Youth soccer coaches need to explain to their players exactly what they are expected to do when their team is either attacking or defending.
The article below tells you what players in a 7 a side formation need to know.
When you have possession (when you are attacking)
The game plan during own possession is to move the ball downfield so that chances can be created (the build-up) and to score goals.
- Create as much space as possible, both width and depth;
- Aim to get forward; keep possession, this is vital to the objectives of the game. So if you can’t pass the ball forwards easily, play square or back – don’t force a pass that isn’t really on. If you do, you’ll lose possession. It’s better to pass square or back and start again;
- Try to maintain good team shape (formation).
1. Keeper. Positions himself in relation to the defender. Restarts play (roll, throw kick). Act as central build-up player (an extra field player).
2. Full-backs. Position well apart, make the playing area as wide as possible. Play the ball to the attackers. If there is room move forward with the ball. Participate in the attack.
3. Central Defender. Position between attackers and full backs. Play the ball to the attackers or defenders who are participating in the attack. If there is space go forward with the ball. Take part in the attack. Try to score if the opportunity arises.
4. Wing (Outside) forwards. Position in relation to defenders to make the playing area as long as possible. Take the ball towards the opposition goal as quickly as possible, individual run, or pass to a teammate who has a clear run on goal. Take up position in front of goal to be available to receive a pass and score. Try to score.
5. Centre Forward. Position as far forward as possible (make playing area long), while still being in a position to receive a pass. Try to score, individual run or exchanging passes with a teammate. Go to goal.
When the opposition has possession (when you are defending)
The game plan is to disrupt the opposition build-up – win the ball back – stop the opposition from scoring.
How? Teach the principles of defending. Make the field of play as small as possible, depending on the strength of the opposition; move towards the ball (pressing), move towards own goal (fall back), Push towards the sideling (squeezing). Pressure the ball carrier. Mark closely when in the vicinity of the ball. Positional/zonal marking further from the ball. Stay useful as long as possible.
Note. The game plan will not be achieved if you foul, so avoid giving away free kicks.
1. Keeper. Prevent opposition scoring. Position in relation to the ball, opposition players and teammates.
2. 2 and 4 Full backs. Prime task – DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE BEATEN; prevent opposition from scoring. Cover the opposing attackers. Help teammates, cover their backs. Win the ball.
3. Central defender. Prime task – DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE BEATEN; prevent opposition from scoring. Cover the opposition centre forward. Help teammates, cover their backs. Make the playing area as small as possible. Win the ball.
4. Outside forwards. Disrupt opposition build-up. Win the ball. Help teammates, cover their backs. Make the playing area as small as possible. Don’t let the player with ball pass you.
5. Centre forward. Cover the opposing central defender (he is expected to come forward). Win the ball. Help teammates, cover their backs. Make the playing area as small as possible. Don’t let the player with ball pass you.