6 Reasons Why Defenders Should Press Their Opponents
Pressing is one of the most important concepts all player's must understand, as applying pressure on your opponents is what causes them to give the ball away, or with proper timing, allows you to knick in and win the ball for your team.
Here are 6 reasons you should press your opponents when you are defending.
1. Pressing is The Root of All Defending
It doesn't get any more basic. When you work to press, or pressure the ball, you force your opponent into making a decision, and you have just become a defender.
Forcing a decision from your opponent who is in possession of the ball is what pressing is all about: it makes them adjust their touch, closeness to the ball, where and how they can play it, etc.
2. It's How You Win The Ball Back
Plain and simple, any halfway decent player who has ever played the game will be able to perform better if they are given time and space on the ball and are allowed to pick their heads up.
Don't give them time and space. Get to the ball and start to apply pressure and funnel your opponents into areas of the pitch where you can best negate their attack.
3. Pressing Conserves Energy
It might sound counterintuitive, but a high, hard press on your opponents will get the ball back quickly for your team and help save your precious energy reserves. This means less tracking runners, less chasing the ball, less recovery runs.
Work hard to win the ball, then dominate possession, and let the ball do the work.
4. Every Pressing Defender Players a Role
1st, 2nd, 7th player to apply pressure, it doesn't matter, you are still playing a crucial role in forcing the next change in possession and getting the ball back for your team.
Sometimes the first defender pressing doesn't get credit for helping win the ball, but their initial efforts might be what's needed to start the chain of events that lead to winning the ball back.
Work selflessly and tirelessly to help start the domino effect that leads to regaining possession.
5. It Allows You to Play Closer to Your Opponents Goal
Pressing high up the pitch allows you to defend as far away from your own goal as possible, which means there is less likelihood that you will concede a goal in defense.
Play in their half of the field, don't park the bus and encourage a shooting gallery, get out and put pressure on the ball.
6. Pressing Leads to Goals
Winning the ball high up the pitch also means you will score more goals. You will be expending less energy transitioning up and down the pitch, and more time being creative in and around the attacking third.
These are just 6 of the many reasons to start pressing your opponents, if you consider some of them, and dare to press in a match, there's no doubt that you will begin to notice the huge impact that putting a good hard press on your opponents can make.