How to Teach Soccer Team Attacking and Team Defending
Soccer goals usually involve the efforts of more than one player
How to get everyone to think about how they can contribute on both soccer offense and on defense
A Team Effort will Produce the Best Results on Both Soccer Offense and Soccer Defense

Scoring usually involves more than one person. If your goals only involve one person, then you can easily be held scoreless by double-teaming that person, and you will lose. Obviously, you want to encourage teamwork and a "team Attack". Below is an idea about how to do that. It is simple: If you want to encourage "Team Attacking", you need to motivate and reward it. My best idea about how to do that is described below.

The following is from # 1 of 10 Patch Handouts at www.soccerhelp.com/Patch_Handout.shtml :

The "A" Patch = AKA "Team Attacking and Scoring Patch" Given to players who do something that creates the opportunity to score a goal, assists with scoring a goal, and to the player who actually scores the goal. Scoring a goal is a team effort and this patch recognizes that and rewards the players who contribute to a goal being scored. More than one player can earn this patch when a goal is scored. Sometimes the key pass isn't the last pass before the goal, so it will be given to the players who the coach thinks helped the goal occur. This patch will be given for passes OR for runs that create scoring opportunities and lead to goals. This could be for a through pass, for a breakaway run, for an assist, for pulling a defender out of position, for taking a shot that the opposing Goalkeeper blocks and we then score on a rebound, or for stealing the ball or winning the ball that results in a goal, even if the goal wasn't immediately scored, AND the player who actually scores will also always get this patch. So, it is possible that 3 or 4 players will get this patch when a goal is scored. This patch makes the point that effort is important, but that we need to "finish" and actually score goals, so this patch will only be awarded when a goal is scored. However, the better the effort, the more likely it is that a goal will be scored, and great effort can earn a Green Star patch even if a goal isn't scored. This patch will encourage teamwork and discourage selfish play. We can only win through teamwork. This patch will cause players to think about and notice the types of actions that result in goals, and to learn that more players are involved in a goal than just the player who actually scored the goal. Sometimes actually scoring the goal is the easy part, and the opportunity to score the goal was created by another player, who could even be a defender who steals the ball, or sends a long pass, or even by the Goalkeeper who makes a great punt or a great goal kick that leads to a goal. This approach will cause Coaches, Players and Parents to think about how goals are scored, and that will cause everyone to think about "Team Attacking", and it will result in better attacking by your team. It is much more difficult to teach "Team Attacking" than it is to teach "Team Defending". The reason is that great Attacking requires creativity and "Team Attacking" requires creativity and anticipation by several players, not just one. This is the best approach I know of for getting players to think about and strive for "Team Attacking". "Team Attacking" is especially hard if you have some unathletic or unmotivated players who are "weak links". If you have better ideas, please let me know.

The "D" Patch = AKA "Big D for Defense � for both individual and Team Defense" Any player can earn this patch, at any position. The defenders and Goalkeeper will usually earn the most of these, but Forwards and Midfielders should also be thinking about Defense when we lose the ball or when we don't have the ball, so Forwards and Midfielders will also be encouraged to earn this patch. When we don't have the ball, we want good defense. Remember that "Good Defense" doesn't mean just chasing the ball. Players MUST play their positions and follow the Coach's instructions in order to win this patch. Good Defense requires good teamwork. You can use this patch to teach BOTH Individual Defense AND Team Defense. If your Team gets a shut out, you might want to give every player this patch, since a shut out takes a Team Effort. If you want to improve your defense, reward bravery, staying in position, following the coach's instructions, hustle, aggressive play, and winning the ball.

Lightning Bolt Patch = AKA "The Two-Way Player Patch" Given when a player does as the Coach asks them to do on both ends of the field. This player is aggressive on offense and helps on defense too, as instructed by the Coach. The player understands they must work hard on defense and protecting the goal as well as helping on offense, and that when we lose the ball on our half of the field we immediately switch to Defense. Half of the lightning bolt is for defense and the other half is for offense. Remember that if this player is a Forward or Midfielder, they will not go as far back to defend as the defenders, and Defenders sometimes might not Push Up when we attack, so the players who earn this will be those who hustle and follow the coach's directions for playing on offense and on defense. Sometimes, a great defense is the best offense. This will be awarded based on how the Coach thinks players have contributed to the overall game plan for both offense and defense.


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