High Pressure Defensive Shape and Balance

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on defensive shape and balance with an emphasis on high pressure.

Start with a 10 x 20 yard area (10 yards deep and 20 yards wide) with 3 attacking players starting on an endline and 2 defenders. One of the attacking players has a ball.


The attacking players are trying to take the ball over the opposite end line. The defenders are using high pressure to prevent the attackers from getting behind them and trying to win the ball, when the opportunity arises.




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The defending players have to concentrate on communication (“I got ball”, “push him right” etc), support, patience and pressure. The defending players should be content with allowing the attacking players to pass backwards or square but never allow a forward pass.

The attacking players try to go forward, with a pass or dribble.

This is a one minute activity done at full speed. The attacking players want to see how many times they can cross the far end line in a one minute period (as soon as they cross the end line or lose possession of the ball they get another ball and start over). They get a point for crossing the end line with the ball under control and lose a point for the loss of possession of the ball. At the end of the one minute period players change roles.

It’s more important to have all of the players go at full speed then it is to extend the activity for a long period of time so encourage hard, high pressure, quick recovery and quick movement.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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