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What's the best way to teach children how to press?

I'm looking for a simple and basic way to teach and encourage children to press.
Asked using Sportplan Mobile App

Hi Ryan, 

Kids really enjoy game play and it keeps them engaged. Therefore to get them initially engaged with pressing, split the length ways into halves and play a simple game of defence vs attack (Two defenders, a midfielder and attacker on the defensive side. Two forwards, two midfielders and a defender on the attacking side)

The defenders start with the ball and their aim is to get the ball to the half way line. The attacking team will have to set up to encourage them wide. The split pitch will make it easier for them to recognise how to split the pitch and keep the ball to one side. 

Have the wide forward slightly deeper than the center forward and explain to the kids that they are encouraging the ball to the wide defender. Get them to then be marking in front of their players, to let them understand the importance of pressing.

Continue this and they will soon pick up a feel for positioning, marking and pressing. 

Draw out the general shape and aims before getting going.

Hope this helps.

Thank you for the advice 👍🏼
Answered using Sportplan Mobile App

Games keep it fun. My fav' game to teach basic pressing is a basic "keepings off" or "piggy in the middle" style game. It is a game I use a lot for indoor training but it is equally useful in outdoor.
You mark out 3 boxes all in a row, as big as you need but I find that for a whole team (say 12 kids) of 13 year olds you can just use 3/4 of a pitch (make it thinner if you need to, the size of the boxes is determined by the players abilities). Divide the team into 3 teams and during the game you will rotate the teams so each team gets a turn in the middle box. The game then is to make passes between the teams in the end boxes and the middle team is to try to intercept the passes. A team that slips a pass through (without silly flogging the ball) gets 1 point. If the team in the middle intercepts a pass they get 2 points. The kids very quickly learn how to cover gaps and how to communicate rolls, they also learn how to defeat a press with lateral movement of the ball.

Once we have been through a rotation once we all have a chat about what worked and what didn't and the kids (with gentle prodding) figure out solutions for themselves, then we get back into another round. This time building on the game. We put a goal at each end and the middle team attack after they intercept a ball. They must value possession here as well, a goal is worth a bonus point but a ball over the back line is a point deduction from their intercept.
At the end we all get together again to share our thoughts. Figuring out solutions for themselves has been found to help all athletes learn a lot more than "you need to do it this way" top down instruction.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

Cheers

Mick

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