If you have read any of my other posts on the subject, you will infer that I hate coaches that only teach their players to play direct, high pressure, smack-it soccer. I think you are doing your players a serious disservice in their development. However, I have to admit to its effectiveness. In order to diminish that effectiveness, players must be trained to build the attack out of the back, but under pressure. I first saw the small-sided game below when I was on the recruiting trail. I was freezing up in Toronto watching the Canadian Women’s U17 national team train. It is a simple game, but I believe it is very close to simulating a high pressure situation similar to what you would encounter in a youth game. Both teams begin in their respective halves of the field. One team plays a long ball into the other team’s backs (not central into the GK). As soon as the ball crosses the midfield line, they can enter into their opponents’ half and put them under pressure. The game is played normally except all out of bounds are restarted with a ball served in while both teams are in their halves. The receiving team now has the task of trying to play out of the high pressure they are getting from the serving team and go to goal. It is even better when you can make four teams. Then you have a team behind each goal that is ready to serve and replace the team on their side at any restart. It will help keep the pressure high and the environment intense because this activity is taxing on your players and they will start to apply less pressure. Video is best if viewed in full screen mode.

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