Coaches, we still think about coaching our soccer / football teams, don’t we? This is the time of year we should be studying, refining our approach, developing new strategies, and planning for the first time we get our new team on the field and ready to practice.
Much of our success on the field comes from our study, training, planning off the field, doesn’t it? A prepared coach makes for a prepared team, which can put the odds in your favor to win more games, and have more fun!
The team over at Youth Soccer Coach have added a bunch of new documents to the website so you can work on your coaching over the long hard winter. Recently, we’ve added a labeled soccer / football field diagram, with labels for every line, arc, mark or circle on the field. It’s a great teaching tool.
We’ve also added a 4V4 soccer field formation diagram, a 2-1-3 soccer formation diagram for the 7V7 format, and a 3-2-2 soccer position diagram for those that play 8V8.
Lastly, we’ve added a game analysis worksheet (one of my favorites!). It’s an awesome worksheet that allows you or your coaches to document your team’s strengths and weaknesses against an opponent, and also your opponents strengths and weaknesses. It includes space for noting the opponent’s best players, the formation(s) the opponents use, the opposing coaches strategies/tendencies, and much more. You have to check it out!
That’s it for today. Just remember, if you are in a cold climate and are maybe seeing snow on the ground, it doesn’t mean you can still “work on your game”!
To your soccer success,
Coaches, months of hard work, long development hours, and constant refinement have paid off. What better time to open the doors than World Cup time?
I’d like to announce the grand opening of the Youth Soccer Coach site! This new site has been a labor of love for this beautiful game and aspiring soccer coaches around the world. This new site is a membership site where coaches can join to download coaching information that is much more detailed than what you might have seen in the past, and all applicable files can be edited to make them your own!
Yes, it’s true. No other website I’ve seen is offering information like this! You can edit the files and put your club or team logo on them, change the terminology to match your own, and modify them any way you see fit.
Many of the soccer formation diagrams we are famous for now have multiple versions of each diagram included, and up to 4, 5, and 6 or more pages of description, strategy recommendations, variation discussion, and more.
If you’ve seen what is available at the Coach Mark Soccer Club website, you’re going to be blown away by what you see at the new site!
We’ve got soccer player evaluation forms with 160 categories of skills and personality traits to assess. We’ve got over 130 of the best training, conditioning, skill development and technique videos to be seen anywhere on the Internet. Soccer information for coaches, players, parents and team managers are all available. I promise you’ve never seen anything like this before.
Please visit the Youth Soccer Coach site now and receive introductory pricing that won’t last for long. Join the site before the Fall price increase!
(Dedicated) To your soccer success,
Coaches, I wanted to let you know that I just loaded a brand new 2010 soccer team calendar to the free Coach Mark Soccer Club website.
Team’s love it because each month has a new soccer photo backdrop. It’s got room to list your team practices, team games, team events, soccer tryouts, and any other dates your soccer team needs to keep track of.
Here’s a glimpse of the May soccer team calendar.
Don’t forget that the site also has free information like soccer position diagrams and tons of other useful soccer coaching documents.
Coaches, I just loaded a new question and answer document to the free Coach Mark Soccer Club website.
It’s a great resource to get quick answers to your questions.
Remember, the site also has great documents like soccer formation diagrams.
You may be aware that I offer another website called Coach Mark Soccer Club that offers tons of free documents, templates, diagrams, forms, books, etc. for coaches to improve their coaching and help develop their players. The site addresses the needs of coaches that are coaching players from U6 all the way up to U16 and is free to join.
What I need to know to help you be a better coach is – what additional resources do you need that aren’t already on that website? Please share with me what else I can provide. Please go over to the site and login (or join the site) and help me to help you to help your players and also help your assistant coaches, and help your player’s parents too. Thanks!
Coaches around the world have many thoughts on which position is the most important and valuable to a soccer team. Even the coaches in the Coach Mark Soccer Club can’t agree. So, let’s figure it out once and for all.
Some would argue that the goalkeeper is the last line of defense, so that position is the most important. Others would say you win by scoring more goals, so your Forward or Striker is the most valuable. Yet, other coaches say the Midfielders or Wings are the players that create the scoring opportunities, and act as stoppers to keep the ball in the offensive end. So, the discussion rages on and there is no end in sight.
Here is your chance to voice your opinion. Please choose one position from the list below and tell the world which position is the most important for you!
You will be able to vote one time, for only one position. Once you vote, you will be able to see the voting results.
You may be interested in finding out more about the 2009 Homeless World Cup to support homeless soccer players. Please visit the SoccerPro site to learn more. It’s a great cause!
So, how does a youth soccer coach keep the players happy, engaged, and interested in “practicing” soccer? I think it is through the use of “games”, not “drills”. I never call them drills until the kids are at the U13 age or older. Younger players want to “play games”, not “run drills”.
If there is a competitive element to these games, that’s all the better. Many young players are already developing a competitive edge. So, use that and keep them engaged in the practice.
One of the oldest, but still tried and true practice “games” is Sharks and Minnows. It goes by many other names, but the concept remains sound. My absolute favorite practice game for the younger ages (and some later ages) is “Sharks and Minnows” – watch this video -
That video does a great job of explaining it. This game is called by many other names, but the concept is the same. Keep the rules simpler than those described in the video for 9 year olds and younger. Start with one or two sharks. As he/she kicks the other player’s balls out of the circle or square (you can build one with cones or use the center circle like the video), each of those players then become sharks until only one or two minnows are left. That’s it, keep it simple.
This “game” teaches them 1) ball handling skills, 2) defensive positioning, 3) shielding the ball, 4) short burst movements and 5) lower body control. It’s a perfect “fun” game in a lot of ways, that teaches excellent ball handling and other useful skills without the players even knowing that they are learning something. It all appears just “fun” to them. And they learn some great techniques at the same time!
To your soccer success,
Across the world, the 4-4-2 soccer formation is the most widely used 11V11 formation there is. It is known as a defensive formation, but with only slight changes, it can be a deadly offensive formation too. Some coaches play the 4-4-2 soccer formation with a diamond formation for the midfielders. Some coaches like to rush one center midfielder into the attack with the forwards. Many coaches choose to keep the other center midfielder back is a “holding” responsibility. No matter what way you like to play the 4-4-2 soccer formation, it can be a great strategy for your soccer team.
Coach Mark Soccer Club has all you need to know about playing this universal formation. I’ve got a free soccer responsibility diagram with a diamond, one more without, one more with an attacking center midfielder, and one more variation also. I also provide more coaching notes than any other formation I’ve provided to date.
Check out Coach Mark Soccer Club and download the 4-4-2 formation and all the wonderful information and coaching notes for free!
To your soccer success,
Hosting a youth soccer training session can be a lot of fun. When hosting a soccer training session with children, you can expect to see them, their family members, and even a few of their friends comes to watch the training. This makes for a very exciting time for everyone. Coaches get the opportunity to personally develop each player individually, while others watch in amazement at the pure skill and agility of the child that they are supporting. However, it is essential to bring along some basic equipment that is required for youth soccer training.
The first thing that you should bring to your youth soccer training session is a soccer ball for each player. While you should allow it to be permissible for a child to bring their own soccer ball, it is important to understand that many children may not have their own soccer ball. There are many children who may simply forget their soccer ball. This is why it is essential to have a steady supply of balls available. Be sure to make a rule that if a child brings along their own soccer ball they should write their first and last name in permanent marker on it. This will ensure proper identification after the youth soccer training session is over.
The next thing that you should be sure to bring to a youth soccer training session is a large container of prepared ice water. You can purchase a cooler that has a spout to make it easy to get the fluid from the container. Be sure to purchase a large amount of cups that the children can use. Normally, these cups will become misplaced and a child may use a new cup each time that they get something to drink. You may wish to explain to parents that a child should bring a bottle of ice water with them to soccer training. Be sure to stress the importance of placing their names on the bottles. Many children may even like to bring sports bottles.
The third thing that you should bring to a youth soccer training session is enough shin guards for all of the players. It is important to have these items available to avoid the risk of injury in your players. Many children may forget their shin guards, or may not be able to purchase a pair for themselves. However, as a coach, it is essential that you take these things into consideration to ensure that all players are able to enjoy a safe practice session.
When coaching a youth soccer training session, it is very important to be certain that you bring a whistle. In many cases, this will be the only method that you can use to gain the attention of the children. This is especially true if the training area is relatively large. You do not have to invest a lot of money into the whistle for it to be effective, but it is necessary that it has a high enough quality to be heard. You may choose to bring a few extra whistles to ensure that you have a backup in case the first one becomes lost or damaged in any way.
The next item that you will need at a youth soccer training session is a way to separate the group into teams. This may be as simple as different colored vests, t-shirts of different colors, or even flagging devices. There are many drills and other activities that may require you to have at least two teams, so, having a method of identifying your teams are very important.
If you coach girls, hair scrunchies, and elastic head bands can help them see the ball, the field and their teammates.
And don’t forget a first aid kit. Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, athletic tape, instant ice packs and many other parts of a good kit will come in handy.
Lastly, a large set of cones can come in very handy. They can be used to form the outline of a field, create goals to shoot at, force the players to get in lines, mark a dribbling course, and so much more!
Don’t forget to check out Coach Mark Soccer Club for more great, free information about how to run a well organized practice!
To your soccer success,
I’ve been out of town for soccer tournaments for a while, but now I’m back. And just in time to provide more free soccer coaching help for you.
I wanted to let you know that I will be loading two free ebooks at my Coach Mark Soccer Club website that you can have for free when you sign up for free access to all the best youth soccer drills, soccer coaching strategies, and other free documents for downloading that help you win more games! The ebooks are sold elsewhere for $17 each and thay are yours free when you sign up for access to the club. The best soccer coaching tips, graphical soccer field diagrams, and soccer position strategies are my gift to you!
To your soccer success,
I’m celebrating! And with good reason. My daughter scored four goals in her last game! So, I just have to celebrate the only way I know how. By giving my fellow youth soccer coaches some more free documents to coach better, have more fun, and win more games.
I have to be fair to you and let you know that I gave my club coaches two new files to download for free. One is a three midfielder soccer formation diagrams, with the complete explanation you need to provide to your team. The second document is a graphical team calendar your team manager and your palyer’s paretns will love you for!
By the way, did I tell you my daughter scored four goals?
To your soccer success,
The most important things to remember for youth players in this soccer formation are;
1) To stay in the designated lanes or area of the field. It can get too easy for youth players to “bunch up” or slide toward the middle of the field.
2) The six players that will be on the offensive end of the field can get too focused on the middle of the field. They need to remember to stay wider than their tendency might otherwise be.
3) This formation relies on the abilities of your center midfielders and forward midfielders to possess the ball, and pass it effectively to the forward midfielders and the striker.
Coaches, how many of you are really utilizing a soccer field diagram in your practices, your games and anywhere else you interact with your youth soccer players? If you’re not using them every day, Coach Mark thinks you’re missing out on a very valuable communication method. Youth are visual learners; a simple diagram can make all the difference.
Check out my Squidoo lens for much more valuable information on soccer field diagrams.
Then remember to go to Coach Mark Soccer Club to download free soccer diagrams for your use.
To your soccer success,
By Nigel Reed
I am approaching the final year of coaching a team from the under 8’s through to Under 16’s, and during that time I have discovered the growth that players go through. both physically and also their mental approach and understanding of the game. It has been a great journey of discovery, and through substantial learning, both self help and formal education, I am now a firm believer in the “Principles of the Game” and how youth soccer formations fit in with the principles of the game. I will try to explain.
Lets say you have an 11 a side team and you decide on a 4-4-2 formation. So, our line up is:
Four defenders (two central and two wide),
Four midfielders (again two central and two wide) and
Two strikers (mainly central).
By Matt Hick
Coaches have used soccer drills for years to teach a variety of moves and strategies to players. While many players argue that repetitive drills are boring, the benefits of practicing the same skill over and over again can make the difference between a team full of qualified players who are ready to go up against even the toughest team, and a team with little or no teamwork capabilities or soccer skill.
The goal of the coach is to find drill that not only teaches specific playing skills, but which are fun for players. Here are a few basic skills drills to get your team started:
Taking Control of the ball is vitally important in the game of soccer. One way to help players learn to gain control is by separating them into two teams in two single file lines facing each other. Serve the ball into the air while each player fights for control of it.
By C Turner
Coaching soccer is not just about drills and fun games – a soccer coach needs to instill his team with a good education about tactics too. While he may decide the tactics, the players need to understand them in order to carry them out. Discover more in this article.
These days, tactics play a very important role in the beautiful game. Don’t be confused by them though. In my opinion, your team needs to have the will to win and the ability to play soccer with confidence and no fear of failure. These are the most important things. Tactics though are still very important.
One of the best way for players to learn tactics is to study video. You might think that they already know a lot of basic tactics because they watch a lot of TV but most people just follow the image of the ball and do not easily take in the bigger picture. So one possible use of video is to get some historic footage where the game turned due to a tactical change. For instance, one of the numerous examples of when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came on as a super sub for Manchester United and changed the game.