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What's the best way to teach players about positioning?

I am coaching 11 7 to 8 year olds what is the best way to teach them about positioning

Am currently about to do with with my u12 girls team, this season we have moved onto bigger pitches and have more players a side now.

The way I have done it is take a white board down with me to training or games, draw a pitch and put the formation I will be playing on it.  I have explained to each player what there is and what to do if we are attacking or defending, it seems to be goen down well.

I tried talking to them but they looked at me like I was an alien and had no idea what I was talking about.

Another way is to maybe use cones to show a player there area.

Teach them about space and how to pass a football. Positions will come later...

I handle 1st and 2nd graders and banged my head for days to figure this out.  I've found two things to help:

1). paint 3 yellow or red lines on the field spliting the field into 1/3rds long ways.  Unlike cones, the kids will still be able to play without bangiing into them.

2). Play scrimages 5 on 5 or 6 on 6 and include this "staying in your area" during the game time.  They get very excited during games/scrimages and this is when they need to learn how to think on their feet.

Drills just don't give the same results as thinking while having a game.  Usually have noticed results in one day...

I agree with Tim.

@ 7-8 your focus should be pass/reci/dribble with alot of fun and very little talking by the coach. Consider taking a course or read up on a 7-8 year olds cognitive ability. Make sure they are getting alot of touches on the ball during training and coach very sapringly if at all during matches. Remeber they are "children" and not adults so when you see the swarm around the ball during matches it is ok. Also make sure and communicarte what you learn about 7-8 year olds to the parents...and make sure they are not yelling instructions to the players from the touch. Yhis will only sifle thier ability to make decisions and limmit thier creativity.

Thank You,

Ronald Kruse
Head Coach 03G (U11)
Alaska Rush Soccer Club

I also agree with Tim.Space and Passing are far more important at this level, not to mention skills and technique. Commit to giving each player x number of touches on theball each week (1500 in my U14 team. We don't count it, but we plan practices to get there). Playing keep away is the simplest and most common of drills, but IMO still one of the best for developing space.

Pictures work best. Draw a formation, (I assume you are playing 7 a side in that age group) and show them why not all chasing the ball works better. I agree with all posters about fun and touches on the ball, but playing two banks of three without the ball and then  showing how running into space gives you more chance of getting the ball when your team is in possession can be fun too! :-) They will appreciate it and learn very quickly. Noone expects them to digest "inverting the pyramid" or Zonal Marking theory, but pictures of a basic set up really do work.

Cheers, Ian. Coach Hook Norton U8s Oxfordshire, ENGLAND

Position all your players where you want them before the start of a Game/match. For example, a Gk >> 2>1>2 system you will place 2 red cones for the nearest players to the GK, 1 yellow cone for the midfield player and 2 green cones for the forwards. Do the same with the other team (assuming 12 players if not then adjust accordingly)

Play a normal game but every so often instant stop the play and challenge all the players who can be first to stand by their start cone?

Do this 5 or 6 times at random lengths of time in between.

Next, start with the GK who rolls a ball to a defender who controls and passes it to the other defender who controls and passes it to the midfield player who controls and passes it to one forward who controls and passes it to the other forward who controls and passes it to the GK.

With all the passes, the passer follows their pass so all players will pass and leave their cone and move to the cone they passed to and so on.The forward who passes to the GK dashes to get to the vacant cone that was left by the first defender passing. The GK then rolls the ball to this forward now at the defending cone and the cycle continues until all players are back at their original cones.

Then challenge them to repeat the whole cycle in a set time or how many cycles can they complete in a set time.

 

Hope these wortk for you.

 

Kev

 

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  • or access our tried and tested plans