soccer training skills

Soccer Positions

Understanding soccer positions comes with years of
study and experience. Soccer positions have changed
over the history of the game. This is because new
problems are being solved through different strategies
and tactics presented by the opposition over the years. 

Although it is good to have a system for your team,
remember that any team has to adjust to the opposition' s
system and style of play.
The understanding of soccer positions becomes very important.
This means that some teams defend in a certain
system and attack in another formation.
This shows the versatility of the team and the ability
of the coach to recognize the strengths and weakness
of the team and of the opposition.

If you are in a highly competitive situation as a coach
you would need to have scouted the other teams or be
aware of their potentials in certain areas.
Recognizing the opposing team's soccer positions will
add an advantage to your team as you will be able to
cope with these known challenges.

The way you play the ball, when, where and how will
come with experience. To gain experience, try to get in
as many games as possible. 
Whether it's small sided games, two on two or three on
three with little goals. It is important for your players to
know how their soccer positions on the field can relate
to the larger game.
When the team is set up in the eleven versus eleven full
game they can related to all of the soccer positions.
These types of competitive games will improve your
play and help you make quick decisions.
Of course, real eleven versus eleven games are ideal.
as there's always a different feeling surrounding an
actually game. 

Often the pace of the game will dictate where you
play the ball.  If you play a good team and you are
constantly put under pressure you will be forced to
play the ball quickly. 

Try and rely on all your experiences.
The more your team plays together the better they
get to know each other and their type of passes and
runs that they make. If they understand their soccer
positions, they become a team.

Overall, the key to playing good soccer is keeping
the ball moving by playing one and two touch
soccer - passing and moving off the ball and being creative.
Also try your dribbling skills as this is where you will
hone your skills. The ability to do this goes back to a
good first touch, using your body to shield the ball,
and knowing what you want to do with the ball before
you get it.
In a way soccer is about getting the ball into the right
person's feet at the right time. This is the one who
 has the most time and space (faces the least pressure)
and is in the most advantageous position to score or
make that goal scoring pass.

Spread out on offence and become a compact unit on
defence. This is the fundamentals of creating space.
On offence, use the entire field to open up the opponent's
 defence and create gaps and spaces to attack. 

On defence you want to do the opposite, stay compact
as a team unit and defend with numbers. 
This is the shutting down of space. For instance, if the
opponent is attacking down the right side, then the
far right mid fielder can move into the middle and help
out since the player on the far side is not as dangerous
as those attacking with the ball.
This is considered closing down space or the gaps in play.

Of course, he or she must still be aware of the player
they are marking, but they can gamble in a sense, and
keep their eye on the ball and the wide player and help
clog the middle and intercept passes. 
If the opposition makes a long pass to the far
left-winger he or she must be able to track down the
player and then the whole team will have to shift positions
to the right side. If you gauge it right, you should be able
to arrive before the player has time to control the ball
and attack down the line.

On offence, to open up spaces in the opposing teams
defence, the key rule that you can follow is keep the
ball moving.  Let the ball do the work. Play the ball into the forward' s feet, and then they lay it back to the mid fielder
who plays the ball wide. The wide mid fielder then tries to
get a cross in or switches the ball back to the other side
where there is more space. 
Draw the defence out by playing the ball into the forward' s
feet, and if he or she is covered they can lay the ball back
to a mid fielder or lay the ball off to someone making a run
through towards the goal. Your intention, when you play
the ball to the forward who is tightly marked is to draw
the defence into this player. Once the forward gets a touch
on the ball and holds the ball up with a touch or two,
you (the mid fielder) can get the ball back and play another
player through who now becomes open, since the defence
has collapsed around the forward or shifted their focus on
the forward.


Steve September of On The Ball Soccer Training has been
involved in soccer for over forty years and on three continents.
As a player, player coach and high performance coach
Steve wants to share the knowledge and experiences with
all levels of people involved in the soccer scene.
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