Drill – Keep possession or score

Drill – Keep possession or score

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Keeping possession and aggressive pressing all over the pitch exercises are always challenging. We know it can be very difficult to keep possession, if the opponent plays with high pressing. It requires a certain kind of players to succeed. Aggressive pressing all over pitch is very physical demanding and you also need to communicate a lot and know the team’s playing style in relation to pressing and defending to succeed.

I have used the drill presented below repeatedly to practice both possession or pressing. You can also use it to focus on both def. and off. transitions. You decide.


Adjust the field according to the number of players, you use.

Play two periods of 6-10 min.

Players: 3 GKs and 12+ outfield

One team keeps possession in the first period, they must keep the ball and prevent the other team from scoring.

The goalkeepers play with the team in possession and can only play with their feet.

The other team must win the ball and score. They can score in all three goals. If they score, they will get a new ball from the coach and try to score another goal.

If the ball goes out of play to the team in possession, one of the GK’s start the game again by passing to a team-mate. If the ball goes out of play to the team pressing, they will get a new ball from the coach.

After period 1 the teams switch roles.

The team that score most goals wins.

Example of focus points

The choice of focus points depend on what you want to practice in the session. Here are some examples of focus points, you could use in this drills. There are a lot more.

  • keep possession (don’t stress with the ball, movement of the ball and decisions where to pass)
  • pressing (compactness as a team, players not pressing the player with the ball must close down passing angles)
  • communication
  • score goals!
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  1. Abel Lorincz 07.10.2014 21:04

    Simple, but great exercise. When do you deliver your coaching points? Do you stop the exercise, explain the situation to the players and continue, or do you stop and wait until the end of the drill, and talk to the players?

  2. danielkt 08.10.2014 09:13

    Hi Abel,

    I stop when a situation happen and ask them about the problem and possible solutions.

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