High Press and Intensity Soccer Drills (Get Ready)

In playing competitive soccer, you need to have high intensity – this means being ready at any second to react and by acting quicker than your opponent, you’ll win the ball.

A high press stops the opposition from building a move, turning at your goal, and creating chances. You can stop this with these intense soccer drills – be competitive with this collection, you’ll enjoy it also.

Defender Chasing An Attacker With Intensity
Defender Chasing An Attacker With Intensity ○ Soccer Blade

High Press and Intensity Soccer Drills

2 v 2 Possession Squares: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Ages: 12 to 18+
  • Drill Name: 2 v 2 Possession Squares
  • Session Length: 5 to 8 minutes
  • Number of players: minimum of 4 players, broken into groups of 2
  • Skills learned: Agility, first touch, quick passing, tackling, and pressing
  • Equipment: 4 cones, 1 ball per pair

Drill Setup

  • Position 4 cones 10 to 15 yards apart to form a square. 
  • Divide the team into pairs. 
  • 2 teams take their place in the square while the other pairs wait outside. 
2 V 2 Possession Squares
2 V 2 Possession Squares

Drill Instructions

  1. The coach selects one team to start with the ball and one team to defend. 
  2. The game goes live once the first pass is played. 
  3. The team in possession tries to keep the ball by passing and dribbling. 
  4. The defending team attempts to win back possession through tackling or intercepting. 
  5. If the defending team wins the ball back, they attempt to keep possession from their opponents. 
  6. The first team to make 5 consecutive passes wins. 
  7. The winning team begins the next round in possession. A new pair replaces the losing team, beginning the round as the defenders. 
  8. If neither team wins after 60 seconds, the round is over and 2 fresh teams enter the square. 

Drill Variations

  • The number of players per team can be extended up to 11. The square should be made larger to accommodate additional players. 
  • If players are struggling to retain possession, consider changing the dynamic to a 3 v 2 or 4 v 2. The team of 3 starts in possession. As soon as they lose the ball, the round is over and a new 3 v 2 matchup is made.

Man-On Drill: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Man-On Drill
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: 7+
  • Number of players: 3 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: First touch, turning, holding off the defender, shielding the ball, finishing
  • Equipment: 1 ball (minimum), 3 cones, 1 goal (optional)

Drill Setup

  • Set up a 5-yard, 2-cone gate along the edge of the penalty box.
  • Place 1 cone 10 yards from the gate toward the center of the field. 
  • If you have a goalkeeper, consider setting up a goal to include shooting practice as a secondary aspect of the drill. 
  • P2 (attacker) and D1 (defender) begin at the passing gate. 
  • P1 and the remaining players line up behind the cone toward centerfield. 
  • P1 begins with the ball at their feet. 
Man On Drill
Man On Drill

Drill Instructions

  1. P2 moves around the edge of the penalty box simulating an in-game scenario. 
  2. P2 shakes off the defender, sprints through the gate, and calls for the ball. 
  3. P1 plays a low, hard pass to P2.
  4. P2 takes a good first touch, holds off the defender, then spins toward the goal. If there is a goalkeeper, P2 takes a shot on goal.
  5. D1 doesn’t actively try to win the ball. Instead, they apply pressure, allowing P2 to practice taking a solid first touch when surrounded by defenders. 
  6. When the round is over, P2 joins the end of the passing line, D1 takes P2’s place, and P1 takes D1’s place.
  7. If you have 7 or more outfield players, consider setting up 2 identical grids and running the drills concurrently. 

Drill Variations

  • Instruct players to focus on different types of touches in each round. 
  • For 1 round, focus on taking 1 touch, and spinning behind the defender toward the goal.
  • For another round, focus on taking a good touch, facing up the defender, and running past them before shooting. 
  • For another round, instruct P2 to play a give-and-go pass with P1, before running behind the defender for a through pass from P1. 
  • For advanced players, encourage them to work on different skill moves, touches, flicks, and turns. 

Overload & Switch Play: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Overload & Switch Play
  • Session Length: 10  minutes
  • Age Group: 12+
  • Number of players: 10 
  • Skills learned: Long passing, heading, crossing, finishing, & tactics
  • Equipment: Full Field, 1 ball, 1 goal

Drill Setup

  • Line up 10 outfield players in a 4-4-2 formation. 
  • Instruct the center backs (D2 & D3) to occupy a high line, halfway between the center circle and the edge of the penalty box. 
  • Instruct the left back (D1) to push higher up the field, close to the halfway line. 
  • Instruct the right back (D4) to tuck in narrowly, near the center back.
  • Instruct the best passing midfielder (M1) to stand just behind the center circle and to be ready to make a long, diagonal pass.
Overload And Switch
Overload And Switch

Drill Instructions

  1. To start, the strikers take tip-off and pass the ball back to M1.
  2. As soon as the tip is taken, S1 and S2, W1, and D1 sprint down the left wing toward the edge of the penalty box. 
  3. D1, W1, and S1 turn to face the passer. S2 holds their run slightly, anticipating a knockdown. M2 moves into the left channel but keeps distance from the others to create space. 
  4. W3 and D4 run down the right channel, preparing for a back post entry to the penalty box. 
  5. M1 lofts the ball toward the overloaded side. 
  6. D1 and W1 communicate to determine who will head the ball, before cushioning the ball to M2 or S1 and S2. 
  7. The overload should drag the defense over to one side exposing the opposite post. 
  8. The ball is played back to M2, who then crosses the ball to the back post where the right back or right winger scores.

Drill Variations

  • Switch this drill to the opposite side of the field. 
  • Pull back a defender if you want to plan a less aggressive kickoff strategy. 
  • Push forward another center back for a more aggressive strategy. 
  • Use opposition defenders or mannequins to simulate defenders’ positions.

Hungry Hippos: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-6
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: up to 20
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling at speed, keeping head up
  • Equipment: a lot of soccer balls, pinnies, and small goals are optional 
  • Description: Two teams compete to see who can bring the most balls back to their area. 

Drill Set-up: 

  • Split the kids into two even teams. 
  • Give each team pinnies to distinguish. 
  • Create a large rectangle with a small zone on each end. 
  • Place all of the balls in the center of the space. 
Hungry Hippos Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Hungry Hippos Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com ○ Soccer Blade

Drill Instructions:

  1. Place each team at either end of the rectangle. 
  2. Each team can send one player at a time to go retrieve a ball and dribble it back. 
  3. Optional: add a mini goal. The player must shoot the ball into the small goal to earn it for their team. 
  4. If a player goes out of bounds, they must put the ball back in the middle and go back to their team for a new player to go.
  5. Perform as a race until all the balls are gone. 

Multiphase Attacking Possession: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Multiphase Attacking Possession 
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 8 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: Passing, movement, positioning, dribbling, finishing
  • Equipment: 4 cones, 1 ball, 1 goal

Drill Setup

  • Use the penalty box and surrounding area for this drill. 
  • If you have a goalkeeper, set up a full-size goal. If not, create a small goal using cones.
  • Divide the team into groups of 4. 
  • 4 attackers and 4 defenders participate at a time. 
  • The attackers form a circle outside the penalty box with the ball. 
  • 2 defenders stand inside the circle of attackers. 
  • 2 defenders wait inside the penalty box. 
Multiphase Drill
Multiphase Drill

Drill Instructions

  1. The drill starts as a passing rondo. The attackers try to complete 5 consecutive passes. 
  2. If the defenders win possession, they switch roles with the attackers. 
  3. Once a team completes 5 consecutive passes, the rondo defenders must stop trying to win the ball. 
  4. The attackers then take on the defenders inside the penalty box and try to score. They can pass, dribble, or shoot from wherever they like. 
  5. Encourage the attackers to be smart regarding their positional play, using their numerical mismatch to make space and create a high percentage of goal-scoring chances. 
  6. After each round, the attackers and defenders switch roles. 
  7. If there are more groups, rotate them after each round. 

Drill Variations

  • Limit the number of touches for attacking players. 
  • Add extra defenders to increase the difficulty for attackers. 
  • Create a competition to see which team can score the most goals. 
  • Scale this drill up or down depending on the number of available players. 

Soccer Blade has more than 100 drills – for more go to our soccer drills page. If you need equipment for your soccer drills, check out our soccer equipment page.

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