The success of your team not only depends on the skills of individuals, but also on their ability to read the game, make quick decisions, and communicate with their team mates – it all boils down to an understanding of strategy.
Central to this strategy is the shape in which you set the team up – how you position your players on the pitch and how you tell them to play. For example, how many defenders are you going to have? Who’s playing in midfield? Do you want to push wide players forward? Will you have one attacker or two? Or maybe three? All these decisions go into deciding the formation that your team will play in. Soccer Formations Made Simple has the answer to these questions.
As coaches, we are unable to get on the pitch, so the formation is a vital way for us to enforce our vision on the players. The type of formation we choose reflects the sort of football we want our team to play. The formation we decide on can be the reason the team is not as successful as it should be or the reason it wins every week.
As with all things in coaching, however, nothing is set in stone. Think of formations like templates, they provide a great framework and overall foundation, but there is custom work and tweaking needed. Although a formation may seem like it has a strict set-up, remember that you, the coach, are the artist and the formation is merely the colours on your palette, not what the final painting is
going to look like.
Remember, too, that formations are an important part of the development of your players – play one way and they may be successful, but try something else and it may not suit everyone in
your squad. In the development phase of a player’s soccer experience he or she should learn to play every role on the pitch. By using different formations you can see if players understand the roles and also identify where they need to develop their skills.
React and change
Having the knowledge and confidence to change a formation during a game also gives you the ability to move to a “Plan B” when things aren’t going your way. It may be that one formation works against one team, but a different formation is required against another, because you have to adapt to the different strengths of different opponents. For example, you are 1-0 down and want to go for all out attack but don’t want to leave the back door open for opponents to counter-attack and kill the game off. It’s not as simple as just changing your players – you need to change
your formation to do this, and Soccer Formations Made Simple will help you do that.
Formations are the blueprint for the way your team plays, which makes them vital to your team’s success on the pitch. If you take on board the information I’ve set out in this manual, that success will be easier to achieve – don’t be afraid to try!