Tactics

Total soccer for children

When should coaches start assigning specific positions to young players? By Mike Woitalla (from Soccer America Magazine, January 2008 issue) We see it so often one wonders whether American youth coaches are getting their soccer advice from Garry Kasparov. “Kids come up to the halfway line,” says Sam Snow, U.S. Youth Soccer’s Director of Coaching […]

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The numbers game – building up from small sided games

How 1v1 leads to 4-3-3 and it’s role in player development a youth soccer coaching article by Larry Paul of the Burke Athletic Club Changing the number of players in a team can change the way the team plays. It can mean new responsibilities or opportunities for everyone. The structure, or form, that the game […]

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Put the pressure on!

When you consider that lack of pressure on the player with the ball is one of the primary reasons that goals are scored, and that goals are plentiful in small sided games, taking a few minutes to understand pressurising is time well spent. Goal-Side To be effective the pressurising player should be on the goal-side […]

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Teaching positions to young soccer players (U-9, U-10, U-11)

By: Chico Borja, NSCAA National Staff Coach When is the right time to teach younger teams field positions? You might say, aren’t we neutralizing a younger player when we ask them to stay in one position? I then could say, even at such a young age, aren’t we neglecting the creativity of a player and […]

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The “swarm”? A legitimate team shape?

How many times have you heard a coach or parent call out “John, remember your position!” or “John, you’re supposed to be playing fullback!” during a game? How many times have you done it yourself? I’ll plead guilty right away. Sometimes it seems like coaches (and some parents) are obsessed with getting the kids to […]

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Four main moments in soccer games

Current thinking in soccer divides games into four main moments; own team in possession, losing possession, opponents in possession and regaining possession. This should not be confused with attack, defence and transition. It is larger than that. Thinking in the latter leads to isolated responsibilities and positions. Players become attackers or defenders in mind and […]

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How to stop bunching around the ball

I coached U-8 boys to an undefeated season and difference was that we didn’t bunch. Not bunching allowed us to pass. Passing allowed us to control possession. Possession yielded shot opportunities. Shots lead to goals: 39 goals for, 7 goals against. Here’s the drill: Scrimmage using a Dutch 4X4 training method field – 40X30 yds. […]

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How to play the through ball

What is a through ball? The through ball is a pass (usually a long pass) into a space behind the opposition. Three conditions must be satisfied at virtually the same time: The opposition back line needs to be high up the pitch. There has to be at least 15 yards or more of clear space […]

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