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Tactics

Soccer tactics range from the way a player stands or moves, to the pace, style, positioning and movement of the entire team.

How those concepts are conveyed is a language of its own, which can be baffling to a new coach and even to some experienced ones.

The drills, games and activities in this section will help you build a team that can adapt to different playing styles.

You can use these sessions and advice to coach tactics to your players. How do you train them to cope with a team that presses high up the pitch? Or one that sits deep and invites pressure?

Tactics are a great way to create team togetherness and promote communication in all areas of the pitch

Why a possession-based game works

in Email newsletters, Tactics

As coaches we are all obsessed with keeping possession of the ball... of course we are the best teams all do it and if you've got the ball the opposition can't score. And there is just that other coach called Pep Guardiola who swears by it... MORE

players training

Dominate your opponents

in Email newsletters, Tactics

Fast is a word I like to use when my teams are attacking. Do it with speed and watch the opposition shrink away from it. It makes life difficult for your opponents and helps your team to dominate when in possession of the ball. MORE

Tactics and formations

Sort out your match day tactics

in Email newsletters, Tactics

The season has suddenly taken off again after 4 months of Coronavirus lockdown. I've been coaching for 14 hours for the last two weeks in an attempt to get the players back into some kind of shape for playing matches. It has its benefits but also it has a downside. Two of my players picked up injuries, one an ankle injury and the other had what he called "tired legs". Find out how we got on... MORE

Go forward or switch

in Attacking, Tactics

Players need to be able to create space to either play forward or switch play. It helps them to set up positive attacking options. Moving the ball quickly with both long and short passes gives teams the chance to create 1v1 situations or overloads which are key situations for exploiting the opposition. Knowing when to... MORE

Play wide, play fast

in Email newsletters, Tactics

I've watched every game that Leeds United have played under Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League this season, and boy is it fast! It is a game played with fluidity right across the pitch at speed – crosses fly into the penalty area. And if you lose the ball to them they counter attack in an instant, a great tactic for youth teams. MORE

Coaching the false 9

in Email newsletters, Tactics

I was asked this week "how do I coach the false 9?". The false 9 is very much back in fashion as we can see lots of teams have gone back to playing 4-3-3 where the attacking players can switch positions in the attacking third of the pitch. MORE

Out of possession tactics

in Defending, Tactics

Out of possession teams can control the game by forcing play into areas of the pitch that are easier to control. With positional play opponents can be forced into areas that are less dangerous to the defending team MORE

Transitions: react to change in possession

in Attacking, Defending, Tactics

Transitions are a vital part of match play - players must react quickly to winning or losing the ball because in these instances games are won or lost. It is vital that as soon as the ball is won or lost teams react instantly. An attacking team that has lost the ball must work hard to immediately win it back and a team that has won the ball must attack at pace. MORE

Move in possession

in Passing, Tactics

Possession is key with players tactically keeping position in the midfield focal point of the pitch. Movement is key to keeping the ball and fast breaks will result. MORE

Rapid forward breaks

in Attacking, Tactics

Use this session to train your players to make darting runs behind the defence in order to pick up the ball and score goals. Rapid forward breaks put your team on the front foot when they are attacking. MORE

A Christmas joker is very creative

in Email newsletters, Tactics

In a couple of weeks once the decorations have come down it is back to (hopefully) full time training again. One training position I think about at this time of year is the Christmas joker. It's a very important position a bit like the star of the school play and it needs a player who is a big personality on the pitch.. MORE

High pressing

in Defending, Tactics

Use this session to teach players to press opponents high up the pitch – so they can win the ball nearer to the goal. By pressing quickly and working together, attackers will win the ball back nearer the opponent’s goal and have a greater chance of scoring. MORE

One up front

in Attacking, Tactics

If you’re defending a lead and don’t want to commit to attack, or if you’re facing a strong team and want to counterattack, this teaches the importance of winning the ball by flooding the defence and having a lone target man up front. MORE

Tactics and formations

Tactics and technique

in Email newsletters, Tactics

We do a lot of work on technique in grassroots training but just as important are the tactics that put the technique to good use. While it is important that the two are worked on separately at training don’t forget that they mutually reinforce each other while playing the game. So while technique is all... MORE

Find the space

in Small Sided Games, Tactics

This session shows you how to open up the pitch and exploit space behind the defence. Your players will learn how to drag defenders to one side and switch play across the pitch in order to pull defenders apart and create space in the middle. MORE

Breakout

in Attacking, Tactics

To make a success of counterattacking, players must be able to recognise the moment of transition between defence and attack quicker that the opposition. They should then move quickly to take advantage of it. MORE

Tactics to play with two strikers

in Email newsletters, Tactics

Over the next few weeks I plan to work on box-to-box passing moves – counter-attacking play that involves passing and receiving between the lines, well-timed movements and crossover runs, and the exploitation of space behind the opposition’s back line. MORE

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