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TJBrown

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Reply with quote  #1 
Long time no post! Lol. I'm working long hours and coaching on top of that. Not a lot of free time these days.

I will have a very inexperienced high school team next fall. I will be forced to play several young players most of whom only have recreational soccer experience. The idea of playing a double sweeper system with them came to mind and I have been studying up the last month or so. I have searched the archives and found a couple of threads on double sweeper systems and Bob C.'s posts on the subject have been helpful.

One thing that occurred to me immediately was In playing 2-3 in the back the shape would be much like 4 backs in a bowl shape with a DM set in front of the center backs. This is the way I have taught my teams to play for years. It didn't work out so well this past season hence my looking for a change. I believe presentation of 2 - 3 might be an easier sell than the 4 backs in a bowl shape (we struggled to grasp this) proved to be.

I'd like thoughts on if the 3 should man mark or play zonal in front of the double sweepers and the "why" behind your reasoning.

Secondly, most references I have seen to playing 2 - 3 have involved a 2 - 3 - 2 - 3 formation. This might be nitpicking a bit, but what are your thoughts on a 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 formation? Would roles be defined differently in any substantial manner?

Any and all input is welcomed!

Thank you!

TJ

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mbiyenm

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Reply with quote  #2 
When I have inexperienced players, I ask them to man-mark.  It's brainless and accountability is clear.

Although zonal marking is more efficient, it requires some understanding.   If your players could not understand 4 at the back, how will they understand 3 defending a larger zone?  With the sweepers you are giving up the option to use the offside trap and compress the field.

This is a system of play question.  I'd recommend you analyze which defensive principle(s) your team failed to execute and find remedies.  It's not clear from your post, what the problem is.  "It didn't work out so well this past season hence my looking for a change." is cryptic.
TJBrown

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Reply with quote  #3 
Mbiyenm, to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what the problem was.

While most of the players claimed 8-10 years of playing experience it was exclusively at the recreational level for all but two.. And the two that had played club played for lower level clubs. What I call soccer IQ, or the lack of a well developed one, certainly played a part. We were a average team athletically - no great athletes.

I taught the principles of defending as if introducing them to a youth team. Step by step. We reviewed and reinforced on a regular basis. They got it in training but it never really transferred to games. They reverted back to previous comfort zones at the first sign of adversity. We worked on expanding their comfort zones daily with too little to show for it, imo.

Some individuals performed well, but we failed to sustain high level good play on a consistent level. I don't believe we ever embraced the concept of playing FOR one another. Most people think of attacking soccer when they hear of playing for one another, but it holds true on defense as well.

Player leadership was not what it needed to be either. Did not have a vocal on-field leader / organizer. I did have a sophomore and a freshman begin to step up and speak out towards the end of the season so we have hope there.

I passed out and reviewed handouts on positional roles and responsibilities to each team member before the season. Referred back to these handouts frequently. I'm not sure much of it took root as most of the players seemed to be visual / hands on learners - we did a LOT of small sided work on defending - recreating situations / Isolating moments of play that presented problems for us.

I have started a captains club (open to all sports) to develop leadership. I am pushing hard for our younger players to play club soccer - on any level. Because we tried a zonal 4 this season ( my first at this school) part of my thought process has been whether to stick with it going forward or if presenting defending via a different formation might be best?

So, of course I am turning to the great minds here at and-again.




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mbiyenm

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"They got it in training but it never really transferred to games. They reverted back to previous comfort zones at the first sign of adversity."  This can be addressed.  Organize a friendly game against another team but be on the field to talk to them. Basically, you need to increase the level of stress but not too much.  They are very comfortable in practice because they know each other but panic takes over in a real game.   It's very normal.  By being in the field to talk (not yell), you'll provide a reassurance.

Teaching step by step is the right way but requires patience.   How much time to you have? 

Also, your weaker players might not get better instruction with club  soccer.  Typically, the better coaches are placed with the better players.
AFB

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Reply with quote  #5 
Excellent advice and analysis, Mbiyenm.
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TJBrown

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Reply with quote  #6 
Mbiyenm,

While I agree that a controlled scrimmage would be ideal I cannot bring another team in by Ohio High School rules during the season. With 16 players total I found it difficult to create game like conditions in training. We did a lot of small group tactical work. The challenge presented here was not having many quality players who could really challenge others to better themselves. Of the 16 players I had, none would have started at my previous school and maybe only 1, perhaps 2 would have made the varsity squad at all. We made progress throughout the season but it was at a slow and steady pace.

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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #7 

You answer yourself really
CHALLENGE: - Just keep giving your players challenges to solve during actual play rather than structured drills/function
Provide meaningful competition (1v1, 2v2, 2v3, 3v2 etc)

And look for consistency between their technique and tactical decision making

Its really about ABC = Attitude, Belief, Concentration

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