4 x 4 Practice sessions ...........................................................2 Modern Football formations.....................................................4 Tactics and Team work............................................................

5 Passing and Support Play.......................................................12

4 x 4 Practice sessions
Size of Field
Depends on the age of players. Can vary from 30 yd. x 20 yd. up to 40 yd. x 25 yd.. The goals are 8 feet wide. The Team In Possession of the Ball
• • • Can employ build up by using the entire playing area in terms of length and width (spread out, possession). Can learn and determine team shape, which, in a group of 4 resembles a diamond. Can create goal scoring opportunities by taking action either individually or collectively.

When the Other Team Has the Ball
• • The aim is to prevent goals from being scored by getting behind the ball and to regain possession of the ball. Simple principles of defending are reinforced and amplified since there is no spare defender or goalkeeper.

4 v 4 Line Soccer
Using slightly different sizes of goals, differing methods to score, and slightly altered size and shape of field can guide players to solve problems by emphasizing certain aspects of play. Each team has a line to defend and attack. Score a goal by dribbling the ball over any portion of the line that your team is attacking. The size of the field is the same as a standard 4 v. 4 game, but it is turned sideways. The wider, shorter field allows for maintaining good shape (diamond), but also creates many good 1 v. 1 situations which challenges the player's dribbling skills. Players need to evaluate and identify when to dribble and pass. This variation highlights: The correct attitude (when to take a risk aggressively) and the technical development and execution of dribbling.

4 v 4 Dribbling Game
The Game
Same field as the "Line Soccer" game, a wide, short field. Teams can score in one of 2 ways. Passing into an open goal or by stopping the ball on the endline between the two goals they are attacking.

What The Game Incorporates
• • • Vision Changes in the direction and speed of play due to the shape of the field and presence of multiple goals. Decision making skills because the player has a variety of options at his disposal (dribbling, passing, "shooting", changing directions)

4 v 4 Passing Game
The Game
Since the playing area is longer than it is wide, the emphasis is on creating length (height) in the game. In this game, there is a premium placed on playing the ball forward early. The ball can be played early: To a target player who is coming back for the ball with a defender behind them To a player running forward away from the server.

Scoring :
Stopping the ball anywhere on the line. Passing the ball through an open goal.

This Game Emphasizes :
• • • • • Vision Changes in direction and speed of play. Appropriate use of firm touch. Long and short passing. Transitions

The Game :
While one team attacks the large goal, the opposition attacks either of the two smaller goals. When the team scores in one of the two smaller goals, they must change directions and take a turn at attacking the larger goal.

This Game Emphasizes :
• • • • Attitude and confidence that is essential for scoring goals. (Large net) Passing, shooting and dribbling skills required in the other 4 v. 4 games. Transition awareness since the team can attack quickly in the other direction. Team shape and the roles of each player because when there is a transition, the back becomes the front and vice versa.

4 v 4 Shooting Game
The priority of this game is shooting and scoring. Since the field is wide and short, players should be looking to shoot almost whenever they get the ball. Game played like a regular 4 v 4 match

Modern Football formations

Tactics and Team work
3rd Man running

When a midfielder makes a run to the blind side of the opposing defence he become the 3rd attacker. He makes a run to the far post as the two attackers make runs to the near post taking their markers with them. If the cross is played perfectly disecting the penalty spot and the six yard box the result should surely be a goal.

Turning the defence

A pass behind the opposition defense is the most dangerous ball your team can play as long as the weight of the pass is perfect. If it is hit too hard it will probably go out or the goalkeeper will have a chance to get to it. This pass causes more problems to defenders than any other pass. They have to turn to get back, the attacker does not. And even if they reach the ball before the attacker they are facing the wrong way and will be under pressure to clear. Playing the ball behind the defence gives your attackers and wingers their best chance to score.

The Wall Pass

Using the wall pass to score a goal is one of the finest moves in football. Usually a midfielder runs at the opposing defense and plays a diagonal pass to his striker, who plays it first time into a space in front of the midfield runner giving him a chance to score. The pass back by the striker must be accurate and perfectly weighted for the midfield player to run onto to score.

Crossing from the goal line

Crossing from the goalline - 1
In the diagram above the attacker has got behind the defense and plays a ball to the top of the 6 yard box. This type of cross would be very difficult for the goalkeeper and the retreating defense to get to, while it is ideally placed for an advancing player to score from.

Crossing from the goalline - 2
In this diagram the attacker has got behind the defense and cuts the ball back towards the top of the 'D' for an oncoming teammate. He would play this pass if the opposing 6 yard box was crowded or a midfield player was availabe and had a better chance to score.

Crossing from the goalline - 3
In the diagram above the attacker has got behind the defense to play a flighted cross into the the 6 yard box giving a chance to oncoming forwards to head to score. The ball could be played to either the near post or over the keeper to the far post depending on the position of the goalkeeper and the oncoming attackers.

Attacking

1. The Attacker's job is to score goals and help other players score goals.

2. When the other team has a goal kick our attacker must stand on the edge of the penalty area in front of the ball and make their goalkeeper kick the ball wide. 3. Attackers should usually do one of two things when they get the ball. a. shoot or header at goal. (If are in the shooting area) b. pass to a team mate. Both of these things should be done as quickly as possible. (See 7 below) 4. When we are defending, attackers can come back to just over the halfway line. Ready to receive the ball and attack again. 5. When we are attacking, at least one attacker must be in position in front of goal waiting for a pass. (You can't score unless you're in front of goal!!!)

6. When our midfield player has the ball the attacker should take up a position, diagonally in front of him. The attacker should be at least half facing toward the other teams goal. 7. Attackers should not dribble except in the last third of the pitch in a one-on-one situation. (Most children have not been taught how to dribble correctly and slow the team up or lose the ball. A good rule is not to dribble at all unless you have learnt a recognised technique. (The ‘Matthew’s dribble’, the ‘Double Touch’ the ‘Scissors’ etc.) REMEMBER IF YOU CAN : SHOOT!!!! 8. Attackers should always be trying to get between their marker and the goal. (However - remember offside) 9. All attackers should know the offside laws and make sure they are always on-side. 10.Attackers should never try to turn with the ball. (9 out of 10 times they will lose it). If they are facing away from the other teams goal, they should lay the ball off. - This means play it back or sideways to one of our team. 11.When the ball is being played in from the wing, the attacker should be waiting, behind the line of the ball. Players crossing the ball will be expected to pull it back whenever possible. (We will practice this).

12.Attackers need to know what is meant by the defenders "blind side", and learn how to take advantage of this. 13.In the other teams penalty area the attacker should be looking to shoot as soon as possible (Either first time or after one touch.) If he cannot do this he should pass. 14.Attackers should decide what they are going to do before the ball gets to them. 15.It is easier to mark two players standing near each other. Strikers should keep fifteen yards between them most of the time. (Remember one at least must always be in a position to put the ball in the net).

Defending

1. The defender's task is to defend the goal. This means to keep the ball and attackers as far away from it as possible. (Know the offside rules). 2. The defender has to 'mark' opposing players, This means stand near to the attacker and between him/her and our goal. Defenders also have and 'cover' for other defenders, and to 'cover' space. 3. Much of the defender's work can be done before the opponent receives the ball. In order of priority: a. The defender should first consider intercepting the pass, then: b. Get behind the opponent before there's time for him or her to turn with the ball, and if the opponent has turned, c. try to delay the forward progress of the ball.

Basics of defending [IMPORTANT]:
Most defenders get beaten by the attacker by jumping into the tackle too early. Important skills a defender must learn are how to ' track’ and ‘jockey' an attacker. This means running with him and directing him, when he has the ball, into ‘dead areas’. (Areas such as near the corners where he cannot score from, and where it is difficult for him to pass). 1. Defenders should work as a unit therefore they must talk to each other, tell each other of dangers and help each other. (See 9) 2. Dribbling and turning is dangerous for defenders. They should not do it at all! (See 9) 3. The defender should pass the ball as soon as practicable, preferably to the midfield or attack, but always the way they are looking. For now, this means that defenders should never attempt to turn with the ball. (The ball is lost 95% of the time a player turns) 4. When we are on the attack the defenders must 'push up' to the halfway line. 5. Each defender must know his/her area of operation and stick to it. 6. The best defensive strategy is to win the ball as near to the opponents goal as possible. This can happen if the team retains a compact shape. A compact formation makes three important things possible for a defending team. a. It means the player with the ball can be challenged quickly. This prevents him, or at least delays him, from playing the ball forward. b. The challenging player immediately has defensive support. c. Players are available to track opponents making forward runs. The chances of conceding a goal will be reduced further if players defending in and around their own penalty area can achieve the following four objectives.
• • • • Being first to the ball. Clearing with height, distance and width Defending the area of the far post. (Where most goals are scored!) Not getting caught in possession in the defending third of the field (See 5&6 above)

The midfield

Rules for Midfield Players
The midfield players job is to help the defenders defend, and attackers attack. Midfield players generally operate between the two penalty areas.(Some midfielders are attacking midfielders, some are defensive. The best are both). 1. Midfielder players have to mark and tackle, track, and jockey when the opposing team has the ball. This requires that when the opposing team has the ball they all need to be between the ball and our goal. 2. When our team has the ball they have to make themselves available to receive a pass. This means standing a few yards diagonally in front of our player who has the ball. 3. When a midfield player gets the ball he should pass it (when ever possible) forward into space or diagonally to a team mate as soon as possible. (First or second touch). 4. The midfield players should 'cover' for one another so that not all of them are forward at the same time.

5. The midfield players should 'cover' for one another so that not all of them are forward at the same time. 6. Midfield players should never dribble, except in a 'one on one situation', in the last third of the field.

7. When the midfield player passes the ball to an attacking players and they should 'support' them. This means taking up a position along side and slightly to the front, not behind them. 8. The midfield player should be good at passing, crossing tackling, covering, shooting and running with and without the ball. 9. Midfield players must work as a unit, and switch positions to ensure the team keeps its shape This also means that they have to talk to each other and help each other. 10.Unless he is switching with another player each midfield player should keep to his area of the field. 11.Each midfield play has a specific job to do, and main areas of responsibility. Though all midfielders have to help defend and attack, each position is specialised. Some are expected to do more defending and others to do more attacking. BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR ROLE IS, AND WHAT YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS ARE. 12.At corners where we are defending midfield players should mark someone or stand outside the area waiting for the ball to be played to them. At corners when we are attacking, our midfield place should know what space he is supposed to attack. 13.Both right and left side midfield players must commit to third and/or fourth man running.

Passing and Support Play
General Rules on Passing
Passing is the very essence of soccer. If you can’t pass you can’t play! “There is no substitute for good technique in passing and there is no strategy which caters for inaccurate passing.” The five basic skills involved in passing are:-

1. Disguise
Players who can disguise their intentions and make the play unpredictable are very difficult to play against. Pretending to play the ball then holding it; pretending to stop the ball and letting it run; pretending to pass in one direction then passing in another.

2. Pass Selection
In general:• • • Passes along the ground are easier for the recipient to get under control quickly. Diagonal passes give your attackers a better chance to turn. Long floated passes are easier for the other team to deal with.

Big kicks up the centre of the field should be avoided. (This includes kicks by the Goalkeeper! - At goal kicks he should aim to kick long and diagonally.) Passing should be done one touch even when you are not being challenged for the ball. Keeping the ball moving around the field stops the other team from settling and causes them to run further.

The types of pass listed below are in order of priority.
• A pass into space behind the defender. This causes more problems to defenders than any other pass. They have to turn, the attacker does not. If they reach the ball before the attacker they are facing the wrong way. A pass to the feet of most advanced attacker This is the second best attacking option. It is played behind most of the opponents causing them to turn and retreat. A pass beyond at least one defender Third best attacking option. Even playing the ball past one defender causes some problem A cross field pass to switch the line of attack. A pass backwards to a supporting player.

• • •

3. Timing the release of the ball.
Play a pass too quickly, and your team mate will not be in a position to receive it. However most mistimed passes are played too late. Giving the defender time to cover and close down passing angles. Whatever the problem the primary cause is the passer playing with his head down and not seeing the play unfold before him.

4. The Weight of the pass.
Passes which are too slow, (underweighted), will be intercepted. Passes which are too fast (over weighted). may go out of play or to an opponent or will present control problems for the receiver.

5. Accuracy
In accurate passes are worst than useless. Accuracy depends on technique. Being proficient in passing with the side foot, the instep(laces area), the outside of the foot, the inside of the foot (near the big toe). Analysis Shows Long forward passing is a factor in 27% of all goals scored (Long diagonal passes are an element in 12% of goals and long direct passes in 15 % of goals)

A pass into space behind the defender

A pass behind the opposition defense is the most dangerous ball your team can play as long as the weight of the pass is perfect. If it is hit too hard it will probably go out or the goalkeeper will have a chance to get to it. This pass causes more problems to defenders than any other pass. They have to turn to get back, the attacker does not. And even if they reach the ball before the attacker they are facing the wrong way and will be under pressure to clear. Playing the ball behind the defence gives your attackers and wingers their best chance to score.

A pass to the feet of most advanced attacker

This is the second best attacking option. It is played behind most of the opponents causing them to turn and retreat. Your attacker will usually be marked by an opposing defender but playing a ball to his feet means you will be playing it behind your opposing midfield, therefore there are less players between the attacker and the goal, giving him a chance to find space to turn and shoot or find his attacking partner with a pass. Once you play this ball to his feet remember it is important you move fast to support him.

A pass beyond at least one defender

This is the third best attacking option. Even playing the ball past one defender causes some problem to the opponents. It will cause the defender in front of you to turn. You can play this ball into space where an attacker can run into or to his feet. Or play a wall pass with the attacker and present yourself with a strike on goal. A crossfield pass to switch the line of attack

A cross field pass to switch the line of attack is ideal if one side of the field is crowded with opposing players and you team is not making any headway towards the opposing goal. An accurate pass to the other flank will give your team attacking space and cause the opposing defense to move across to block the new threat of attack.

A pass back to keep possession

A pass back to a supporting player would be played when you have your way blocked to the opposing goal and no forward player available to pass to. To keep posession is one of the most important things in football and a pass back will give you another chance to attack. Make sure you dont under hit or over hit your pass so that it cannot be intercepted by the opposing team giving them a chance to score.

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