PIcking a style of play for your age group is vital to a successful season. Your players will have more fun and enjoy playing much more if they are in a formation that helps them play the game. Find out which formation is best for your team. MORE
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. 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.
We also take a deep dive into the variety of soccer formations available at every age group. We discuss and rate all of the most popular formations and tactics for 5v5 7v7 9v9 and 11v11.
The pros and cons of 9v9 formations... tactics for the 3-2-3 formation MORE
The 4-3-3 is a great system to study if you are looking for a system of play for your team. No matter the age or the numbers of players involved the principles are the same. Good width, good support play, and fantastic attacking moves. MORE
What kind of shape does your team have on match day? Getting players to fit a formation can be a tricky business especially at the younger age groups, it's all about getting the players to understand how the formation works and their role in it. MORE
Here we look at the 7v7 2-3-1 formation and how it fits in with the players you have in your team. MORE
Here we look at the 7v7 1-3-2 formation and how it fits in with the players you have in your team. A great attacking formation and one players will learn positional play from. MORE
It's the start of a new season for me and my team and over the next couple of weeks I will work with them on creating an identity in the way we play. Check out the sessions in today's newsletter. MORE
A lot of the problems your team will face in the coming year can be solved through understanding which tactics to use and when to use them. MORE
With more teams playing 9v9 at Under 11 and Under 12, we take a look at the formations your side could play for this team size. This week we look at 2-1-2-1-2 MORE
If your team is getting caught out by counter attacks, balls over the top or a team that dominates with through passes, a sweeper can be a godsend MORE
England destroyed Spain playing 4-3-3 in the Nations League earlier this month and with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leeds playing the formation it could be the dream formation for your team this season. MORE
Creative formation for confident teams – beware counter-attacks MORE
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 MORE
A favourite formation at all levels of the game. Attack is very strong but midfield weak with only three in there. MORE
Very popular formation that is very attacking with three at the back, and wingbacks that need to work hard to support defence, midfield and attack MORE
The 1-4-1 formation has a brilliant midfield but it must work hard to support defence and attack MORE
For the Under 6, Under 7 and Under 8 age groups this formation works on a diamond shape which gives support in defence and attack MORE
This is the best formation for an all out attack. Check out the pros and cons of the 2-1-2-1 formation at 7-a-side for Under 9 and Under 10 teams. MORE
Good players can understand and play in a lot of different positions and formations. This session gives players a chance to see how overloads and changing numbers work in different positions. MORE
Formations are a key part of match day strategy right through the different formation structure of age groups. So how do you work out which formation will suit your team? MORE
With more teams playing 9v9 at U11 and U12, we take a look at the formations your side could play for this team size. This is the 1-3-1-2-1 formation MORE
This session is all about breaking down the 3-5-2 system being used by many teams. It is about applying immediate pressure to the opposition when they have the ball. To win the ball back as quickly as possible and then punish them on the counter attack. MORE
This is a great game to coach getting players to support in defence and attack but with the emphasis on how to play in overload situations – up or down. Defending two goals with three defenders takes good tactics. MORE
The diagrams in this post show how soccer formations progress from 5v5 through to 11v11 – you can see how each change in formation adds players into the mix. MORE