SSG for High Pressure Defending

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on high pressure defending and taking players on offensively.

Start with a 60 x 40 grid with goals on each endline and a keeper in each goal. There is a designated defender (in white) for each team and 4 v 4 in the middle.


The rules are pretty simple. Each player is assigned a player on the other team and that is the only player they can mark. This game involves man to man marking and the only player who can provide any defensive support is the designated defender.

The ball starts with a designated defender (no one can mark this player) who is limited to three touches. This player can pass to any of his teammates and then that player is free to attack any way he chooses (pass, dribble or shoot). If he beats his defender with the dribble the opposing designated defender can provide support while the defender gets back.



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When the designated defender first gets the ball the opposing team might fall back a bit to make sure the attacking players can’t get behind them but if the designated defender has used up a touch or two, they would step up and high pressure because the players touches are now limited.

In the beginning the designated defenders can not be marked or tackled but once the players get accustomed to this activity allow all players the option of pressuring and tackling the designated defender if they take a bad touch.

This activity is a great way to get accustomed to high pressure marking and 1 v 1 attacking.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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