Using my pressure grids Passive Grids ball Active (Player) ball Concentrated Pressure Grids

The main aspect of coaching is about applying pressure and using constant movement, not all grids have this because this is essentially a resource for new coaches and includes basic drills that you might prefer to use or at least be aware of, however I would like you to consider a new approach to the way you structure and think about your coaching sessions. I used rapid movement in short sharp movements and many of my grids work with this principle in mind, when you use these grids you will see players sprinting fast to undertake the role created for them, B001 Attacking Pressure Shooting.doc in some instances there are concentrated grids that work on individual pressure, 032 B006 Shooting 1 v 1 Pressure you need to be aware that the time you leave a player under pressure in a grid can cause the player to become stressed and you must be careful to monitor how much you think the player(s) can take. I usually swap players every minute (1 or 2 minutes at most) for concentrated grids and run a session grid like B001 for 5 or 6 minutes only. Your players will be come much fitter if you work them in short sharp sessions and there are still some traditional grids that are more passive.

I was invited to take on the Junior Academy Teams (1988-90 Youth), then the State Men's Teams (1988-93) and also the State Women's Teams (1990-93), in all these I used my method of rapid fast pressure training, it produced very successful results, here is my Men's State Team record against international and other Australian State teams:-

Played  38 Won 23 Drew 6 Lost 9 Goals For 109 Against 55

I always liked to put players in a simulated situation as close to what they should expect in a soccer match and I have put pressure points in most of my grids.  To achieve this I use other players, markers and training posts to increase or decrease pressure on players.

Passive Pressure (Markers and Posts)

Lets start with a simple warm up The Passing Square (W002 Passing The Passing Square.doc)

Here we have a 20 x 20 square with markers on each corner. 

1. Players have one ball and pass the ball inside the grid. OK so you can get them to pass with the wrong foot, use inside only or outside of boot passes or even chip passes, but there is NO PRESSURE on the players apart from the ball going outside the grid.



2. So lets add some pressure, put in two players holding a bib as defenders and they can intercept any pass (no tackling) and will change with the player making a poor pass or ball passed out of the grid. Players now have to think about the passes and need to move to better angles.


3. So you will find that players will double up passing back and forth to draw a defender but we can increase this pressure with another pressure element. What if after a pass a player must touch a corner marker BEFORE playing the ball again!


Now player 1, players 2 and 3 must be now moving to touch a marker BEFORE playing the ball again. We have added elements of speed, thinking and movement, plus putting all attacking players under pressure.

4. We now add another pressure element for senior or semi-pro teams, put a post outside of the grid and players must run around or touch the post after they pass a ball, you can decide if you want 1, 2 or more posts.

Next we look at player pressure grids


Players will become more productive if they are working under pressure and if you use the grids several times you will see players moving to combat the increased pressure load against an opposing player.

You will find players moving quicker to get to 'run around posts' or 'touch markers' that have been set up to add  pressure points to the grids. I cannot support those boring static grids or short sprint to a marker and back, so I encourage you to try my method of pressure coaching and see if your players increase their sprinting ability when placed in a one on one race to a ball.

Player Pressure Grids

Using grid B001 Attacking Pressure Shooting.doc and see how the elements of fitness are used in the pressure grid, yet without the players being aware of it,  they are sprinting and running with an objective in mind, concentrating on their roles and enjoying themselves. Compare this to a sprinting session to markers - players will run the same distance but in B001 they will develop better ball skills, improve their fitness and run faster!

Here is the set up, attacking player runs towards goal (around a pressure post) and shoot when possible, defenders make the first pass then run in and try to defend (after running around their pressure pole). Set up the following grid. Put in a goalkeeper, attackers on the center (blue marker) near the half way line and defenders with a ball next to the goal line (blue marker)




1. Start - The defender dribbles in and passes through the mini yellow goal towards the post opposite



The attacker takes off as soon as the ball is passed and runs around a PRESSURE POST to dribble the ball.

The defender takes off around the defenders pressure post and sprints into the grid.

Pressure - At some point in the middle the attacker will get a shot on goal or the defender will tackle the ball.


Players swap roles after each run, but the pressure that is applied forces the players to move at speed and purpose and work very hard to achieve a result.

You can adjust the posts to favour attacker or defender and your player fitness but this is what I mean by applying pressure to my grids. 90% of the Ball Skills and Match Practice grids include pressure.

2. Here is the grid which can be set up on either side of the pitch to encourage wrong foot play or variations

(i.e. Defender can chip pass the ball towards the attackers post).


The actual grid B001 Attacking Pressure Shooting.doc



Here is the full session using pressure grids

below is a sample set for a 70 minute session using various grids.

A Coaching Session Sample (7 Grids & 1 Planner)



Of course not all these grids have pressure elements, because some are designed for warming up players or just having fun and if you and your players can have fun whilst using these grids then everyone will end up satisfied, especially you, because if your sessions are well structure, include lots of ball work and are enjoyable, you will attract more players to your club. The main purpose of this book is to give you a starting point for designing your own week by week coaching sessions.


Some grids are used to improve specific problems or work on building fitness and skill levels, here you need to be careful how long you leave the players in each grid without recovery time, take for example a striker missing easy goals, and blasting over when it should be easier to score? Here is a concentrated grid to help the team, 032 B006 Shooting 1 v 1 Pressure



We have a grid about 20-30 metre wide (you decide) and two players in the grid, two sets of goal posts and other players outside the grid.

One player from each team takes up position in their respective goal. One player shoots for goal, then runs to touch one of the posts. The other player tries to make a save using only legal parts of the body.  If the ball goes past or scores a goal, then the team members (defenders) behind the goal must quickly feed the ball back into the grid using only the legal parts of the body.

Each player can shoot as soon as they have the ball under control, score or miss, they must immediately turn and touch one post BEFORE they can play the ball again. The other player has the same rules and should attempt to slot the ball away whilst the previous player is recovering to a post. Then touch their post. NO TACKLING but you can insist player shoot from 5 metres out!!

You can see that in a few minutes each player would become fatigued and stressed, so you need to change the players regularly. I used to number each player on each team say 1 - 6 then call a number and the inside players must IMMEDIATELY exit the grid and two new players enter.

As a strikers pressure grid, this would help in selecting where to put the ball under pressure, you can widen the play area, make the goals narrower or wider, make players touch BOTH poles etc, the opportunity to model the pressure to suit is quite flexible but please look after your players they will find this a tough grid.

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Last updated 31 July 2019