Pressing and Counter-Pressing

A youth football team’s success never just depends on the talents of the individual player, nor their ability to score a goal, or avoid conceding one. Yes, these are handy attributes for players to have, but, it’s the team’s ability to play well together, employ excellent tactics and have a good understanding of each other, both on and off the pitch, which will allow them to co-ordinate as one unit as they move the ball up and down the field.

It’s a high standard of team cohesion that will make a side successful. And it’s when good teamwork is in place that pressing and counter-pressing can be incredibly useful.

What is pressing and counter pressing?

If you’ve never heard of pressing and counter pressing, then, in short, it is a high pressure tactic used on the football field to win back the ball when the opposition has possession. Perhaps your team has been attacking and just lost the ball. Players will then collectively aim to pile the pressure on to the opposing player in the hope that they will make a poor decision or bad pass and lose the ball, allowing your team to regain possession.

Instead of leaving the ball alone and becoming more compact behind it, pressure is applied immediately in an organised way by the players looking to win it back, as quickly as possible. And if a player makes the decision to start pressing, they must execute it in the correct way for the opposing player to lose the ball.

On one hand pressing and counter pressing is incredibly useful in that it can make the most of player weaknesses. For example, if the player in possession of the ball is quite poor at passing, then the team could look to press from the front and up the pressure. In counter pressing, if a player has been pressured into losing the ball, his team will then look to win it back straight away with a counter move, rather than employing defence tactics.

Why should you implement this tactic?

While difficult to get right, pressing and counter pressing can be incredibly effective if employed correctly and this will ultimately give the team a great chance of winning the game. To do it, players must be able to predict where the ball is going to go and react with pressure immediately. This can become difficult if the opposition is great at passing the ball, for example. Players must also have high fitness levels to apply the extent of pressure needed and the team must be excellent at communication with one another.

Put your new skills to the test, contact us today

If you would like to find the perfect way to put your team’s new skills to the test, then get in touch with us today about taking them on tour at one of the biggest and best youth football festivals that Europe has to offer. Further details are also available online.