Put 4v4 soccer coaching into action

Based on the central ideas behind Dutch Vision, 4v4 is a soccer coaching system dramatically different from most other systems. Created by the Dutch Soccer Association, its success is evident in the number of world-class players produced by such a small country.
Scoring and preventing goals:

There must be competition between two teams with both teams’ objectives being to score goals. Within this soccer drill set-up your objectives for the team should be met.

Get them passing with the 5v2 game (see diagram) where the five players must make seven consecutive passes and the two must dribble the ball over the end of the line. Or use the basic 4v4 game to get them into soccer problem solving.

use a 5v2 game to help passing and scoring skills


Whichever of the two game plans you choose to practise with, you must allow the team in possession the opportunity to build up its attacks. If you’re using the 5v2 game, for the goals' objective change to 4v4 for this part of the soccer training session so they can pass and build up against each other.

Loss and gain:

Continuing this soccer drill, the players will see what happens when they lose the ball, you then encourage the team that has lost the ball to get it back. In 4v4 the consequences of losing the ball will show up clearly.

Winning IS important!

The players are playing to win. Changing the pitch dimensions can help a team work on its weak points (click here for Soccer problem-solving using changing pitch dimensions). Spend some time on this so that real learning can take place.

Key soccer coaching tip: Make sure the point you want to get across in training is repeated often. Each of the points covered should be used in each drill session.

Soccer coaching tips

  • Don’t talk too much, over-coaching can lead to decreased motivation. It is better to make one or two correct and timely observations in your soccer coaching session, rather than hundreds of poor, irrelevant ones because you like the sound of your own voice.

  • Set up two or three 4v4 games rather than one “big” game. Well-constructed games with motivated players produce remarkable results.
  • Make sure your advice is the right advice. Pick your moments carefully, if you’re not sure what to say, don’t say it. Players will seize on poor advice and their respect for the coach can crumble.
  • Make sure the players understand what you are trying to do. Do they understand the objective, the why, what and wherefore of what you are doing? They may say they do, but don’t take it for granted!