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Teach Youth Players How to build play from the back

This is the first of The Youth Coaching Series E-Books designed for coaches operating at the youth level. This e-book provides coaches of U11and U12 a comprehensive plan in how progressively teach youth players how to build play from the back in the 9v9 game format.

TACTICAL Individual and

TACTICAL Individual and small group tactical activities must be part players regular training at this stage. As a team, we will continue working on basic attacking principles through simplified game situations that facilitate the player individual and group decision making. The basic concepts of keeping possession and safely advancing the ball introduced in the previous stage continue to be developed and reinforced. Brief shadow play can sometimes be used to provide young players with reference points in how to build play from the back , and the options available to them. Listed below are some of the attacking principles essential to building play from the back: PRINCIPLES Dispersal Support OBJECTIVE When the goalkeeper has the ball, what is the position on the field that each player must take? (Width and Depth) How to support a teammate in possession of the ball so that the team can advance the ball or retain possession. GAME SITUATIONS 1v1 attacking/defending 2v1 to advance the ball 3v1 and 3v2 to advance the ball 4v2 and 4v3 to advance the ball We cannot forget that at this age, this particular situation must be a priority. Even though we want to instill team play, in reality players will still want to dribble with the ball and we must allow it. As their decision making evolves and cooperation is accepted, players will start to recognize situations where using a teammate can be a better option than dribbling on their own. This is the basic form of two player cooperation. In order for players to be somewhat effective in trying to build from the back, this situation must be practiced often. In the 2v1 attacking situation, players will learn how to make the appropriate decision on when and how to dribble, or pass the ball to a teammate for the purpose of advancing the ball or shooting. These game situations are the natural progression to the 2v1. More players are involved and the triangle concept, vital to building up play, is introduced. The diamond shape is the next progression to three player play. The four players occupy space by providing defensive and offensive depth, width, and support. 3v1 –4v3 (Rondos) possession At this stage, is the introduction of the concept of keeping the ball is more important than the activity. Rondos activities can be used as fun ways to practice and develop the ability and culture of keeping the ball. 8

Building play from the back Stage 1– 7v7 This is the introductory stage of teaching players how to build from the back. In this two year period, players are introduced to the basic concepts of building play, maintaining possession, and advancing the ball under control. The challenges are many, as players at this stage of their development cannot fully understand the team concept, and their role within the team. The aim at this stage is to lay down a starting foundation. This includes developing the required technical components and cognitive aspects of building from the back when keeper is in possession. Fig 1 dribbling abilities might be more at ease as a wide player, rather than as central defender. Nevertheless, players should experience at least two positions on the field if not more. Structurally, the 2-3-1 formation for the 7v7 game format is the most appropriate for developing good build up play from the back. Natural triangles will facilitate proper angles of support, which is critical in keeping possession and advancing the ball. The 2-3-1 formation will feature a goalkeeper, two central defenders, a central midfielder, two wide players and a central striker. For clarification purposes, at this stage of development, coaches must stay away from position specialization of players. I believe that physical, technical, and mental characteristics of players might indicate tendencies and possible future roles a player might be more suitable for. For example, a player with good running and Occupation of Space With the goalkeeper in possession of the ball, the two central defenders will take a wide central position not too far apart from each other, forming a triangle with the goalkeeper. The two wide players will get in a wide position close to the line, the midfielder in a central midfield position ahead of the two central defenders, while the striker will hold a central advanced position. (Fig 1) These starting field positions sets up four distinctive chains of play, two central and two wide ones. The first central chain and probably the most important one, includes the goalkeeper, the two central defenders and the central midfielder. 9