grid. After their second pass the final defender comes alive and can enter the last grid in front of the GK. When the four attackers get into the final grid they have two (2) or less passes to get a shot off on goal.

WCC 38 #2

Coaching Points:

  • In the first grid look to make passes quickly and utilize the entire width of the area to ensure the defender has poor angles to try to win the ball
  • With the onrushing defender in the second grid passes must be sharp and concise. They will be most effective if you can play them to areas behind the defender if they rush high. However, you may have to carry the ball at the defender to find that space
  • In the final area the defender and space are tight, so, passes should be to set up a shot and not for possession. This area is all about putting the ball on frame and instant decision making

9 v 7 Decision Making

Set Up:

Two teams will play 9 v 7 plus a goal keeper with one full size goal and two counter attacking gate goals. Each team has a designated direction to attack.


The team of 9 will begin with the ball and will look to possess the ball in an attempt to isolate or create an overload of the defenders. Once the overload is created they should attempt to go to goal and get a shot off as soon as possible. If the defenders win the ball they should attempt to get the ball to a counter attacking gate. Once there just leave the ball and the attacking team will restart from there.

WCC 38 #3

Coaching Points:

  • Movement off the ball should keep the field as big as possible and bodies should be facing the maximum number of options when the ball is received
  • If a ball is received with space in front of the person that space should be exploited with the dribble or the pass. In either case the space should not be wasted by keeping the ball too wide, instead force the issue for the defenders by taking it on a diagonal inside
  • When a player is carrying the ball forward the person who is immediately facing them should open wide and isolate the defender in their decision making. Do not stand still and close the space or make easy decisions
  • If a ball is won from the defenders on the counter attack find the immediate numbers up situation and go at pace… do not waster time and allow recovery players to enter the mix

By Chris Kouns: USSF A License (USSF Coaching Education Instructor) – NSCAA Premier Diploma (NSCAA Coaching Education Associate Staff Coach) – Head Coach Georgia Gwinnet College Women’s Soccer (GA)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Leave a Reply 0 comments