Team Building

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					Soccer Education Resource

Team Building

   Team Building
Player Development
          Soccer – by definition
• Soccer is a game played between 2 teams and
  each team is trying to score more goals than
  the other team.
• Soccer games are decided by goals.
  Practice centers on creating and finishing
  opportunities, or, on denying them.
• The entire soccer world revolves around one
  team trying to put the ball in the net while the
  other tries to stop them.
               Team Building
• First – analyze the whole situation
• Second – find out how it works (fits) together
• Third – integrate all the parts into the whole
• Then it becomes a continuous, daily process
     Together Everyone Achieves More
• Style and tactics in accordance
• with the profile of the players,
• the history, tradition and identity of the club.
        Analysis of the Technical Level
                 of the Group

•   Quality / weaknesses of the group
•   Possibilities of / within the club
•   Infrastructure
•   Financial condition
•   Technical staff
              RULES OFF THE FIELD
• Harmony -- get along with each other
• Discipline -- respect rules, norms and behave accordingly
• Clear objectives -- targets that are realistic, yet challenging
•                     that create interest and motivation
• Hierarchy within the group -- ‘pecking order’
• Common enemy approach -- “ we against the world “
• Importance of coaching -- flexible and credible
• Interaction -- group feedback
• Communication -- the basis for success or failure
• Concentration -- define objectives and values, develop
• Morale of the group
• Choice of system -- according to the players available
• Coach defines the system -- based on coach’s
  philosophy and concepts
• Training -- use game to teach the game
• Pros and cons of system
• System -- based on players’ qualities and club culture
• Establish and define responsibilities -- who does what
  , where and when
• Potential of team
• Balance between attack and defense
• Counter attack -- best attack, yields best results
• Good positioning --
  movement with and without the ball
• Who does what
• Zonal defending -- the ball is the target --
  move with the ball
• Buildup -- fast, efficient -- get to opponent’s goal fast
• Style of play -- based on individual ability,
• Star player must be able to decide the match result
• Performance measured by individual quality and
  collective work

•   Open, penetrate, support, mobility
•   Support -- help
•   Open -- flank play
•   Depth -- target
•   Penetrate -- get behind defense
•   Improvise -- do the unexpected, creativity
•   Recovery -- get behind the ball
•   Cover -- help teammate
•   Compact -- block
•   Balance -- get numbers up and organize
•   Delay -- pressure -- take away time and
• Patience -- circulate the ball across the field,
  looking for opening(s)
• Early deep ball to target player
• 1v1
• Wide play to flanks -- get around and behind
  defenders on the flank
• Look for / create space, chance, goal
• First look – deep to goal
     The Soccer Learning Process
• 10-12 years to develop an established soccer player
• Thousands of touches per training session
• Demands of the game are changing faster than ever
• The Journey of development takes:
  time, patience, great understanding, and a plan
• Basic fundamentals remain the essence of the game
• Players must be flexible in playing roles and adaptable
  to the constant changes within the game
• Speed of execution is the key factor
                The Learning Process
• The Learning process depends largely on practice.
  Soccer is best learned by playing, and the time children spend
  playing the game is important for their soccer development.

• Children need to learn the game and understand it on their terms.
  It must be meaningful to them. They must have involvement and
  recognize what is going on and participate accordingly

• Learning up to around age 11 or 12 is mostly concrete learning, the
  abstract learning starts to kick in around 11 or 12 for most children.

• The golden age of learning is considered between the ages
  of 9 and 11.
           Slanty Line Theory
• Developed from the traditional method of
  eliminating children as the level of difficulty
• This becomes very counter-productive
• Slanty line theory allows children to
  participate at their own level, where they feel
  comfortable and secure.
• They now will seek out their own new
             “ Soccer Brain “
• The ability to see the game in detail
• A clear picture of all that is going on
• Think and react quickly to the best option
• Understand, anticipate and react to what may
  suddenly happen during play
• The “soccer brain” will improve in training if
  the player is made to think
• Develop insight during small-sided games
  From Dependence to Independence
        Questions vs Answers

• Coaches should ask more questions of the players in
  regards to what is going on or wrong during play

• Coaches should provide fewer immediate answers
  to the situations

• Players will now be required to think more and
  become more involved in the learning process and
  develop more insight into the game
        Age Group Characteristics
• U 6 through U 18 represents a major part of the early
  life cycle -- be sensitive to the age level and stage of
• Certain essential qualities and characteristics
  dominate each level of development –
• Take time to get to know what your age can do –
  physically, intellectually and emotionally
• Think of what that aged person might be doing in
  school – relate soccer to their experiences whenever
   Ages and Stages of Development
• Up to age 8 -- fundamental stage – no real
  frame of reference to the game – introductory
• Age 9 - 12 -- learning stage – capable of
  significant development
• Age 13 – 16 -- transition stage -- physical and
  emotional changes
• Age 17 on -- development / fulfillment
           Stages of Development
    6 to 8 years old: Discovery
•   Easily distracted, short concentration span
•   They all want the ball – 3 v 3 becomes 1 v 5
•   Limited to kicking ball forward, dribbling and
    shooting at goal
•   Every player needs constant ball contact
•   Create fun games with the ball for them
•   Must introduce the game of soccer to them
•   Size 3 ball and 4 v 4 in a modified area
       Stages of Development -- 2
    8 to 10 years old: Development
•   More small-group oriented
•   Longer attention span
•   Ideal age to development fundamental soccer
    skills. They learn by imitation
•   More awareness, purpose & aggressive
•   Can combine with 1 or 2 other players
•   Can handle light soccer pressure
       Stages of Development -- 3
    10 to 12 years old: Creativity
•   Control own movements and consciously work
    to improve their game
•   Continue with skill development
•   Add insight into the mix
•   Small-sided games for problem-solving
•   Motivation to learn and achieve is higher
•   Size 4 ball and up to 7 a side games
        Stages of Development -- 4
    12 to 14 years old: Discipline
•   Growth spurts for some, but not for all
•   Awkward stage, coordination is a problem
•   More assertive, with their own opinions
•   Talent gap noticeable
•   Team concepts (attack, defend, transition)
•   Curious to know why (what’s the purpose)
•   Size 4 or 5 ball with 8 or 11 a side
         Stages of Development -- 5
    14 to 16 years old: Competitive
•   Winning becomes more important than ever
•   Capable of playing very competitive soccer
•   Playing pressure increases dramatically
•   Play the game with more insight and intensity
•   Tactics and team play become main themes
•   Positional play becomes more important
•   Some players struggle to keep up
               Age - Appropriate
•   Just exactly what can a 6 year old do
•   What is he capable of doing
•   Motor skills
•   Learning capacity
•   Attention span
•   Interests – relate soccer to their interest
    “ Star Wars ” -- “ Cowboys and Indians “
      School vs Soccer Approach
• Ability
• Attitude
• Ambition

• Slanty line theory --
  everyone may not be at the same place, deal with
  them where they are –
  don’t set the bar so as to eliminate, but rather to
  give everyone a fair chance
              The Elements of Soccer

• First, you need a ball. Then teammates and opponents. A
  field of some dimension (best if it is rectangular), boundaries
  and some simplified rules . Add goals and you are now
  playing soccer – from 1v1 up to 11v11.
• Removing any of these elements takes away from the total
  soccer learning experience. Any of the elements can be
  modified for a desired training effect -- “ dry swimming “
• As the number of elements increase, so does the degree of
  difficulty. Every additional element added increases the
  difficulty significantly
  Simplify the Developmental Process
• If we were to simplify the developmental process to the
  most basic elements, this would be the platform:
  (always with a goal of some sort to attack and defend)

• 1) master the ball
     (creating a base to play and to play against others)

• 2) playing together (with teammates and against
    opponents - combining skills with insight)

• 3) playing within a system (team tactics, roles)
     Levels of Play and Involvement
• Fundamental
• Intermediate
• Advanced (elite)

•   Grassroots ……. Experience
•   Recreational ….. Fun
•   Competitive …… Ambition
•   Elite ………………. Talent, Performance
            1 vs 1 through 8 vs 8
• 1 vs 1 – it’s all on you
• 2 vs 2 – now with a teammate
• 3 vs 3 – first sign of shape (triangle)
• 4 vs 4 – new shape – diamond – width and depth
• 5 vs 5 – field players only, no keeper – add a player
            to the center of the diamond
• 6 vs 6 – now include the keeper
• 7 vs 7 – introduce wingers
• 8 vs 8 – beginning of line play ( backs-midfield-
             Playing to Goals
• Goals give direction and purpose
• Goals represent the essence of the real game
• Goals give an outcome
• The real game is played between 2 goals with
  the object of the game being for 1 team to score
  more goals than the other team
• Develop the mentality of attacking and defending
  a goal and the transitional moment of the ball
  changing from 1 team to the other
• Goals bring the game and the activity to life
           Natural Progression
• First, learn to play with the ball

• Second, learn how to play with teammates

• Third, learn how to play against opposition

• Fourth, learn how to play in various game
  4v 0
15 x 10 yd
  4v 0
15 x 10 yd
  4v 1
15 x 10 yd
15 x 10 yd
15 x 10
20 x 15 yd
20 x 15 yd
30 x 25 yd
30 x 25 yd
 30 x 25 yd

 35 x 20 yd

                     Why 4 v 4
• Smallest manifestation of real soccer
• All of the elements are present to experience real
• Players will get more touches on the ball
• Involved physically and mentally
• Quicker action sharpens concentration
• Constant action and always on or around the ball
• To play real soccer
• To build up and score, defend and play in
  transition as the ball exchanges
• Fewer players and more confined space –
  more involvement
• Simple framework to learn the elements of
         Elements of Soccer

• The minimum # of players needed for all the
  principles of play
• Penetration – width – depth – support
• Free movement develops mobility
• Ball, goals, rectangular playing field,
  boundary lines, teammates, opponents,
  space, pressure, rules and direction of play
•   1 player up top for penetration
•   2 players wide for width
•   1 player stays back for depth
•   In possession, make field big
•   Look to play deep, early
•   Loss of possession, make field small
•   A diamond shape
               Coaching in 4 v 4
•   Freeze the moment
•   Don’t over coach
•   Coach those that need coaching
•   Ask questions, avoid statements
•   Coach what is real
•   Stand where you can see
•   Bring the game to life
                Coaching -- 2
• Think of 3 moments

• 1 -- give just enough directions to get   the
  game going
• 2 -- what are the big mistakes –
   can they solve the soccer problem
• 3 -- fine tune, introduce changes
         Less talk, more activity
• Kids will remember:
  what they hear ..….. the least (20%)
  what they see & hear …. more    (50%)
 what they do       …… the most (90%)

Spend as little time as possible telling them
Spend more time showing them
Spend the most time letting them do it
           The Manchester United
             4 v 4 Pilot Scheme

Source: “FA Insight”, Based upon study performed by the
    Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the
          Manchester Metropolitan University.
             Quantitative Analysis*

                  # of       Scoring     Goals     1v1      Dribbling
                 Passes      Attempts            Encounte    Skills
   2-Goal          170              44    18        51         39
   Line Ball       160              NA    37        56         58

   GK Game         149              49    17        92         36

   4-Goal          106              62    28        52         45
   8v8             108              20     5        28         16

*Numbers listed are “Mean” scores
          Quantitative Summary
On Average 4v4 versus 8v8 had:
  1.   135% more passes
  2.   260% more Scoring Attempts
  3.   500% more Goals Scored
  4.   225% more 1v1 Encounters
  5.   280% more Dribbling Skills (tricks)
            Small – Sided Games
• “ In simplified, modified games, players learn to be
   aware and to improvise, to concentrate and to
   recognize the situation.
• Skills are important , but the value of skill is to be
   able to use them efficiently in a fraction of a
• Practices should be one quarter skill training and
   three quarters applying those skills in endless
 --- Rinus Michels – Former Dutch National Team
   Coach and the FIFA Coach of the Century
               No Shortcuts
• The expectation of the coach must be
  appropriate to the age and experience of his
• The road to success has very few travelers
  because the majority of them got lost along
  the way looking for shortcuts.
• Playing soccer without thinking is like shooting
  without aiming
The Best Team to Coach

 is a Team of Orphans
             A Team of Orphans
  A team of orphans has:

• no parents to second-guess your decisions,
• to tell you why their child should play more
  than everyone else,
• scream from the sidelines at officials and players.

• But most importantly, there would not be any
  parents around to criticize the children for losing.
Soccer Education Resource

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