Pressure  
 

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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.

Pressure takes 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 effectively

·         Loose pressure is worse than no pressure at all. It does not push the opponent into mistakes, and it takes defenders out of position

·         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)

 

 Where 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 commitment.

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!

 

 

Contact: rgaster@north-atlantic.com