Counter pressing

  1. Pressing Zones – Identify zones on the pitch where regaining possession can lead to immediate threats.
  2. Loss of Possession – Train players to react instantly when the ball is lost, closing down the ball-carrier.
  3. High-Intensity Pressure – Swarm the area around the ball to overwhelm opponents and limit their options.
  4. Strategic Positioning – Position players to block passing lanes, cutting off safe outlets.
  5. Timing – Initiate the counter-press in the aftermath of losing the ball, exploiting the opponent’s vulnerability.
  6. Transition to Attack – Immediately transition to attacking mode after winning the ball, capitalizing on disarray.
  7. Mental Agility – Counter-pressing requires rapid decision-making and teamwork; players must be mentally agile.

Goals of pressing are:

  1. win the ball high
  2. force a mistake
  3. force a long ball


  1. Pressure on the ball holder
  2. Force the play wide
  3. Create ball side supremacy
  4. No time to breath

This video gives a couple of examples.

Counter pressing