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
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
One of the things I have done a lot of work on this season is getting my team to play right to the very end of matches. Not only that, whether we are losing or not in the last 10 minutes as a collective we up our game and try to score a goal. It helps us end on a positive note. MORE
Simple answer is “Yes”, particularly if your players regularly struggle to hang on to the attackers they are marking, or if they fail to organise themselves each time they face a corner or free kick. Given a set position, your players will grasp what they have to do and respond well to their part of the defensive responsibility. MORE
The defending team is coached how to get into formation in a match when they have lost the ball and how to quickly assemble a zonal defence. After using our first session, run this and allow players to make decisions on where to defend at the corner. MORE
Use this session if you want to see exciting attacking wingbacks who can either cross a ball or cut inside and shoot. Players can make use of 2v1 situations to attack or fool the defenders with a skill. Crosses into the box are also an option in this game. MORE
Do your players know the offside rule? From Under 11s at 9v9 the offside rule comes into play. This can be used to your advantage in defence but against you in attack, so players need to be on top of it and understand it. Find out how... MORE
This session is all about build up play, keeping possession to pass into key attackers getting players to pass to the players safe side away from their markers. Youth players will also learn the why, when and how of attacking and defending play. MORE
What you are trying to coach your players in this session is to look for the disguising of passes with the use of subtle reverse balls, turns and flicks. Movement off the ball and away from opponents is crucial, while the attacking part of the session in the 3v2 rehearses all-out finishing, technique, placement and power. MORE
Breaking down a defence isn't always as simple as playing passes into the space behind – sometimes that space is on the other side of the pitch that your players can exploit. MORE
Creating a way for your team to play is an important part of your season plan. I like my teams to play a fast passing game, and I am pleased that my players like this style of play MORE
Why is it that when your team has been cruising all game the last 10 minutes sees them lose shape, control and late goals? You can often be just a goal up and disaster strikes just when the final whistle is in sight. Pressure brings its own problems but there are things you can do to stop those late goals going in. MORE
Here’s a session, divided into two parts, that benefits players in three core elements. At the heart of this is possession; but keeping the ball is only really useful if players know what to do with it, and that’s where patience and penetration come into play. MORE
Transitions are a big part of the youth game. A ‘switched on’ team that responds quickly to a change in possession will benefit enormously by taking their opponents by surprise. MORE
Filipe Ragel the Under 19 head coach of Marcet Academy in Barcelona shares a video of his team doing a 4+2 x 2 Rondo which shows the technical and tactical practice MORE
Jose Mourinho the Tottenham Hotspur manager says communication is not only difficult at youth level it's difficult at the top level as well. He said: “Sometimes people say the team has no leaders, it’s this, it’s that, but what we need is everybody with the same kind of mentality." How do you get players talking? MORE
This session works on patterns of play building up to the final ball into the striker. Important for youth players to understand the role of the support players in build up play. MORE
Your team is 1-0 up but your opponents have a two-man advantage. A game to teach each team the importance of setting out the tactics to hold on to a lead. MORE
This session helps you coach players to understand that they have to stay close and not let opponents get free or they will give the game away. MORE
Strikers need to do more than just score goals sometimes they have to hold the ball up until support players arrive to create overloads in attack. MORE
Liverpool are the Premier League Champions. Feeding strikers like Liverpool do with their amazing front three is the best way to get your team on the front foot and destroy the opposition before they have woken up. MORE
Central defenders and supporting players have a vital role in stopping the opposition’s build up play. Players will work on the defending angle of approach to try and force the attacker away MORE
This session places an emphasis on midfield units staying compact and being hard to penetrate when out of possession. It identifies specific defensive roles for midfield players making them more compact and difficult to penentrate MORE
A fun game that will encourage your defenders to be calm on the ball and confident in their passing. Having a defender cool enough to keep calm under pressure is an asset. This activity will help stop your defenders from panicking. MORE
Use this session to help defenders to decide whether to hold up play or win the ball when outnumbered, often the attacker will have their head down looking at the ball – the defender can hold a goalside position so the attacker has to look up which is the best time to force a mistake MORE