choosing the right football formation

Choosing the right formation for a youth football team who play four, five or six-a-side isn't easy.
  • Shall I use 2-2-2? Or 1-2-1? Or 0-4-0?
  • Should I have wingers and a central midfield player?
  • How many attackers do I need?

The permutations are virtually endless and it's no wonder many coaches find it difficult to decide on the right set up for their team.

But if you're coaching very young children I suggest that you don't need to worry about formations at all.

Instead of struggling to find a formation that suits your players, why not work on getting them to really understand the principles of pressure/cover/balance then give them the freedom to make their own decisions regarding where to position themselves on the pitch?

Playing without a formation - even in small-sided football - sounds risky. But if you can create a team of players who know what their individual and collective responsibilities are, you really don't need to put your players into fixed positions.

Try it and let me know how it goes!

The game

Play a 4v4 scrimmage on a small pitch.

Stop play and congratulate your players when you see them moving to pressure the ball or support a team mate. me know how it goes!