Team shape and movement

We will try to maintain a good attacking and defensive shape throughout the game. This is absolutely essential before we begin to work on positions. These principles apply to ALL PLAYERS, in ALL PARTS OF THE FIELD!! Generally, we want to spread out on the attack, and compact-in on defence.

We want to take more risks in the attacking third of the field, and play very conservatively in our defending third. Fill the diamond on attack, and recover and cover for your team-mates on defence. We will work on this a lot this week.

What to tell your children:

Attacking Shape


2) Create or fill left and right (square) passing options IMMEDIATELY!!

  1. a) Adjust constantly to be open and visible
  2. b) Have adequate space – about 10 yards from ball carrier
  3. c) Only one player in each support position. If one moves, FILL IT!

3) Make sure a back pass option is available can be to the keeper-(to the side of the goal please!)

  1. b) TALK to the ball carrier – especially if they have their head down or if there is a defender closing from behind!!

4) If you are covered, MOVE. This draws away a defender and causes confusion for the opponent.

5) After passing, MOVE TO SPACE!

6) Look to fill the through-pass slot (go deep)

  1. a) Adjust constantly to be open and visible
  2. b) Try to draw defenders from the ball carrier if you are closely marked.

7) Movement is good, especially cross-field movement.


Defensive Shape

1) 1st Defender: Pressure the ball IMMEDIATELY!

  1. a) Do not dive in, just slow the attack down and make it predictable. PATIENCE!!
  2. i) Eyes on the ball
  3. ii) Weight even between legs, and forward on toes, knees bent

iii) Feet shoulder width apart, one foot forward

  1. b) Do not mark too close until you have help- you may be beaten by a wall pass.
  2. c) Mark close enough that the attacker has to keep her head down looking at the ball.
  3. d) Herd the attacker towards the touch line (side line).
  4. e) Tackle only if you are sure to win the ball, and have a teammate covering behind you.
  5. i) Risk tackles more in the offensive third of the field (closer to the opponents goal)
  6. ii) Tackle if the attacker is alone and outnumbered.

iii) Tackle if you can touch the ball before the attacker can.

  1. iv) Do not tackle if you are the last defender!

2) 2nd Defender: Cover the space behind the 1st defender. LET THE 1st DEFENDER KNOW YOU ARE THERE!

  1. a) Be a little bit toward the goal side usually.

3) 3rd Defender: Cut off passing options, especially square (cross-field) passes.

  1. a) You can either mark the receivers, or the space between them and the ball.

4) RECOVER – It is never to late to run back and help your teammates.

5) STAY COMPACT – Do not be drawn out of shape.

6) Make sure that the far post area is covered as the ball nears your goal.

  1. a) Do not be caught ball watching. Track players moving forward.
  2. b) Do not release your mark to go after a back pass unless you are CERTAIN that a teammate is there to cover, AND does not have a mark of his own to cover! Usually this means the covering player TELLS YOU TO GO.

So tell your children to communicate!