Small Sided 4 v 4 Defending Games

Small Sided 4 v 4 Defending Games

One way to teach the basic tactical game of the 4 v 4 is to offer many different ideas on actual game situation that focus on certain themes. This is what the following presentations does. You cannot do better than put players into game situations to learn the game, we just take it one stage further by what we present here. We begin by teaching defending principles in a 4 v 4 game situation so several thoughts on different set ups to teach it individually and collectively as team players.

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The Roles and Responsibilities of Each Player in 9 v 9

The Roles and Responsibilities of Each Player in 9 v 9

Here we are looking at players 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9; 10 and 11 of the 11 v 11 and we will look at them in this particular formation of 1-3-3-1-1.  You could of course use different formations at 9 v 9 but I'm basing it on this one because it’s closer to the set up of the 11 v 11 so it transitions easily into it.

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How To Set-up A Small-Sided Game

How To Set-up A Small-Sided Game

Small-sided games are less than 11 v 11 and can be any number from 3 v 3 to 9 v 9. The general sizes of a game to establish team coaching themes are usually 6 v 6 or 8 v 8. Here are two examples of set ups for these sizes of games and information on U.S. Soccer's small-sided games standards.

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Sideways on Soccer Using Corridors

Sideways on Soccer Using Corridors

4 v 4 game. Players have to pass diagonally forward because of the condition set. This develops the checking and passing habits of players. Players stay in their same corridors or zones. Theme is to have them check off at an angle and sideways on so they can see the opponent, their team mates and the goal behind them. 

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The Importance of Developing Players Through Teaching Rondos

The Importance of Developing Players Through Teaching Rondos

Rondos are a great way to prepare players for the game situations and especially the fast decision making needed within the game. Though the foundation of the basic rondo stays the same, it can be made more difficult or easier by the number of touches players are allowed for example so it benefits ALL players who practice with them.

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Free eBook: Teaching Strikers Receiving the Ball to Feet with Their Backs to Goal

Free eBook: Teaching Strikers Receiving the Ball to Feet with Their Backs to Goal

All start positions should be with the idea of getting the ball into the strikers’ feet to receive it with their back to goal; and then developing the play from there. Emphasize the striker getting across the defender if the defender tries to get in front of them to intercept the pass to them, and using their body to block them off. This can be a big problem for a striker if they are not aware of where the defender marking them is. Secondary movements and developments will result from there. Using the three R’s to teach this; Review, rehearse and restart.

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1-3-2-1: Patterns of Play at 7 v 7

1-3-2-1: Patterns of Play at 7 v 7

Taking simple tactical ideas created on the training field to the game situation. We teach certain movements in training; players take ownership of them in the game situation. The following presentation is designed to simplify the potential Patterns of Play of players at 7 v 7. Eventually we will show several movements but we need to build up to these slowly and with patience. Patterns of Play are designed to be practiced to help players identify common situations in the game itself. 

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Playing in 5 Corridors and 3 Zones Using the 3-3-1-3 for Attacking and Defending Team Shape

Playing in 5 Corridors and 3 Zones Using the 3-3-1-3 for Attacking and Defending Team Shape

Using Corridors is a great way to work out individual and collective field positioning as a team both offensively and defensively and it also gives players real a “focal point” to work off. We use “Corridors” width wise and then introduce “Zones” lengthwise later. These “focal points of reference” I believe are a great way to really teach players to understand the differences between attacking and defending team shapes both widthwise and lengthwise. A great session to help players identify positional variations, the 4 lines are used as a clear guide widthwise.

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The Three Team Awareness One Touch Game

The Three Team Awareness One Touch Game

Working with three teams (numbers depends on how many players you have, e.g. it can be 4 v 4 + 4 or 5 v 5 + 5 etc). Teams (1) and (2) work together to keep the ball from team (3). If team (3) regains possession the team who gave it away becomes the defenders. The defenders reward is they keep the ball and link with the other team.

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