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Triggers and cues

Rules of the exercise:

6v3 in each half of the field. A GK and player A are placed in the 5-yard end zone. Focus team A prevents team B from building and finding the GK targets. GK starts the exercise.

• Team B attempt to move the ball into the other area and find the GK target player.

• The three defenders from team A attempt to press or block.

• If they high press, a team from the opposite side can join them. This will then trigger player A in the 5-yard zone to move in to help the defenders.

• If the defender block, the three defenders in the opposite end are looser from defending to prevent the long ball to the target GK.

• If team A wins the ball, they can either score on a mini goal or pass the ball to the target player.

Intended outcome:

  • To get the players to defend as a group and as a unit.

  • We want players to understand the triggers to press and win the ball.

  • Player actions will trigger a reaction from teammates behind.

  • A general understanding of the importance of defending with purpose.

Performance problems:

The understanding of the press and the messages we are sending to the teammates behind us can be confusing. We must have a purpose at what we are doing.

Principles of play: Focus team

Get compact, stay compact - Control angles and distance - Make play predictable

Be effective in your area of the field - Take up a good defensive stance and make a solid tackle

Be ready to focus - Make decisions

Keep scanning the area and visualize playing in a game.

Accept mistakes - Find solutions

Coach your teammates


Applaud good play

Be ready to pass or receive the ball


Be willing to move

Work at game speed

Quality of the pass and first touch

Pass with purpose

Body shape

Receive with the back-foot

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