Soccer Skills:

Soccer Tactics Articles

How to Play Soccer

This area encompasses the all the strategies behind playing: soccer positions, formations, set plays and restarts and spacing. Many times, coaches spend far too much time on this area – at the youth level – instead of the more fundamental technical skills. It is curious and looking inside our sports culture provides some insight.

If you compare soccer to baseball, football or basketball, the natural stoppages of the match place the coach in a central position to interject and direct on an almost constant basis. The coach is almost a participant in those games. And, so it is only natural for coaches to try to impact the game through constant direction – it’s what we’ve seen and learned.

This opportunity for coaches to intercede and “call the right play to win the game” is not possible in soccer. The game never stops. Nonetheless, that inherent “Coach Centered” mentality pervades our coaching ranks in soccer and causes coaches to try and focus on the areas where they can make an impact and “help the team.” This occurs at the detriment of focusing on the technical skills that will help the players truly succeed on the pitch.

Your time to direct comes during practice. During games, it is time for the players to perform. Hopefully, you’ve met the challenge as a coach to inspire creatively thinking soccer players. Since the game is fluid, each player has to be their own “coach” on the field moving from situation to situation.

From a building perspective, if you don’t understand your player’s capabilities and your players haven’t developed the ball control skills, it would certainly be futile to try and explain formations and lineups to them. This would be like asking a child to write in cursive without first teaching the letters of the alphabet. First things, first.

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Recent Soccer Tactics Articles

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Soccer Formations: The options – 4-4-2

From the 19th Century, when Defense was virtually unheard of, to the superpowers of the modern game, formations and the shape of your team can and does determine the outcome of a Game, any Game, including yours. This article builds on the soccer formations overview article. Of course, when choosing the formation and shape of […]

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Soccer Formations – An overview

“Football is a simple game made complicated by people who should know better.” – Bill Shankly Formations, part of soccer tactics, are a description of how the players on the pitch are positioned. These formations are altered as and when teams are more defensive or offensive and are used at every level of the game […]

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Teaching Positions to U6 Players is a Big Fat Waste of Time

Sometimes well-intended coaches take tons of practice time lining up their players on the field like pieces in a World Chess Championship. What’s the end result? A big fat waste of time! Understanding the capabilities of the U6 player, we know that players at this age group have: No sense of direction No sense of […]

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Soccer Coaching Made Dead Simple: The CoachingSphere

We developed the CoachingSphere as a framework to help you visualize your role as coach and to cultivate the best development of players and teams. The five areas are: team management, player psychology, technical skills & drills, soccer tactics and fitness & nutrition. Utilizing this framework enables us to easily break down each of the […]

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