What is the Best Formation for My Youth Team

A Youth Soccer Team - (Photo: Flickr.com)

Choosing the right formation for your team is vital to team chemistry and success, especially as your team begins to age and understand the tactical aspects of the game.  At different levels of soccer, there are also a variety of options based on whether teams field 7, 9, or 11 players on the pitch.  The most important thing to remember about choosing your team’s formation is to consider the players you have on the squad.

For example, say you have two kids who are rather tall for their age, and are both great defenders.  Fielding a 2-3-2 formation could be the best option for the team.  Or alternatively, say there’s one play who is excellent at defending far beyond some others.  You may want to choose a 3-3-1, so he or she can be in the heart of the defense and have two other players for cover.

Basically, you should assess the qualities of the team and make the determination based on that.  Do not envision a brilliant 3-3-1 formation in the summer, and then wonder why your fall team never scores a lot of goals because the one striker isn’t good enough to do it all by their lonesome.  You have to build from what you’ve got and that can change over time as you assess everyone’s qualities.

Its a factor that is quite important during the International matches and at the World Cup.  National teams are fixed due to players’ nationalities, therefore the manager has to bend his plan to fit what make the team click best.  For club managers the task is easier, because they buy and sell players according to their master plan.  Countries cannot buy and sell players, and although some do switch nationalites, the task becomes much more difficult.  Think of your youth team like this.  Here’s your players, organize them.

As the youth level, you may even want to consider altering formations depending on how the game is progressing.  Clearly if the team is getting thrashed, you may want to move some players back for the second half and tell the team to try and play like it is 0-0.  If your team is really grasping the tactical knowledge, consider sending in substitutes with instructions for changing the team shape to make a mid-game change and catch the opposition flat footed.

But no matter what the age group, the formation is a vital matter to consider for a team’s overall success.  Play to your team’s strengths but also mix it up a bit early in the year to try and get the right groove.  Obviously the most crucial element in youth soccer is simply the talent level of your squad, but coaches must best utilize such talents to work as a solid unit on the pitch.  Put on your Arsene Wenger cap for the day and have some fun!

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Nicholas Spiller

Nicholas Spiller resides in LA where he dreams of musical super-stardom on his bass guitar. He also writes for Sportspiller.com and is an avid Arsenal fan!

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