How to maintain our midfield formation?

How to maintain our midfield formation?

iam coaching under 16s boys soccer and we keep losing our shape paticulary in mid field and this is where i want to control the game from but there always seem to be no one marking up when there is a quick change of possion

Football CoachCoach
Football CoachCoach

Hi John,

It sounds like they do not understand the role of a midfielder, I would suggest using  magnetic board to show them the role, then try this in a trainning situation

Patrick KowaCoach, Botswana

Hi John,

Following the magnetic board session, as suggested by Nick, take the same players to the field and do some drills in the middle third of the field, this will also bring orienation [of the field] to the players  

Football CoachCoach

Hi John, We also had this problem with a group of players which was leaving a big gap in our midfield when we lost possession. This then led to a swarm of attackers over-running our defence and the inevitable concession of goals. I searched for exercises covering the transition period between having possession and losing it. There are some available on many websites if you have the patience. The most important aspect of this, I found, was to make sure that on losing possession that the whole team became compact (especially in midfield and behind them at the back) as soon as possible. It takes a bit of hard work to assume the correct formation on losing possession but after a few weeks we found that we weren't conceding as many goals from this aspect of the game. Hope that this makes sense and helps somewhat.

Coach, England

Hi John, I found putting cones down on the pitch were I wanted them defensively worked. We then played a game and every time they lost the ball the had to get back to their position marked by the cone then start from there.

we expanded on this by putting cones down in there favoured attacking position on the field and they had to get there as we were breaking out and attacking.

Answered using Sportplan on Mobile

Football CoachCoach

I often use an exercise where I mark few spots on the field with cones and number them. For example, number 1 is when opponent`s left back has the ball, number 2 is when ball is in center circle...etc.. My players are lined up in usual formation which we use in games. When I yell 1, and all the players have to move in proper position on the field (which I explain to them on magnetic board before the practice), then I yell number 5, and then they move again in proper positions....repeat a few times until they get it. After that let them play a match and stop the play if they are not in proper positions in every situation. I hope this helps.

Login or Join Now for FREE to post your answer


  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans


Use our expert plans or build your own using our library of over 700+ drills, and easy-to-use tools.



See the whole archive of questions.



  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create professional football coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested football plans

Sportplan App

Give it a try - it's better in the app

YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the growing community of football coaches plus 500+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.