Game Situation [Video]: When Your Press Defense Breaks Down

In the video below you’ll see how a press defense can break down.

The ball is on the 1-2 side and the center defender gets a front position. This offensive possession should be killed.

But poor off-ball defense allows the offense to cross the ball, then enter it to 2-meters, and earn the ejection.

From the video, you’ll learn a couple tips to prevent the breakdown and what to do when your press defense does break down.


As the goalie, you need to recognize that your center defender has the front position. You want this. And when you see it you need to effectively communicate with your team to press. In the video above the commands should have been:

  • Press!
  • Press the 4-5!
  • No cross pass!

You have to get the 4-5 side up in their lanes. A cross pass to the 4-5 side will put your center defender in a bad defensive position.

A good press with a front at 2-meters is the optimal defense. The perimeter players can’t square up on the cage for a shot nor can they enter the ball into 2-meters. The offense gets pushed way out which fuels your counter attack.

When you see a press situation forming you need to ramp up your communication. You need to get your whole team working in unison in the press defense.


In the video above, the communication between the goalie, the center-defender, and the rest of team did not happen.

X4 did not know he needed to be up in his lane. He starts to drop and it allows the cross pass to the 4-5 side.

The cross pass leaves the center defender in a bad position. He is stuck behind the center forward. If the ball enters your center forward is likely to be ejected.

When this happens you need to effectively communicate with your team and switch your defense from a press into a zone defense.

Since the press breaks down to the 4-5 side a 4-5 zone defense is an easy adjustment.

But as we see in the video the zone adjustment wasn’t the best. Again, it was due in part to poor communication between the goalie, center defender, and the perimeter defenders.

The ball swings down to a right-hander at the 5 spot and is entered. The center defender is then ejected. A good zone adjustment would’ve had the right-hander at the 5 spot become the shooter. He has the worst angle on the cage.

Good Communication is Always the Key

Effective communication goes a long way in executing a good defensive possession. If you don’t communicate what you want – a press in this situation – your teammates will act on their own. You no longer have a team defense and your defensive possession breaks down.

A favorable situation turns into a scramble. Bad things happen when your defense is scrambling.

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