Receiving that Ball Under Pressure

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on hard passes, applying high pressure and receiving a ball under pressure and beating a defender.

Start with a 40 x 20 grid with a line 15 yards from one of the end line. There is a player on each end line and the one closest to the line in the middle has a ball.


The player with the ball drives a ball (or, if he chooses, chips a ball) to the other player and then immediately puts pressure on the other player.



The player receiving the ball tries to dribble across the middle line and the defender is trying to stop him.

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If the defender can win the ball, he wins that round. If the attacker can quickly get across the middle line, he wins that round. If the defender can slow the attacker down (you might want to set a time limit) the defender wins.

In the beginning the initial passer (in this case the yellow player) might try to make a soft pass which will give him more time to get to the defender but he will find that this also gives the attacker time to get to the ball early and have less space to have to dribble across. Instead, the initial passer should make a hard pass and try to take advantage of bad first touches.

After each round, have the players switch roles.

You can change where the middle line is positioned. The thing to keep in mind is this activity is working on the first touch and putting initial pressure on the player. It’s not about a lot of dribbling and long term 1 v 1 play.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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