Motivating Rec Fullbacks
Fullbacks - How to Motivate

Brian coaches GU-9. He had written to ask what I thought about switching from a 2-1-2-2 to a 2-3-2. I suggested a 2-1-3-1 because 6 of his 11 players are slow and unskilled. He mentioned that his biggest problem was getting girls to want to play FB. Below are some ideas I had about how to get players to want to play FB.

Hi David,

Thanks for the advice. I have thought about using the 2-1-3-1. Just so you know, I have been very happy with the 2-1-2-2 formation. We are currently undefeated. The biggest problems I have are getting girls to be happy at FB and getting weak side support from the MF and FB. Our 4 better players generally dominate the ball among each other and the FBs get pretty bored. Then when we are attacked, they do not perform. It has been fun learning some of the nuances of soccer and girls Rec soccer. I grew up playing basketball and football, so I have to learn as I go.

I'm just experimenting to see what happens. I can always switch back to the 2-1-2-2 if needed. I'll let you know how it turns out.



Hi Brian,

The problem you are having with the FB's is normal. Here are 4 ideas about it:

  1. Find 2 kids who want to play FB and who are decent at it and let them play there the entire game. Tell everyone that they will be subbed EXCEPT the FB's, who will get to play the entire game. Telling the players that they will get to play the entire game if they play FB may encourage them to want to play there. It worked for me.
  2. When a Goal is scored, have the ENTIRE team come to the Half Line, touch hands, and do a cheer, that will make the FB's feel included. Stress that goal scoring is a TEAM effort.
  3. Give the FB's LOTS of praise while they are on the field AND in front of the entire team at half time and after the game.
  4. Buy some iron-on patches or some other incentive and give something special to the FB's at EVERY game. A special patch for example -- a Star or Lightning Bolt would be good -- let that patch ONLY be for FB's so they feel special. The advantage of the patches is that they can iron them on their jerseys or on a practice shirt.

Hope these help.

David at SoccerHelp