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Canvas Tactical Education: Transition to Defend - Counter Pressing 

Week of Monday, May 25

Welcome along to this week's assignment: Transition to Defend - Counter Pressing (also known as gegenpressing) , as we delve into our transition phase  of the game we want to understand a players options before, during and after the transition moment of losing possession. We will identify all three moments but focus on the moment during a loss of possession and our ability to Counter Press.


On average it takes a team 8 seconds to go from their defensive organization to getting set in their attacking structure. During this time of uncertainty if approached correctly a team can be vulnerable to losing possession. This is why Barcelona and many other teams want to win the ball back within 6 seconds of losing possession - as this is the best time to win the ball back. A team is transitioning from one focus (defending - making the field small) to another (attacking - making the field big by opening up). If we can disrupt this flow of order we have an opportunity to regain the ball, create more chances and continue to control the game.


For this week's assignment you will understand the three moments of defensive transition while focusing on Counter Pressing (also known as gegenpressing) and the three types of Counter Pressing.


Before we start let’s make sure everybody is up to speed and understands the concept of transition to defend and how Counter Pressing relates to this moment of the game.


During the transition to defend our focus is on DENYING TIME & SPACE. This prevents our opponent from progressing the ball forward, denying them chances at goal and if done correctly and efficiently will force a turnover/error/ball out of play.


For us to be effective in defensive transition moments we must be aware of three moments during the game.

Before the Transition: Creating Numerical Superiority 

In possession having numbers around the ball allows teams to transition to winning the ball back more effectively. Another example is CB’s being proactive off the ball taking care of opponents attacking outlets with their positioning.


During the Transition: Counter Pressing 

Winning the ball back immediately upon losing it.


After the Transition: Recover - Delay - Reorganize

If we don’t have the numbers or the distances are too great to apply pressure on the ball recovering back into our shape to be organized and compact.


These are the three moments of a defensive transition (before, during and after) which can allow us to be more aware and therefore successful at winning the ball back. 


Now let's test your knowledge and then focus on the “during” stage of the transition - Counter Pressing


See the Steps through which the assignment should be carried out (4 Steps Total).


Step 1: Understand the concepts of “Transition to Defend” and the three moments during a game that can help us be more efficient in our transition to defend and answer the following questions.


  1. What should our FOCUS be during the transition to defend phase of the game?

  1. What are the three moments of a defensive transition? (hint: before, during and after)


Step 2: Analyze the video below regarding Counter Pressing 

Step 3: Answer the following questions related to Counter Pressing.

  1. What is another word for Counter Pressing?

  1. Last week we focused on the Counter Attack. This week we are focused on Counter Pressing, which is basically what to the counter attack and what is involved in this?

  1. Name the three types of Counter Pressing? Include roles and the number of potential players involved.

  1. When is Counter Pressing useful, playing against what type of team?

  1. When is Counter Pressing not as useful, playing against what type of team?


Step 4: Submit your answers to Step 1 & Step 3 to Canvas.

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