Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Video for coaching soccer positions and formations

If you are looking for some help with coaching soccer formations, I found this really cool training video for soccer formations. It's really useful.

It shows you the most common formations used in soccer; 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-5-2 and 4-5-1. The video shows how each formation is constructed and the positions the players need to take up. It also tells you the names of each position within each formation. It also has a brief description of the formation along with the benefits of that particular formation. Very good stuff.

There is a good voice-over too explaining the formations and how they work.

Another good feature is if you click on a position, there is a quick guide to what that player is expected to do and the attributes they need. But the really cool thing is that it then shows you some typical plays. What that position should do and how they interact with other players in different positions. It even shows how the defence should move together as a unit! Great stuff.

Take a look at theses videos about soccer formations and tell me what you think.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Soccer formations - how to choose one

As a coach it is important to select a soccer formation that uses the strengths of your squad. Many coaches get caught up in the complexities of the different formations and what they mean. At a more advanced level, then there are plenty of subtleties but for most of us coaching juniors and even league teams, the choice is usually driven by the players available to you. At the top levels of the game, coaches can determine tactics for specific opponents but again they usually look to their internal strength.

So what do you do?

You need to assess the individual capabilities of your players. Are your best players mainly defenders or do you have an abundance of start strikers? Does you midfield fizz with great play-makers or do you have a couple of really strong tacklers? What ever the answer will shape the way you play.

So if you have three great strikers, then you need to have a more attack minded formation such as 4-3-3. On the other hand,if you have say two great tacklers, one skillful playmaker in midfield and only one good striker, then a 4-5-1 formation would suit you more. This way you get the best out of your resources.

Here is an interesting piece about Freddie Adu and how choosing the right formation for your players is so important. Adu didn't feel that he was able to play to his best because of the position he was asked to play in.

"At DC, Christian Gomez was one of the best playmakers in the league, but coach Peter Nowak wanted to get Adu on the field anyway so Adu needed to learn how to play out wide in a 3-5-2, a position with immense defensive responsibility as well."

He has now moved to Benfica in Portugal where their formation should suit him better.

"Benfica often plays with a diamond midfield or a 4-2-2-2; both formations would allow Adu to play the type of central attacking role where he is most comfortable."

Learning about soccer formations is a subtle art and needs constant attention. Share your successes with us so other coaches can improve their games too.



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Soccer positions and formations

For an inexperienced soccer coach, soccer positions and formations can be confusing. Should it be 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 5-3-2, 4-3-3, 4-5-1? Hey, what are all these numbers? What does it all mean? Don't worry - it's quite easy really.

Formations are the basis of the way a soccer team plays the game. In simple terms, it is where the players should be in relation to each other on the pitch. The numbers refer to the number of players in an imaginary line counting from the back or defense, then the midfield and finally the attachers (offense or strikers). The players should move up and down the pitch together in these positions.

Choosing a formation depends on two things; the strengths of your team or the strengths of the opposition. For new coaches, just focus on your own team. 4-4-2 is the most common formation as it give good defensive cover but also allows the wide midfield players to go forward to support the attackers and then the wide defenders can go forward to cover the attacking wide midfielders.

If your squad has a lot of strong defenders and just one good striker, then go for a 4-5-1 formation. It is less attacking than other formations but you should concede fewer goals. That means that you don't need to score so many to win.

These guys have some very detailed stuff about soccer formations.

Let me know your thoughts