You often find in youth soccer that one of the most active roles on the pitch is playing in midfield and that these players need high levels of concentration to do the job. Use the following soccer coaching tips to help your players.
The problems begin after you’ve launched an attack – the forwards lose the ball and a counter-attack is on. Your team is fine as long as the midfielders get back to mark their opposite numbers.
The longer the game goes on and the more tired your midfielders become, the more you will need to remind them they have to defend as well as attack.
In diagram 1 the player 4 is caught upfield when the white player 3 passes out to player 8. One of midfielder 4’s basic tasks is to mark his immediate opponent. He cannot do this from this position.
He has created a problem for his team – who should pressure player 8? Players 4 and 7 are doing the same job in closing down the defender on the ball. Players 2 and 5 are already marking someone. Player 4 is too far out of position which leaves his team vulnerable to the pass.
In diagram 2 player 4 is in the correct position. He can pressure his immediate opponent or support player 7. Each player can concentrate on his own job. The rest of the team are in the correct position and are concentrating on the game rather than trying to get player 4 back. It eliminates calls like "somebody mark up" or "I have two men over here" or the coach having to shout in panic "GET BACK!".
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Click here for a soccer drill to work on midfielders' skills.