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Soccer Coaching Tips from Coaches and SoccerHelp
Soccer Coaches Discuss what Helped their Team
Tips for Coaching Girls, Rec, Travel, Middle School - U6 to U16

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  1. U6, U9, U10, U12, U15 Rec and Select Soccer Coaching Tips, Coaches Brad, Dave, Nick and Tommy - Letter from U6 Soccer Coach in TX. Letter from U9 and U11 Select Soccer Coach in NJ. Letter from U10 and U12 Soccer Coach in NC. Letter from U15 Soccer Coach in MI.
  2. U6 and Middle School Soccer Coaching Tips, Coaches Jeff and Tommy - 2 Soccer Coaching Success Stories
  3. U6, U8, U10 and U12 Soccer Coaching Tips from a League Coordinator, Coaches Chris, John and Jill - Letter from a Soccer Coordinator. U6, U8, U10 Rec Soccer Coach. U12 Rec Soccer Team Started Slow but Came in Second.
  4. U8 Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach C. - Amazing Soccer Coaching Success Story. Changed soccer formation & beat an undefeated team 7-1 after a 3-0 loss. How they started scoring. Even weak players score now. Soccer Coaching Lessons Learned. Soccer Patches Improved Practice Attendance. Team Goal Celebration Idea Really Works. Paired Weak Players with a Strong Player. Soccer Drills that Did "Wonders".
  5. Tips from a U8 soccer coach playing 8v8 who won big using a 2-3-2 soccer formation and pushing up on attack, Coach Rob, FL - He had tried a 2-1-3-1 soccer formation and Defending Deep with average results but changed to a 2-3-2 formation, put 2 fast and brave players at Fullback, pushed them up on attack and had spectacular results.
  6. U8 Indoor Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Bob, PA - He said "The U8 indoor team I emailed you about 3 weeks ago has now won its last 2 games using the 2-3-2 formation. We scored 4 goals in each game and did not give up any goals."
  7. Tips from 4 Successful Soccer Coaches U11 Competitive, U8, U9 and U14 Rec, Coaches Troy, Chuck, Aaron and Coach B - U11 Competitive Soccer Team. U8 and U14 Rec Soccer Teams. Formula for Success: fun, skill development, efficient & game realistic soccer practice games, choosing a formation and style of play that gives your team the best chance for success, and motivating players to give their all and listen to the coach.
  8. U9 Boys Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Sal, 25 Tips - Soccer Tactics for Weak Teams that are Losing. Formerly Successful Coach Has Humiliating 7-0 Loss. 3 Good Players, 3 Weak, 7 Average. 8v8 Soccer Formations, 2-3-2, 3-2-2, 2-1-3-1. Pushing Up vs. Defending Deep. How to Teach Field Movement to Forwards, Midfielders, Fullbacks, Stopper. Coach Sal's success isn't discussed but there are about 25 tips in this article.
  9. U10 Girls Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach M, turned around his team in 3 weeks to beat an undefeated team 3-1 - GREAT TIPS. Coach M is a U10 Girls Rec coach. He contacted me after his team lost their first game 0-3. He was worried because in 2 weeks they would play a team that had won 14-0. He started using the SoccerHelp Program (our soccer drills, tactics and motivational patches) and tied the second game 2-2 . They then lost 0-4 to the team that was killing everyone else and in their 4th game everything came together and they beat an undefeated team 3-1. The 3-1 victory was 3 weeks (20 days) after he started using the SoccerHelp Program. There are many good tips in these articles from both me and Coach M. If you have a U9, U10, U11 or U12 Rec soccer team they are worth reading. There are 3 articles that discuss this soccer coaching success story. In order, they are 20 Tips to Quickly Improve Your Soccer Team, Mid-Season Success Story - 2 Week Turnaround and How to Turn Around a Losing Soccer Team in 3 Weeks
  10. U10 Boys Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Scott - Soccer Formations to Score More Goals. To Push Up or Defend Deep on Soccer Attack? Importance of Stopper and Center Mid. Why Pushing Up Gets Tougher at U10. Why the Number of Subs Matters When Selecting a Formation & Style of Play. 9v9 Soccer Formations
  11. U10 Success - Tips for Soccer Formations, Positions, Teamwork and Reducing Selfish Play, Coach Donna - Tips for Soccer Teamwork and Reducing Selfish Play. Formations, positioning and tips.
  12. U10 Girls Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, a different Coach M - A great Success Story about beating the "Best" Team that had a bragging coach and how he did it, 3 other coaches thanked him for beating them. Making the quarterfinals, Importance of defending the soccer goal front
  13. Rec & Travel Soccer Coaching Tips, U10 & U12, Boys & Girls, Coaches Gene, Dan and Bob - 35 Goals Scored and Only Allowed 3. Most Meaningful Drills Seen in 10 Years for Rec, Travel and High School Soccer.
  14. U11 Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Rob, Australia - How to Beat a Physical, Swarming Soccer Team. Simple tactical changes that allowed his team to quickly go from losing 5-1 to winning 4-1 against the same opponent. A Great Success Story.
  15. U12 Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Corey - GREAT TIPS. How to Start Winning Soccer Games. A True Success Story - He Shares What He Did to Win. How he beat teams that had faster, stronger players. His team started the Season 1-3, then 2-1-1, then won the tournament. Importance of Shifting, Sagging & Positioning. Defensive Positioning and Soccer Formations Tips. Didn't Give Up a Goal in the Tournament U12 Team starts the Season 1-3, then 2-1-1, then Won the Tournament. Scored 11 goals & gave up 0 goals in 3 games in Tournament. He shares what he did to win. How to Teach Soccer Positioning. Proven tips about U12 Soccer Formations and Positions.
  16. U12 Travel Turnaround - from 4-5 to 9-0-1 & Dominant, Coach T - GREAT TIPS. U12 Travel Soccer Team went from 4-5 Record to 9-0-1 & Dominant, Went from Scoring 19 Goals to Scoring 60 Goals, Went from Allowing 25 Goals to Only Allowing 5 Goals, New team comprised of players who didn't make other soccer travel teams, Now the Second Best of 5 Travel Soccer Teams, Players Now Have More Poise on the Ball than Opponents, The Keys Were Changing Soccer Formation & SoccerHelp Soccer Drills.
  17. U12 Boys Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Josh - "Unbelievable results". From losing to winning. How in 2 weeks how went from losing to winning and beat a team 3-1 that usually dominates them. No Longer Giving Up Goals on Breakaways. Benefits of Teaching Soccer Passing to Open Space. Switched to a Counterattacking Style. His Team Lacked Speed
  18. How a U12 Rec Team that was 2-6 Almost Won the Tournament , Coach Jill - How a U12 Rec Team that was 2-6 Almost Won the Tournament. Soccer drills she used.
  19. U12 Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Philip, WA - His team won the tournament. The coach says "The main thing I saw in my girls was a huge increase in their confidence while playing. Some of that was better skills, but more important was being used to playing under pressure and in chaotic conditions due to your soccer practice games."
  20. U12 Coed Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Glenn, Lost 45 Games in 3 Seasons, Changed Formation and Started Winning - AMAZING STORY. He says "In 3 seasons, our record was Zero Wins, 2 ties and 45 losses. I read the testimonials on SoccerHelp about using a 2-1-2-2 soccer formation and it seemed to make sense to me. This season, I decided to ignore the "experts" and go with a 2-1-2-2. We've played 5 games so far with a record of 3 Wins, 1 Tie and 1 loss." He switched to a "stacked" formation that provided more depth (4 layers of defenders instead of 3) and after 5 games they were 3-1-1.
  21. U15 Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Bill - How a Rec Team Beat a JV Team 3-1 in spite of 4 players missing. He attributes his success to a soccer formation recommended in SoccerHelp. Soccer Formations and tactics.
  22. U14 Rec Soccer Coaching Tips, Coach Brad - How an All Girls Soccer Team Beat a Mostly Boys Team 6-5. Four players scored. Great tips & tactics. Coach says the Key was to Defend Deep and 3 SoccerHelp Drills -- Push & Blast Off, Pass to Space, Run with Ball and Shoot, Shoulder Tackle & Strength on the Ball. His Girls Physically Dominated the Boys - Took the Ball Away Over 20 Times, His Daughter Has Gone from Average to Outstanding. Teaching his team to use open space to have a fast, creative, fluid attack. He Has Been Asked to Coach the Middle School Soccer Team.
  23. U5 and U8, from Winless to Undefeated, Coach Dan - "Using the SoccerHelp concepts and the incentive patches, my U8 team just finished the season 8-0-0. This is the same team that last Fall was winless and only scored one goal, and my 4-yr-old team finished their season also undefeated! My kids and parents could not be happier! I am just about to place my third order for more patches, so man did they work!! The kids were more concentrated at practice, gone was the crying after getting knocked down, and their positioning changed almost overnight. They worked so well, I even started using them for my son's 4-yr-old team. In two weeks, they turned us from unaggressive-standers-around, to a well oiled machine. Throughout the season, I had at least 6-7 opposing coaches/parents come up to me and ask me how I got my kids to do that!" Coach Dan, U8 and U5, Georgia, Premium Member
  24. U12 Premier Division, Coach Chad - Thanks!!! I want you to know that I really appreciate your site and will remain a Premium member as long as I am fortunate enough to coach. The patches are the absolute best motivational tool I have found in seven years of coaching three daughters. I currently coach a U12 Girls team in the toughest division of our league. The Premium tips and games are great. We were losing almost all of our goal kicks this year until I taught the girls the Spread the Field Goal Kick play I found in Premium that spreads the field and has the sweeper follow the ball out. I think we might have lost one goal kick in our last three games of the season. Excellent play. I also started using the Short Corner Set Play with two players in the corner where one passes the ball between the other's legs. I can only attribute one goal to it but we had sooooo many opportunities that were opened up by that play. Our season has come to an end but I will be on your site plotting and planning for the next 7 or 8 months. I might have to try out your indoor section just to get my fix between now and the next outdoor season. Thanks again for all that you do. Coach Chad, CA, Premium member
  25. U10 First Time Coach, Undefeated and Won the Division, Beating Experienced Coaches, Coach AB - Hi. I wanted to send you a quick email to let you know how much I appreciate you and what you are doing. You saved me countless hours of frustration and work. Seriously, I know that we would not have accomplished what we did in such a short amount of time without Soccer Help. I committed to coaching my daughter's U10 soccer team last year. I have never played soccer, and, frankly, probably have only watched about 3 games my entire life. Anyway, obviously needing help, I searched for any resources that would bail me out. We had a decent team at the time, they had won 3, lost 3 and tied 2. I was hoping to just do that well under my watch. We were playing against teams coached by coaches that had previously coached travel teams, premier leagues and ODP teams!

    After finding your site, I decided I would commit to doing EVERYTHING you said to do. So I practiced the way you said-- signed up for the premium access to the website, practices, patches and game lineups. Long story short. My girls practiced Dribble Across A Square, I taught COACHING RULE #3, and, most importantly, we began using the patches for hustle, bravery and sacrifice. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A BIGGER MOTIVATIONAL RESOURCE THAN THE SOCCER PATCHES! You wanna know what happened, right? Well, this was the first year that they were giving out trophies...actually, one trophy.. for first place only. Not only did we win our U10 division, we were undefeated! (7-0-1) The 'better coaches' were absolutely upset about losing to us...after all, they 'knew more', they were more experienced, there was no way they should lose to someone who had never even played! Now we have moved up to U11 and we have begun the season 2-0. I cannot thank you enough! You guys rock! AB, U11, Premium Member

  26. U15 Team Won Tournament and Beat a Team Coached by a Professional Player, Coach Nick - Thanks in large part to your website and motivational soccer patches, which we call "secret stars," our (now U15-G) Ann Arbor United Pumas went from being cellar dwellers to competitive against older and higher-level teams. We won our first tournament in the fall, 2010 in a U16-G division and finished around .500 in an open high school league (my girls are 8th and 9th graders and the other teams had mostly sophomores, juniors, and seniors). One highlight was beating a high school team coached by a former Manchester United player! Nick, MI, Premium Member for 3 years
  27. U10, From 0-8 to 7-1 and Silver Medal, Coach Gayla - I can't say enough about the tried and true results of using these patches! My team lost all 8 games last season, and morale was low. Nothing I tried seemed to make a difference. I try to make soccer a very fun experience for the kids, not bad, by yelling at them. When I came across these patches, I figured I would give it a shot. What could it hurt? Well, I will tell you that this very same team that lost ALL 8 games in the fall, won 7 out of 8 games this spring!!! The kids wanted those patches!!! We placed 2nd, and got the silver medal! Thank you Soccer Help for helping me, help my team!!! These little patches gave them so much more to work toward, and have something to show, for their progression, and accomplishments! I can't say thank you enough!!! Thanks!! Coach Gayla, MO
  28. U9, New Coach is 17-4 in 2 Seasons, Coach Mike - Just wanted to thank you for the website and all the information contained therein. Two years ago I didn't know anything about soccer, and now my U9 girls' team has a two year record of 17 wins and 4 losses. My parents were excited about how well the girls played, I received many complements on how well they were coached, and most important, my kids had fun. I attribute much of my success to your Soccer Help Premium and the soccer patches. The website gave me the knowledge to coach, and the patches gave the girls the motivation. I'll be a member for as long as I coach. Mike, Washington, U9, Premium Member
  29. U4, Coach Albert - Just wanted to write and give you some feedback on your incentive patches and how our first season went. I'm the first year coach of a U-4 soccer team The Green Machine in FL. My boys and girls had the best record of the six team league. We all had a great time and the kids played their hardest throughout the season. They made sure to give their best effort to earn their patches after every game. Not only did the kids love them but so did all the parents and other coaches as well. They all thought it was a great idea to reward the kids for trying their hardest and making sure they have fun. Looking forward to coaching again this September. I have included a few pictures of the team. Hope you enjoy them. Notice the patches on the uniform sleeves. Thanks again. Coach Albert, FL, USA
  30. U12 Coed, Goes 8-2 and Having a Blast, Coach Ed - I started coaching in the spring this year and with the help of Soccer Help we had a very good season. I coached a rec team (U12 coed) and we went 8-2-0 finishing second in our division. We also scored the most goals (41) and our defense was third (20) in goals allowed. That was with 13 kids and 2 of them had never played before. Your web site, DVDs and patches are great. I have learned a lot and my kids enjoy the incentive patches. With all the practice games and touches on the ball my kids are having a blast. I receive good feedback from the parents telling me their child has played for 3 or 4 years and never had this much fun. Coach Ed, MS
  31. U10, from lethargic, unexcited, and bored to excited, hustling, and Winning, Coach Michael - We have used your patches and practice games with great success. We have a 9 year old city rec team in south Florida. It's our first year playing together, except for 2 of our players.

    Your patches have inspired them all to be much better players. The difference in everyone's play, since we started with the practice games and patches is amazing. I started the season's first practice without Soccer Help, and most of the kids were lethargic, unexcited, and bored. My wife found your site, and I realized that your training "principals" made lots of sense. (every kid has a ball in practice, no lines, several hundred touches on the ball in practice each, etc.) The patches arrived in time for the first game, and you would think I was passing out $100 bills after the game. All the kids are very proud of the patches they have earned, and can tell everyone how they earned each patch.

    We are half way through our season and have won all games except for the second game. Our greatest success was winning against a team (and coach) that has been undefeated for 3 seasons. Most of the league players all go to the same school, and the players on the other team had bragged (understandably) about their record at school, and my players were nervous about the game. We had a practice 2 days before the "big game", as always, we did your practice games - cone relay race, square dribble, and throw in practice, along with an offense against defense game. On Saturday morning, Before the game we warmed up, and did your 2 practice games again. It was the best kids soccer game I have ever seen, both teams played as hard and aggressive as I've ever seen 9 year olds play, it was very exciting. We won the game 1-0. I was so proud of them, everyone received several patches, as every player was a star. Soccer Help has definitely made me a better coach, and shown me how to motivate and create better players. Coach Michael, FL

  32. From Losing to Winning in New Zealand, Coach Chris - "We only had 1 win and 4 narrow losses until I subscribed to Premium, used the Practice Games and put into place your tactics for playing a Stopper, marking on throw-ins, goal kicks, punts and free kicks (Coaching Rule No. 3) and using patches as incentives to motivate players. The team we played today would have normally beaten us, but we beat them 3-0 !! The number of assists and striking in the goal box was amazing. The parents were screaming their heads off - they couldn't believe the change in our team. All the kids came off the field heads held high and smiling. SoccerHelp - I am raising a glass to you guys this evening - I think the team is starting out on a great path. You've made the difference today mate! All the best and have a great weekend. The start of ours has been awesome." Coach Chris, New Zealand, Premium member
  33. New Coach has 7-1 Season, Perfect Attendance at Practice and Games, Coach Jim - I should be thanking you. Before I joined SoccerHelp Premium today, for the past 2 soccer seasons I have bought and used your patches and have been using the 10 free Practice Games you offer on your site. I have stayed within your guidelines of being a good coach by making sure my kids have fun during practice and at the games. The patches have become a very important part of my team because it has led to perfect attendance both at practices and games and that leads to good team spirit. My girls are 7 and 1 this season. I have had other veteran coaches come up to me saying how spirited and well my team plays as a team. Parents have already made sure that I am their child's coach next season. For a guy who 2 years ago knew nothing about soccer it's a great feeling. Again, I thank you. Coach Jim, Premium member
  34. U10, First Year Coach, Coach Duane - This is my first year coaching soccer. My team started out with a big win against a very good team. We then went on to a 2 game tie and a 2 game losing streak. Well, our most recent game we won 5-1. It was the best game I have ever seen us play as a team. I told them of the patch award system I was going to use. When they received the patches I mean you could see the glow and the excitement on their face they were so proud and I am talking about 9-10 year olds. This less talented kids received a winning and hustling patch. And as you said I also used the Highest Patch as the assist patch the Gold Star for us. The kid who received was so happy. I give a patch for goals but only for the first and every 5th goal. Let me end this because I could go on and on about how good this system works. Coach Duane, Kansas
  35. First Time Coach, Coach Kris - Wow, I can't say enough good things about the approach to teaching soccer through games. I am a first time coach, I learned a lot from this website. The kids all participate in practice and seem to enjoy it. We had some first timers on the team and after our first practice were saying "This was fun." On Saturday, we won our first game!!!! But more importantly than that, through using the patches, even the kids were telling each other the good things they were doing. The parents seem to really like the patch idea too. So, I just wanted to say thanks for the website and all the great information on it. I was using the free site, but soon after I signed up for the premium package. It has been a lifesaver for me. Thanks again and keep up the excellent work. Coach Kris, Kansas, Premium member
  36. U8, Motivation to Practice, Coach C - I have begun using soccer patches to motivate my players. They love it! They were so excited when I announced it they could hardly wait to practice or play a game. I give practice patches as an incentive and I had girls making practices that rarely made the two practices per week. I also issue defensive patches, blood patches, assist patches, victory patches and the special lighting bolt hustle patch. We put these patches on the girls' team t-shirts that have the team name on the front with their number underneath. The patches look great and the kids love them. Coach C, U8, Premium Member
  37. 38-1-1 Record in 5 Years - 2 sons made Travel Teams - Hi David, The day has finally come. I can no longer deny giving credit where credit is due. It's true. I'm not naturally the Napoleon of kiddie soccer. I owe much of my coaching success to Soccerhelp.

    Five years ago I inherited my older son's U7 team from a coach who had made too many commitments and gave up the team after the second game. I've played soccer for most of my life but had never coached anything. We promptly lost our first game under my less-than-stellar leadership. The next week I ransacked the web for coaching how-to sites. I found Soccerhelp and read as much of the free info as I could, then used the practice games and tips. What did I have to lose?

    We tied the next game and showed improvement. In part because of what I had seen while playing rec soccer in Germany, that even very little kids can learn to play correctly, I stuck with the Soccerhelp approach. In the five years since that first loss and tie, including four seasons with my older son (now a travel team center mid) and last year with my younger son (five years old, joining a U8 travel team next year) the teams I have coached have a combined 38-1-1 record. Combined with my own soccer mania, Soccerhelp games and drills worked so well I even bought patches and coughed up the cash for Premium access. And I'm such a cheapskate you know that's serious!

    Yes, we've been fortunate to never get assigned a group of truly dreadful kids and mostly I've been allowed to keep my teams intact and build on success from year to year -- which makes things a lot easier and more satisfying for the coach. But most of the teams were nothing special, talent-wise, when we started. They were the typical assortment of a couple of good kids, mostly average kids, and a couple of awful kids. But the only games that are ever close (including the loss and tie) always come at the beginning of seasons, with a new team, before the training and practice has time to take effect. Because once it takes hold the gap between kids trained the Soccerhelp way and the other teams gets larger and larger every week. Things can get so out of control that by the end of spring season in our last U6 game I found myself telling my very young team -- composed of one six year old and a bunch of five year olds playing "up" -- "I told you to stop scoring or I'll TAKE PATCHES AWAY." (No, I don't usually yell at my five year olds, but at 10-0 in the third quarter I needed to slow down the slaughter somehow)

    Yes, the patches, small and expensive as they are, have been part of the process too. I swear, by the end of a season I've got kids who would happily walk on hot coals barefoot if they got a patch out of it ("...yes kids, this is the rare and elusive steamy hotfoot patch, the HARDEST of all patches to win... OOOOOOOOH!!!). It pains me to spend $100+ per season on patches, but there's no denying the results. Just don't make them too easy to win and 90% of kids will get obsessed and way motivated. It works.

    Anyway, you seem to enjoy these testimonials so I thought I'd offer mine up. The total system of maximizing touches on the ball during practice instead of waiting in line, running all drills as close to top speed as possible, and motivation via patches is mad effective. Couple it with an enthusiastic coach to put it all together and you produce a nearly invincible little-kid soccer machine.

    I'm moving up to assistant coaching travel this year so I can keep hanging out with my older boy. Still haven't decided if the older travel kids (U11) will be motivated by patches or not. I'll keep you posted. -Keith

  38. Middle School Team 3-0, Scoring 20 Goals - Hey Dave,

    I just wanted to let you know we are 3 and 0 so far! The first two games we won 7 to 0. Today we won 6 to 3. We have been dribbling around the square and dribble around the cone pass relay every practice as our warm-up. They have been a hit. I was wondering what do you recommend for the problem we are having during games now. What I see our problem has been is lack of control in the midfield. Even though we are able to win our games because we have great talent up top, I feel we can really dominate if we control the midfield a little better. Any tips? Also what would you recommend for practicing making my defensive backs more comfortable with the ball. Our sweeper is phenomenal, a real work horse, follows the ball, takes throw ins, but we have very young left and right backs that need some work. I want to make them better.


    Dave, Middle School Coach, Premium member

    (Reply from David at SoccerHelp is below)

    Hi Dave, Good to hear from you - congratulations, your team is doing great.

    My advice is:

    1. Keep playing Dribble Across a Square ( and Dribble Around Cone and Pass Relay Race ( ) at every practice. Re-read the instructions for those games so you can use them to teach the Most Skills. Play Dribble Across a Square 3 times to 6 with the square 10 of your steps and then 3 more times to 6 with the square 17 of your steps AND ask their scores and give tips after each game. To win in the larger square the players MUST look for Open Space and "burst" into it - that is an important skill.
    2. Use Dribble Around Cone and Pass Relay Race to teach Aggressive Receiving, to pass ASAP and One-Touch Play. Those skills will let your team play FASTER.

    3. When a team has easy wins they tend to get sloppy and do things that won't work against better teams. You should force your players to play the best way and not let them get sloppy or you will lose when you play a good team. FOR EXAMPLE, make the players off the ball keep moving to get open for a pass AND force the players with the ball to pass ASAP IF they have a pass instead of holding the ball too long. They can dribble against weak teams but if they try that against a good team they will lose the ball.
    4. To improve your player's skills. keep playing the SoccerHelp Practice Games - it takes time to improve skills. Look thru the list at . If you keep playing Dribble Across a Square and Dribble Around Cone and Pass Relay Race and doing as I recommend in # 1 above, I promise your player's will get better with the ball. There are 2 games you should try - First 1v1 Attacking & Defending at and then Win the 50/50 Ball or Be the First Defender at
    5. Have you taught Coaching Rule N0. 3? If you haven't, watch the video at This will make a difference in your games and can be worth 2 goals per game.
    6. With your success, I would ask the parents if someone will be a sponsor and buy some motivational patches. Get some D's for Defense and encourage defense all over the field AND reward shut outs. Choose other patches to reward the things you want to teach and ONLY give the patches when players EARN them. Use them to get players to improve and reward individual improvement - if every player improves your team will improve. Do NOT give MVP awards - that is counterproductive.

    Please let me know what helps. Your team is doing really well and as I recall, this is your first season with this team.

    David at SoccerHelp

  39. Lost 1st Game 9-0, then Won next game 2-1 after Changing Formation & Teaching Throw-In Tactics and Basic Defense - Below is a letter from a Premium member who greatly improved his team in one week, going from losing 9-0 to winning 2-1. He did things that made a big difference. He changed his formation, taught throw-in tactics, and taught defense tactics. He had a typical Rec team with some timid and slow players, but didn’t have any great players or great athletes. The 1-1-3-1 formation is very strong in the Center of the Field (where the “1”s and the Center Mid are) and is a good choice for many Rec teams if you play 7v7 because in Rec soccer, if you control the Center of the Field you will usually win, and you can’t put timid players at Fullback, Stopper, Center Mid of Forward. He put his best ballhandler at Center Mid, an aggressive player at Forward, a fast player at Stopper, a Brave but slow player at Fullback, and his weakest players at Right and Left Mid. He put a slow player with good hands in Goal. Use the Coupon 5offpremium to subscribe for as little as $10. You can read about it at

    "We had lost our first game 9-0, and I needed some help. I found Soccerhelp online, subscribed to Premium, and studied for a week. I also ordered patches. During the practice between my first game and the second game, I implemented: 1.) a formation (1-1-3-1), 2.) taught throw-in tactics (Coaching Rule No. 1 - how to mark up, and to throw down the line or to goal), and 3.) defense tactics (don't rush, played the shoulder tackle game, explained why they need to win the ball or be the first defender, taught first/second defender). We had hemorrhaged in defense and I needed to fix that, and we only had one practice between games. After the 9-0 loss, the kids were demoralized. I woke up at 5 every morning to learn more from Soccerhelp. I owed it to my son (and his teammates) to help him enjoy the game.

    They picked it up. I would at random times during practice say "formation" and give them 10 seconds to get into it. by the 10th time, it was flawless. They put it all together. And Saturday was game time. We won. 2-1. I handed out patches (although I need some more guidance on how many and how to properly hand out). Also, thank you, they arrived just in time!

    Anyway, thank you. I will continue to study this. I have also just volunteered for my daughter's U4 coaching."

    Coach Doon, U8 boys, 7v7, CA, Premium member

    Links to the SoccerHelp Premium articles mentioned above:

    1. For “How to Select a Goalkeeper”, see "K" at
    2. For "Coaching Rule No. 1" (how to teach players to defend throw-ins) see
    3. The "Shoulder Tackle, Strength on the Ball, Aggressive Play & Bravery Practice Game" is at
    4. The "Win the 50/50 Ball or Be the First Defender, 1v1 Attacking & Defending Practice Game" is at

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