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Thisisit

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Hello all,

I've not posted in a good long time but watching my daughter's first middle school game yesterday prompted some questions.  So I'm back.

Here's the situation.  The team has about 4 or 5 players with some ability (can dribble some, pick out a pass, aren't entirely lost positionally, etc.), 4 or 5 players who can at least put themselves about somewhat and kick the ball but that's about it, and 4 or 5 who really don't contribute much at all and are lost.

So a few kids have had some development beyond rec, and the rest just rec or never played soccer before.

Two questions.  First one is where do you play the kids with some skill and the ones who really have a hard time contributing? (I have my own thoughts, and I'll tell you what their coach did).

What would you work on in practice?

Thanks
 
Adam32m

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The typical response would be best players play in central positions, weaker players on the outside, usually at forward to be as far away from their own goal as possible. 
Adam32m

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The typical response would be best players play in central positions, weaker players on the outside, usually at forward to be as far away from their own goal as possible. 
Thisisit

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam32m
The typical response would be best players play in central positions, weaker players on the outside, usually at forward to be as far away from their own goal as possible. 


Thanks, that's what I figured.
paulee

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Like Adam said, build a strong spine, then work in practice on building technical skills.
The girls are old enough now that they should be able to do some pattern play so that they at least have an idea of where they need to go on the field.

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Adam32m

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Also, pay attention to who plays well together. Some poor players play better when placed near certain teammates compared to the average. Even at a young age some players make everyone else play better.
everything

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Sometimes you can start training newer/weaker players to be a defensive midfielder, especially if they are athletic and tenacious (by personality) but just don't know this sport yet. From there they can learn positioning and short passing (usually to a stronger/creative player with passing range and dribbling and vision skills). From there they can learn infinitely more (and should learn other positions).

Weaker players on the outside can be good, especially if they have pace and/or good defensive jockeying/pressuring. Stay wide and learn 2-touch passing. Slowly learn some dribbling (since trickiness on the wing can be great).

coachkev

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This might sound controversial, but ALL players are somewhat hijacked to the level of experience of their coach
I tend to assess what players CAN do first before I move on to developing what they can't.

Youngs players respond far better to a Games approach than a teaching approach
I use my tried and tested 3Cs approach = CHALLENGE >> COMPETITION >> CONSISTENCY
Run a small sided game where I give them all a simple Challenge, something which they will all have the capability to achieve
Then I provide competition so there is a 1v1 situation - One team versus another team, one group versus another, one pair versus another down to one player versus another.
Then I look for an overall aspect of consistency - a self styled zero policy on errors, even though praise is given for trying, the standards players agree to accept and maintain, even for youngsters, limits are a sense of Game Rules which all kids are comfortable with.

So for me, its about intelligent placement of Strength versus Weakness on the field of play
One easy Game Plan would be 3Gs = 
GET THE BALL (gain possession), 
GET IT FORWARD SAFELY (use possession) and
GET A STRIKE ON THE OPPONENTS GOAL (end result of every attack)
And use this three pronged strategy as a coaching tool too

For the very young its all about TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE!

craigl

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisisit
Hello all,

I've not posted in a good long time but watching my daughter's first middle school game yesterday prompted some questions.  So I'm back.

Here's the situation.  The team has about 4 or 5 players with some ability (can dribble some, pick out a pass, aren't entirely lost positionally, etc.), 4 or 5 players who can at least put themselves about somewhat and kick the ball but that's about it, and 4 or 5 who really don't contribute much at all and are lost.

So a few kids have had some development beyond rec, and the rest just rec or never played soccer before.

Two questions.  First one is where do you play the kids with some skill and the ones who really have a hard time contributing? (I have my own thoughts, and I'll tell you what their coach did).

What would you work on in practice?

Thanks
 


players have skill, game intelligence, size, personality, speed, and strength.  I consider all of these.  There is also leadership and coachability.

Look for where the weak player has best chance for success.   You try to put them in a limited role so it is simple and they can learn and have success sooner.   You tell the new player where they will play and prepare them in pracitce.   When they are on the bench you have them watch the player in that position on the field.  You ask them questions about it.  You talk to them about what is being done well or poorly.  You talk about the other team and team mates and how they handle different situations.   The new player can learn both on the field and on the bench.

New players develop same way as young players you just have to progress much faster.  Everyone always needs technical practice.  1v1, 2v1, and 3v2 are good.   Game situations 2v2 and 4v4 are good.   You progress as fast as the players are ready.

I like speed in front and back.   Keepers can't be too short.

I've heard some coaches claim give me a solid keeper, a good left back, a center mid and a left wing and I'm good to go.

I like a solid middle of the field as others have mentioned.

Sometimes you need to pair players that play well together.  In warm up I pair players who will play together in the game.   I play line up in practice week of the game.   Pre-game, we position people together and make sure they know closest team mates and who is around them.   Who is left footed and who is right and who can play either foot.

With a team you did not have try outs, you have to find who best fills the roles that you need.   Sometimes, you have to play your best options for a position even if it is not ther best position.   At middle school age, I try to pick where it benefits the players growth, but sometimes you need on player to do what is best for the team because you do not have any one else to fill a role.

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