People, Participation, Progression, Performance in Hockey

Pressing Triggers

A pressing trigger is the action that jolts the defending team into action.

Backwards Pass and/or Poor Touch

A backwards pass can provide a team with a good opportunity to apply pressure, we are looking to leverage 2 things when putting the pressure on:

  1. A poor first touch requiring another touch to correct.
  2. Or the first touch and the pressure forces another mistake with a botched or less ideal pass to another player

Facing Backwards – no pitch vision

When a player receives with their back to goal they are not aware of their circumstances:

  1. Are they under pressure
  2. Where is their team
  3. How are they going to proceed

…multiple touches are always required before they are able to proceed – so the right pressure quickly forces them to play even more backward.

All of these mean they are vulnerable to being pressed from one, or multiple angles.

Pressing Triggers – Square Pass / Slow Play

A square pass or a slow play can be a great opportunity to press.

  1. Play becomes predictable and pressured
  2. A square pass needs to be inch perfect otherwise they are very easy to intercept
  3. They are often carried out when someone is under pressure so that causes a mistake
  4. This is generally a mistake by a centre back or the back row when there is not enough depth

Pitch Location

A receiving player’s pitch location is a really important trigger for a player to engage.

  1. Up against a touch line – they only have 180 deg options
  2. It is easy to press them against an immovable object
  3. Double teaming is a lot easier
  4. There is very little option to go forward

Weak side or Other Triggers

Other pressing triggers can include:

  1. Being forced to receive the ball on your reverse stick means the stop is generally not ideal – AND – it requires multiple touches for control
  2. You are vulnerable to pressure as it takes time

Other options are

  1. Poor body position
  2. Bouncing ball
  3. Unexpected pass

…anything that requires further touches before the player is able to progress the ball.