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.
High Press and Intensity Soccer Drills
2 v 2 Possession Squares: Soccer Drill
- 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
- 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.
- The coach selects one team to start with the ball and one team to defend.
- The game goes live once the first pass is played.
- The team in possession tries to keep the ball by passing and dribbling.
- The defending team attempts to win back possession through tackling or intercepting.
- If the defending team wins the ball back, they attempt to keep possession from their opponents.
- The first team to make 5 consecutive passes wins.
- The winning team begins the next round in possession. A new pair replaces the losing team, beginning the round as the defenders.
- If neither team wins after 60 seconds, the round is over and 2 fresh teams enter the square.
- 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 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)
- 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.
- P2 moves around the edge of the penalty box simulating an in-game scenario.
- P2 shakes off the defender, sprints through the gate, and calls for the ball.
- P1 plays a low, hard pass to P2.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the round is over, P2 joins the end of the passing line, D1 takes P2’s place, and P1 takes D1’s place.
- If you have 7 or more outfield players, consider setting up 2 identical grids and running the drills concurrently.
- 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 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
- 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.
- To start, the strikers take tip-off and pass the ball back to M1.
- 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.
- 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.
- W3 and D4 run down the right channel, preparing for a back post entry to the penalty box.
- M1 lofts the ball toward the overloaded side.
- D1 and W1 communicate to determine who will head the ball, before cushioning the ball to M2 or S1 and S2.
- The overload should drag the defense over to one side exposing the opposite post.
- The ball is played back to M2, who then crosses the ball to the back post where the right back or right winger scores.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place each team at either end of the rectangle.
- Each team can send one player at a time to go retrieve a ball and dribble it back.
- Optional: add a mini goal. The player must shoot the ball into the small goal to earn it for their team.
- 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.
- Perform as a race until all the balls are gone.
Multiphase Attacking Possession: Soccer Drill
- 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
- 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.
- The drill starts as a passing rondo. The attackers try to complete 5 consecutive passes.
- If the defenders win possession, they switch roles with the attackers.
- Once a team completes 5 consecutive passes, the rondo defenders must stop trying to win the ball.
- 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.
- 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.
- After each round, the attackers and defenders switch roles.
- If there are more groups, rotate them after each round.
- 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.