Would anybody like to give me a diagram of 3/4 press and half court please ?

Simon LowryCoach, Ireland
Bram van Asselt, England

I have added two samples for you 

If you move the slider from left to right it will give you a good view of players movement when the ball is transfered.

I hope it helps


Gary ThompsonCoach, England

Hi Bram

I've viewed your press diagrams with interest (as I'm trying to improve my tactical understanding and there seem to be no books/resources on this subject).

One thing though, I thought the whole point of half-court is to play in your own half, try and saturate the playing space with your team and only move out of your half on the counter? In your 2nd diagram it seems that the black team are playing between half-court and a 3/4 press?

Sorry if I'm missing the point or am just misunderstanding you.


Bram van Asselt, England


Yes your right the diagram shows the team slightly higher then 1/2.

In the second diagram it shows the centre forward putting pressure on the transfer so therefore playing higher.

As far as 1/2 court or 3/4 court It is the principle that is important you are trying to win the ball back,

in a full court press you are putting active pressure on the team in possession to win back the ball.

In a 1/2 3/4 press you are trying make the opposition give the ball to you by them trying to force the ball into the zone.

It then depends on where you as a team like to try to win the ball for your team to have the best opportunity to score on the break from.

How deep you set the press depends on lots of factors and might vary for every opposition taking into account some of the following:

  • Ability of back players of the opposition
  • Man to man marking ability of your own team
  • Movement patterns of opposition.

I hope this gives you some more information about the topic of the press.

To cover it all is a very long document.

But please feel free to ask more especially if I have confused you

Good luck for the rest of the season

Gary ThompsonCoach, England

Hi Bram

Thanks very much for that and I don't think you've confused me!

The main problem for my team is controlling the middle of the pitch. It seems very often that my central midfielders leave big spaces, which the opposition manage to pass the ball into, so I thought I need to teach them to be more aware of the space they need to defend i.e. introduce the idea of a press.

For me, I believe a press involves some man-marking but also zonal marking (i.e. cutting out a potential pass). So, I think I also need to help my team understand when to man-mark and when to go zonal.

We currently use a 4-5-1 formation, so could you suggest a simple press for that formation? I do understand it depends on the formation and shape of the opposition... but the main thing is how to make sure the the middle of the pitch is safe / well defended?

I hope you can help with this but if not, do you know of any books that could help me?

Many thanks,

Gary ThompsonCoach, England

Hi Sportplan team / Bram

This is a rudimentary sketch but hopefully gives you an idea of my formation.


4-5-1 formation

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4-5-1 formation

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Simon LowryCoach, Ireland


Thanks very much for your contributions. I would feel though that with something like presses man to man marking should not be considered and it should all be focussed on the space, marking the space, and sending the opposition into areas that you want ? 

Maarten DierdorpCoach, Netherlands

Hi Gary,

Your 4-5-1 is almost the same as a 4-3-3. With big gaps on the sides of the midfield.. Mayby you should trie moving your sweeper to midfield, when the opponent has the ball in defence. In the drawing playing a full press (man marked, except the sweeper).

My team has the instruction to let the opponent pass to the left back. Then the forwards should try to capture ball

Autosave 21729942

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Autosave 21729942

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Alan SnowCoach, England

Just to add to the debate, my advice would be if the defence has the ball in the middle channel you should look to sag off into your 2/3's or 3/4 press, block up the middle channel and force that pass from their CB into their LB or RB. Once there you can move into an active press, your CF should step up to cut off the transfer across the pitch and all players to step in front of their players. The opposition now find themselves playing in 1/4 of a pitch which really does heap the pressure on and they often surrender possession with the added bonus of your team is high up the pitch with the ball - be aware, can be high risk / high reward

Hockey CoachCoach

Just like to say to thanks to all who have answered, has providede me with some ideas for the season ahead, in both attack and defense against the press.

cheers ian

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