Pressure means pressing an opposing
player who has with ball, trying to force a mistake.
Pressure requires alertness,
effort, intensity, and anticipation. It requires a commitment
to winning the ball back. Just wanting to is not enough.
effort and desire! It does not “just happen.”
Get it back! The player who loses the ball must
work extra hard to quickly get it back. It’s your fault – make it right!
Pressure means playing tight. The time to press
hard is right when an opponent is receiving the ball – don’t wait till it is
under control! Tight usually means within touching distance of the opponent
– not 2-5 meters away
Work as a team. Single players cannot press
Loose pressure is worse than no pressure at all.
It does not push the opponent into mistakes, and it takes defenders out of
Pick your spots. Pressure can be applied all
over the field, in selected areas, or both depending on circumstances
Don’t jump in
with reckless challenges. (see
1st Defender section above)
and when to press
Fields are divided into
three zones: defending, midfield, attacking. Most teams
always press the player with the ball immediately in the defending and
midfield zones. Some also press in the attacking zone.
Full field pressure
can be a tremendous weapon. It can lead a team to dominate even a
more skillful and talented opponent. But it demand tremendous fitness and
Full field pressure also
requires the team to play a high line (see “Pushing up”
below), making the field shorter and giving pressing midfielders and
strikers a smaller area to cover.
Teams that cannot press all
through the game can still increase the pressure for a period of time: many
teams press for 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the game, after half time,
and if possible in the last ten minutes.
Pressure is all about
energy and commitment. Defenders will crack if pressure is
exerted long enough!