What is the most important / valuable position on a soccer team?

Filed under: Polls, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: Coach Mark

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.

What is the most important position on your team?

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2009 Homeless World Cup

Filed under: Youth Soccer Coaching by: Coach Mark


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!


Youth soccer practice drills – keep the kids happy and engaged!

Filed under: Drills, Practice plans, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coaching by: Coach Mark

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 –

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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,

Coach Mark