Solving soccer problems with free form games

When a practice has to ” reload ” to a specific starting point it can slow down the activity. This can be good if that time is used to digest what is being learned. But, it can effect the players enjoyment and concentration as the game may not build to a truly competitive level. The constant start and stop might become boring. There are also moments that cannot be effectively coached from a static start. The nature of the soccer problem is dynamic and unpredictable. Some of these moments and their solutions are presented below.

Soccer Problem: The team as a whole fails to build up properly after they win possession. Too many players attempt to “win the game” with the first pass or try to beat the opponents with a dribble when they gain possession. The moment, winning possession, is the event that triggers the soccer problem. One method to deal with this would be to construct a game with a rule that would encourage composed play. Before a team can score a goal they must make three passes without the opponents touching the ball. Now, when they win the ball their first thought must be to get the passes in. The value is on composed build up.

Soccer Problem: Several players are content with kicking the ball out of play. They are unwilling or incapable of attempting to build up play. Try a rule that each time a team gives away a corner or a throw-in the other team gets an “out.” When a team gets three “outs” they get a goal. This puts a high value on keeping the ball in play and a consequence on choosing the easy alternative.

Soccer Problem: The midfielders don’t get back for their basic defensive responsibilities. The sweeper is left alone to handle a numbers down situation on too many occasions. To tell a player to always stay back shackles the players with a “coaches” solution. It is a players problem and requires a players solution.

soccer problem

In this game there are three zones. If a team scores and there is only one defender in his back zone, closest to his own goal, the scoring team gets three points for the goal. If there are two defenders in the back zone the goal gets one point. In this example the blue number 7 has a 1v1 against the orange number 3. The orange numbers 6 & 8 must communicate to solve this problem. The solution is up to the players.

Soccer Problem: Several players take too long to reach a decision when on the ball. They either kill the game through slow, indecisive play or hold the ball too long and go off on exploratory runs. Build a game with 2 touch ball can’t stop as a rule. Here, the players can use one or two touches but they cannot let the ball come to a rest. They have as much time to make a decision and play as a rolling ball will allow.