Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Feedback: Introducing Position Play
by SA Editorial, May 7th, 2009 5:30PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Soccer America Members can post their feedback on SoccerAmerica.com's Blog and Commentary section using the link provided at the bottom of our e-letters. Selected posts are included periodically in the e-letters. Below are reader comments on a recent edition of the Youth Soccer Insider:

INTRODUCING POSITIONS WITHOUT SHACKLES
By Chad McNichol

BRAD PARTRIDGE:
Rather than have positions for U-12s and under at our club, we teach our players to identify basic shape. Height, width and depth. We ask them to try and always establish good shape no matter where you are on the field. To help them out in 6 vs. 6 we play a 1-3-2; in 8 vs. 8 we play 1-2-3-2. Players are encouraged to change positions according to the movement and possession of the ball.

By stressing shape instead of positions we allow all of our players to attack and all to defend. Yes, we do get caught with no one defending at times, but that is how we learn. Parents have more of an issue with this then the kids. Chad, your approach is good and beneficial for the kids keep up the great work.

J.W. PENLAND:
I coach U-9 in Chicagoland. Instead of focusing on positions, I focus on roles by teaching the commitments of the different players on the field. As the players learn the roles, they understand how to orient during the game.

We also teach the players that their role can change during play. For example, with 7 vs. 7, we assign two players to play the role of defense. If the player holding the role of defender has the ball and space, he changes roles to attack, and a teammate covers the role of defense. So there is a way to do this without leaving all of them in complete ambiguity without a description of what they should care about in their role (which is like telling a baseball player only that he is an infielder).

Recently, we re-named our defenders "super-backs" because we expect them to attack aggressively when they have the ball and space. Super-back is now the most popular role on the team because they love to go on long dribbling runs and run at defenders and use their moves. It is not uncommon to see our defenders serving balls from the endline or be in front of the goal ready to finish a play they started.

Now, I have a special group of players who are very interested, very willing, and nicely skilled, which is certainly not the situation on every team.

With this group (and with many others) I imagine it is safe to teach that some players' primary roles are to keep the ball out of the goal, that some players' primary roles are to contribute on both ends of the field, and that some players are generally "up top" to help our team score and hold possession when we win the ball. At least, that is my opinion based on my experience.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
The Two-Ref System Revisited    
Two years ago, I wrote about The Two-Ref System: Its Flaws and How to Cope. The ...
The case for a full-service club: rec to comp    
How important is it for a club to offer all levels of play -- rec to ...
Crucial Concussion Evaluation Info for Coaches     
How should a coach evaluate a young athlete for a possible concussion?
A great start to practice: Free play!    
I have often wondered what goes on in the minds of 6-year-old American children who are ...
The College Quest in 2014: 'Technology can help bridge the access gap'    
It's been a decade since Avi Stopper penned a guide for high-schoolers on how to navigate ...
'Give Players Freedom' -- Justi Baumgardt-Yamada (Q&A)    
Justi Baumgardt-Yamada was an All-American at the University of Portland, played 16 times for the USA ...
Top 3 Keys to a Successful Club: Keeping 'Customembers' Satisfied    
As in any business, and a soccer club is a business, it is important to know ...
For Kids Only ...     
Dear Soccer-Playing Children of America,
Wilson Egidio's New York City Success Story    
When Manhattan SC PSG won the U-17 national title in July it became the first New ...
Curt Onalfo: L.A. Galaxy builds bridge from youth to first team    
One of the biggest challenges in U.S. player development is providing a highly competitive, professional environment ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives