Below is a letter from a U8 soccer coach who asked how he could teach his players to quickly transition from soccer offense to defense. This is called "recovering" (or making "recovering runs" or "recovery runs" and the objectives are to teach your soccer Fullbacks to quickly get "goalside" of the ball, to teach your soccer Midfielders and soccer Forwards to position themselves properly to assist with defense and to win cleared balls, and to teach everyone to "shift and sag" with the ball. The challenge is to teach young soccer players to make a quick transition from offense to defense and to maintain good defensive pressure, coverage and support. Terms in quotation marks above are defined in the Soccer Dictionary.
I learned of your soccer coaching site recently, signed up for Premium service and have been adopting many of your Premium Soccer Practice Games. The kids like the games, and I've seen a definite improvement in skill levels, but we are still having problems in game situations, particularly on defence.
We play 3-on-3-plus goalie indoor soccer (mixed U8), and our players are having great difficulty grasping playing defence, i.e. one person hanging back a little when nobody has clear possession, or everyone coming back when the other team takes over possession in their end or the neutral zone. I like a lot of the practice games, but I'm trying to find some game or drill or even speech (to short-attention-span kids of course) that would help. We have a weekly practice.
Is there anything on the site you think would help, or do you have any suggestions? Maybe doing it in scrimmages with continuously stopping play to talk to players about position?
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