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Page 1
Pressing
Pressing is normally thought of as a team tactic which is used to force a turn over. Pressing is
similar t...
Page 2
1.The full press which is to designed to force a turn over deep in the oppositions half.
The defense can set up a h...
Page 3
2.The half court press
This press is used by most teams 60-70% of most games by putting all players behind the
half...
Page 4
3.The three quarter press at the 25 yard line.
The ball is forced to the sideline and all passing options are cut o...
Page 5
4.There is a fourth kind of press which is rarely seen and which is described below
where the attack is funneled in...
Page 6
Presses are designed to put the receiver of the ball under immediate pressure and deny them
the time and space to p...
Page 7
Case study: 1998 WC: Overall Dutch strategy
The gold meal winning Dutch men’s team in the 1998 World Cup used a fun...
Page 8
Case study: Euro Hockey 2013: IRE vs CZE: No response to a press
The Czech's used an unconventional press in their ...
Page 9
Case study: World League 2015: ITA vs IND
The India women’s team placed three players in a triangle around the play...
Page 10
Case study: Euro Hockey 2015: ITA vs GB
The GB women’s team uses packs of three players in a large triangle around...
Page 11
Breaking presses using preplanned plays and changes in passing speed
Teams must have preplanned plays like the Ger...
Page 12
What are the principles of ball movement in response to full-press,two thirds and half-
pitch presses.
Well this d...
Page 13
teammates are hiding behind defenders needlessly.
11.Be patient, frustrate the pressers.
12. Dribble the ball onto...
Page 14
The Dutch women use this tactic.
German/Chinese women
When pressed on their left side they will move the ball to t...
Page 15
3. [Brazil’s con job]
Although less spectacular in possession, Dunga's Brazil do something similar, aided, as Rob ...
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Field hockey pressing

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Field hockey pressing

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Field hockey pressing

  1. 1. Page 1 Pressing Pressing is normally thought of as a team tactic which is used to force a turn over. Pressing is similar to a military tactic where one side attempts gain a numerical advantage over the other side or attempts to surprise the opposition. Surprise is the key element against a strong team. Weaker teams can be overwhelmed simply by increasing the number of players near the ball. The strong team which is not surprised will bypass the press and create attacking opportunities. The entire team has to buy into the pressing philosophy that the coach has planned out. If some members of the team do not press when they should then passing lanes will open up and dangerous attacks can be initiated. There is a time and a place on the field to press. Pressing must be initiated by a sub unit of players on a team or by the entire team. There are different types of presses that are developed by coaches depending on the personnel available on the team. Who invented pressing? Maslov. See appendix 1. Successful use of presses at the World Cup and Olympics Chairman Mao: “The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue”. This philosophy was used by the GB in the 1988 Olympics where they won the gold medal. What football (soccer) teams currently press successfully? Barcelona and Brazil (See appendixes 2 and 3). Barcelona employs a 3 man press as soon as they are dispossessed. The three pressers will attempt to cut off the passing lanes of the player with the ball. The Three will engage until the other team is reorganized and then back off. One player on the field must be responsible for calling the press Non verbal or delayed communication is preferred so that the other team is not alerted to what is about to happen. A delayed press occurs when the pressing team calls a press ahead of time. For example, when a certain offensive player is passes the ball and other conditions such as the strikers are all marked the press is rapidly initiated. One player should make the tackle The other players which are pressing should anticipate where the ball handler will move the ball and be ready to tackle at that point or be ready to intercept a pass. Two player should not tackle at once. Conventional thinking divides pressing into 3 types 1. Full press 2. 3/4 press 3. Half press See the diagrams on the following pages.
 Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  2. 2. Page 2 1.The full press which is to designed to force a turn over deep in the oppositions half. The defense can set up a horizontal wall but that does not stop the offensive team from transferring the ball around the back. To effectively press the passes across the field must be cut out.
 Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  3. 3. Page 3 2.The half court press This press is used by most teams 60-70% of most games by putting all players behind the half line in a bowling pin arrangement. where they defend, block the middle of the field (no runs with he ball or passes are allowed through the middle of the field), and force the passes to the sideline. The backline marks the strikers and does not allow any long through passes to be received. The arch has the advantage of cutting out the forwards and backwards diagonal ball but leaves openings to the center mid players from the outside or back. The diagonal setup cuts out the passes to the center.
 Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  4. 4. Page 4 3.The three quarter press at the 25 yard line. The ball is forced to the sideline and all passing options are cut off. The back line is arranged to cover any deep passes down the line and provides cover if the ball is transferred to the other side. 
 Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  5. 5. Page 5 4.There is a fourth kind of press which is rarely seen and which is described below where the attack is funneled into the right defensive corner and then pressed. This works against teams with less technical ability on the ball. See the Dutch and Czech examples in the case studies below. Any of the above presses relies on restricting the passing options of the player with the ball and on reducing the running lane options to zero or backwards. Pressing a player on the sideline is an advantage for the the defensive team because the sideline acts in effect as a defender. The ball carrier cannot go out of bounds. This reduces the number of options for the ball carrier and puts additional psychological pressure on the ball carrier. Another way to think about pressing Passive presses are designed to slow down the game and prevent the other team from crossing a line on the field. Aggressive presses are designed to get the other team to turn over the ball. Channeling presses are designed to move the ball into particular part of the field where the other team can be bottled up and not necessarily dispossessed. A plan for pressing For defenders the above ideas are incomplete without a plan to force the ball to a certain part of the field. For attackers the above ideas are dangerous if they do not know that the opposition will try to force the ball into a tight space that the defense controls. The phases of the game and defensive pressing Teams must have a pressing plan before the game starts to answer the following questions. What kind of press, if any will be employed before the game starts? When will the press stop? Will another type of press be used? How will the team respond to a offensive tactic to neutralize/break the press? What will the team do to prevent counter attacks? The psychological aspects of pressing. Pressing is about controlling a space to force a turn over. Pressing is designed to channel part of team into a space and cut off the outlet passes. The pressing team ideally should have a numerical advantage over the players in the area being pressed. The pressing team should cut off the offensive running or passing options. Pressing to contain a team in their defensive half is a waste of time and energy if the other team is winning, may want to control the tempo of the game, or may be waiting to make a killer through ball pass. Pressing needs to deny the other team time and space so that the defensive team has a numerical advantage and then must result in a turn over. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  6. 6. Page 6 Presses are designed to put the receiver of the ball under immediate pressure and deny them the time and space to pass or run with the ball. At the same time the the pressers cut out the passing and running options for the ball carrier the rest of the defending team must mark potential receivers of the ball. The pressing team should put two or more players on the ball carrier to put the ball carrier under pressure in order to make the turn over happen. The entire team has to participate in funneling the ball in all cases to force the offensive team to the designated area where the pressure will be applied. Presses can be performed on any part of the field and not just the defensive half. Control where the other team moves the ball. Pressing is about getting the other team to move the ball where you want it and then closing down the ball carrier. Allow the passes to be made to the weaker offensive skills players on the opposing team and then close down the player’s passing options and attempt to dispossess the player. Marking a player tightly will not achieve the desired result. Step away from the player to draw the pass and then press the player. The movement of the ball by the team being pressed can be described using flow lines. The flow line is the path that the ball travels along. The flow lines are designed to break presses. The pressing team must block the flow lines before a press can be initiated. What is the role of strikers who are there to break down these flow lines. Strikers should position themselves so that they will block the passing lanes to channel the ball into the sideline where the press can be initiated. Only a tactically unaware team will allow their players to be pressed in the middle of the field. In order to break a press a team must have a strong player in the mid field who can recognize a press and call off the pass from the back or initiate the pass and receive and distribute the ball to break the press. Teams will press with three plays in a triangle formation int he middle of the field. The receiver of the ball must receive the ball cleanly and immediately distribute the ball through a gap in one side of the pressing triangle. This player must be cool under pressure and have impeccable stopping skills. A single striker can block two passing options from a position with respect to the side and middle back. The single striker can block the immediate outlet pass and can block the secondary pass by standing in a position which blocks the line of the initial pass and the line of the secondary pass. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  7. 7. Page 7 Case study: 1998 WC: Overall Dutch strategy The gold meal winning Dutch men’s team in the 1998 World Cup used a funneling press to force the other team to the left. The Dutch drew a diagonal line from their right corner flag to the other side’s right corner flag. The ball would not pass over the line.The press started with the Dutch left wing who would not allow the right back to dribble up the line or pass the ball up the line. The only option was to pass the ball left. Each player on the Dutch team was assigned the task of forcing the pass by the opposition left. This tactic forced teams to their left side where the Dutch could close down individual players. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  8. 8. Page 8 Case study: Euro Hockey 2013: IRE vs CZE: No response to a press The Czech's used an unconventional press in their half of the field against Ireland in the 2013 Euro Championships. The Czech’s allowed the Irish to play into the left corner of the Czech half of the field and as soon as the ball was transferred into the left corner the Czech's then had 3-4 players sprint into the left triangle to deny the Irish the time and space to attack the Czech's circle. The Irish did not adjust to the press and continued to attack the left corner flag. When ever the Irish tried to go right they could not because the space was closed down. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  9. 9. Page 9 Case study: World League 2015: ITA vs IND The India women’s team placed three players in a triangle around the player taking the 16 yard hit. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  10. 10. Page 10 Case study: Euro Hockey 2015: ITA vs GB The GB women’s team uses packs of three players in a large triangle around a center mid field player to give the illusion of peace to receive the ball. As soon as the pass is made to the center mid the 3 pressers reduce the size of the triangle and close down the receiver, attempting to displaces the ball receiver. See the detailed blog entry at http://fhcommentary.blogspot.it/2015/09/dont-fall-for-trap-that- high-pressing.html Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  11. 11. Page 11 Breaking presses using preplanned plays and changes in passing speed Teams must have preplanned plays like the German men’s hockey team in order to break presses. Breaking presses is a more interesting subject and involves planning before the game so that the team has a preplanned play designed to move the ball in such a way that the receiver always has time and space to make the pass to the next player. When breaking a press the offensive team must not fall for the traps set by the pressing team. The offensive team must not be lured into spaces which can be closed down quickly. The offensive team can make a slow pass from left to right in the back to temp the defenders to rush the receiver of the ball who actually has the time to receive the ball and then pass it back right where there may be time and space since the defenders run left. Different international teams use different tactics in response to presses. Hits to mid fielders who then deflect the ball to runners along the sideline are used to break presses. The German men's team uses this tactic. First time passing through several players on their front sticks is used by the Australian men's team to break presses and rapidly move the ball up the field. On the women's side the Chinese and Koreans when trapped on the left side play mini hockey on their reverse stick side to move the ball slowly up the field. The Dutch women and German men when pressed at the end of a tight game where they are winning will take the ball to the sideline where they will control it and slow the game down so that they cannot be pressed. They will play mini hockey on the sideline, much like the New Zealand men in the 1976 Olympic final, when they controlled the ball on the right side using a triangle. The speed of the pass between the defensive players in the back platform can be used to can be used to create time and space to pass to a forward outlet. A 70-80% strength sweep pass across the back pass can be used to entice the opposing forward unit to over press to one side, the receiver of the ball then applies 100% to the ball to switch the ball back to the other side of the field where the next defensive player has time and space to pass the ball over a 25+ meter distance to a forward target to break the press. This type of defensive passing is important for breaking presses. What are the positives and negatives of a 3 man or 4 man back platform for successful distribution and for breaking presses? A back 3 is simply to far apart to provide cover if the ball is lost. A back four not only provides cover but creates two outside passing triangles between the back 4 and inside passing triangles between the back four and the center mid(s). The single forward can cut out the back pass using a three man line. A single forward cannot cut out 2 back passes using a 4 man line. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  12. 12. Page 12 What are the principles of ball movement in response to full-press,two thirds and half- pitch presses. Well this depends on the shape of the press (spearpoint, umbrella, wall to sideline, ...), whether it is designed to channel the ball to an area or whether it is designed to cut off forward passing options. There are two plans for dealing a press: break it with a big play or maintain possession with smart play. Principles for dealing with presses 1.Recognize the type of press that is being employed. The team should study videos of the other team ahead of time to anticipate the type of presses that the other team will run and which players and units of players will run the presses. The team needs a coach in a tower to relay to the bench the kind of presses which are being employed. 2.Make high percentage passes to open men who ideally have at least two passing options when they receive the ball. Don't pass the ball to someone who will be under pressure when the receive it. You want to frustrate the pressers and make the passing look easy. Gain a psychological edge over them. 3.Do not let the other team dictate how the ball will flow. The players moving the ball around must have the skills to change the flow of the ball with a curl, spin, pull back, and must be able to shield the ball from the forwards stick when put under pressure. 4.Always move the ball to your numerically stronger side or to the side where there is space and an option to pass back or laterally to relieve the pressure 5.Move the ball to the sideline under a full press in a tight game. A turn over is unlike to result in a goal or PC. The rule here is that the score influences the way that you deal with the press. If you are ahead then move the ball to the right side and play the NZ game of short controlled passes and get feet. 6.Think about the other teams angle of attack if you lose the ball in a particular position. They will want to take route one to the goal if the have the option. So put a lot of men between them and route one. 7.Do not pass the ball backwards unless the player has a lot of time and space to receive the ball. 8.Look for a pass to bypass the defense. These passes are hard to come by and must be engineered by changing the angle of the attack against the press. 9.If it is a man to man marking press then take the ball wide and make sort accurate passes, looking for feet to disrupt the flow of the game or allowing the other team to poke the ball off of the field (used by the Dutch women). 10.The teammates around the person receiving the ball must move into a position where the receiver has multiple options to pass to. To often players receive the ball and find that their Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  13. 13. Page 13 teammates are hiding behind defenders needlessly. 11.Be patient, frustrate the pressers. 12. Dribble the ball onto the presser’s feet. 13.Scout the other team ahead of time. A.know their tendencies when pressed. B.where do they move the ball C.who can't handle the pressure D.can they switch the ball from side to side quickly and counter attack E.do they have power forwards who can receive a 50 yard pass on the run and eliminate the lone defender and score (Zeller 2006 WC Final against AUS)? 14.Move the pressing wall backwards a few yards at a time. Pass the ball to forwards who are running back between the defenders into gaps. These passes are made between the pressing walls. The forward will then dump the ball back to a player between the two walls. 15.If you have strong outlet passing down the wings the other team will have to do the math and determine if they can press without giving up the break down the wings via a long outlet pass. 16.If you have time and space in the back move up into the wall and turn and pass the ball back. German men's team tactics for breaking presses -The German men get a lot of men behind the press. -Mueller will pass the ball across his own goal in the D to break the press. -50 yd overheads to forwards running into space onto the ball -hard hits up the middle to a marked man who will deflect the ball to the side where a man running up the channel will pick up the ball with lots of space. -move the ball to one side, move the other team over to that side and clear out the other side of the field on the other side of the press, move the ball quickly to the other side of the feild around the back and shoot the ball up the channel to a forward screaming on onto the ball. Germany sucked AUS into the right side and then moved it quickly around the back left and hit a 50 yard pass to Zeller who ran over the AUS fullback and scored to win the 2006 WC semi. -hard 20 yard hit straight up the field to a player facing backwards who will receive it and dump it off to player behind who then moves the ball laterally behind the first press wall. Dutch women -Smeets would receive the ball, a forward would rush to put her under pressure and she would curl left and pass to the left back. -they move the ball to the side line on the angle drawing the pressers in and then pass laterally to a supporting player who moves again to the sideline. -Van As likes to run laterally across the field from right to left to move the press left, then she passes back and they switch it quickly right. 2 short 10 yard passes over the opponents stick often can break a press up the right sideline. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  14. 14. Page 14 The Dutch women use this tactic. German/Chinese women When pressed on their left side they will move the ball to the side line and move the ball up the field with short reverse stick passes. Pass to the left outside man who will then attempt to move laterally across the field to change the passing angles. 2004 Olympics Egypt vs GB: failure to break the press You do not want to do what the Egyptians did against GB in the 2004 Olympics and have fullbacks attempting to dribble forwards next to their own circle to break presses. The Egyptian defenders were dispossessed and GB scored immediately. Appendix 1. From http://backpagefootball.com/victor-maslov-tactical-innovator-and-forgotten-man/46243/ Victor Maslov – tactical innovator and forgotten man Maslov’s teams would harass and hound the opposition in possession, but their system was good enough that players covered those pressuring the man with the ball, using their supreme fitness to block up gaps that might otherwise have been exploited. Dynamo Kyiv’s change to pressing and winning the ball back higher was a key development, as before Maslov, teams tended allow their opponents space and time on the ball whereas Maslov’s instigation of pressing denied players this time and space and led to the game based more on fitness and tactical awareness that can be seen in practically ever league in the world today. Maslov’s introduction of the tactic of pressing and squeezing the opposition high up the pitch was the most important tactical change in a generation. The change revolutionised the way football was played yet curiously enough took time to catch on. The change became a key component of the way Michel’s Ajax played and similarly set Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan apart from the pack but it was really not until the 1990’s that the tactic of pressing and squeezing the game high up the pitch fully caught on. Sadly for Maslov and his legacy, it was first Michels then Sacchi that were lauded as tactical revolutionaries. This is despite the fact that Maslov not only invented the pressing game, but also created a system that allowed the creative playmaker to flourish within a tactical system. It was this ability to marry the functional with the sublime, to produce a team with the fitness to press, win the ball back high up the pitch and the technical ability to unlock the tightest of defences that guarantees Maslov’s place amongst the great managerial innovators. 2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/apr/06/question-pressing-crucial-modern-game The [Barca] psychological factor This is the unspoken strength of Barcelona: they aren't just majestic in possession themselves; they also make other sides tentative in possession. Think not just of Arsenal, but of Michael Carrick and Anderson haplessly misplacing passes in Rome last May. Partly that is because Barça are so quick to close space; but it is also psychological. Barça are so good in possession, so unlikely to give the ball back, that every moment when their opponents have the ball becomes unbearably precious; even simple passes become loaded with pressure because the consequences of misplacing them are so great. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas
  15. 15. Page 15 3. [Brazil’s con job] Although less spectacular in possession, Dunga's Brazil do something similar, aided, as Rob Smyth noted, by having conned the world into believing they still play in a way that they haven't since 1982. That's why so many pundits seem baffled by Brazil's recent successes in the Confederations Cup and the Copa America. John Terry, having watched from the stands as they beat England 1-0 in Doha last year, was still talking about them having "individuals who can frighten anyone one-on-on" while insisting "I don't think Brazil are anything really to worry about". Their individuals probably aren't, but individuality is no longer their strength; their strength is their cohesion, and the discipline of their pressing which, allied to their technique when in possession, means their opponents almost never have the ball, something Wayne Rooney pointed out in a post-match interview in which his bright red face paid eloquent testament to just how much fruitless chasing he had done. Copyright ©2015 Derek E. Pappas

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