Pre-Season Session 4: Pressing

I planned to focus last night’s session on pressing again, but I almost didn’t have time to run the pressing activity itself due to unexpected events. I started the session with a 10 min talk with my players about the phylosophy of the team. It was the best framing of our work so far and I only did it now because it was the first time I had all my players.

I’ll always try to keep these talks short, as the players will get distracted quickly and won’t absorb a lot of information anyways, so when the first signals of distraction started to appear, I moved on to the endurance exercise. Fifteen minutes of continuous run, but with ball work attached to it. At the moment I still believe continuous running is important for a footballer, at least until they achieve minimal levels of endurance. At least half my squad is below that, according to Cooper Test, so I’ll keep it until I have opposite evidence. Meanwhile I’ll research and develop methods to make it motivating to the players.

endurance

The second activity is another one I want to repeat frequently. A normal game with jokers, so that the players learn to find the free man. The “free man” concept is something that I haven’t stressed a lot yet, but it’s something that they will hear millions of times during our sessions. And games with jokers provide that.

endzone

The third activity was unexpected. We got a visit from the fitness coach that will be working with us and ran some test with the players, which lasted for about 15 minutes. Even though I have a Sport Science Degree it’s good to have someone completely dedicated to that. I have a lot of respect for australian fitness trainers and knowledge and I’m sure he’ll help build the athleticism of my players.

I began the pressing exercise again starting with the goalkeeper, but it didn’t work well. Our #6 is really good and he managed to get out of the back often because we didn’t press him enough. That might be a problem. We have three very light midfielders that aren’t very good at tackling, so I might assign one of the stronger ones to press number 6, which usually is a skilled player. We’ll have a very good game in 11 days against a strong team to test that.

The session:
1 – Warm Up: No Ball
2 – Endurance Exercise
3 – Game Training 1: 1 Touch Finish
4 – Conditioning Coach Intervention
5 – Game Training 2: Pressing

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