Teaching 2 v 1 Soccer Attacking
Free Video Clips of a Takeover, an Overlap
and a Soccer Wall Pass
1v1 Soccer Attacking and Defending
3v3 Soccer Tips and Training
Recommended Practice Games
How to Find Topics on Premium

Dear SoccerHelp,

I am a new coach for a 3v3 U12 boys soccer team. I am looking for ways to optimize our practices, and new drills or strategies for offense and defense. How often should I sub? What's the best field positions for offense and defense, etc. Any help would be great.


Debbie, Premium Member, FL


Hi Debbie,

Thanks for being a Premium Member.

I don't get many letters about 3v3, but here are some ideas:

  1. I assume you are playing 3 on the field and no Goalkeeper? If so, you might get some ideas at Premium 4v4 Formations.

  2. You might also get some good ideas at Premium Indoor Soccer -- there are 60 tips there.

  3. Assuming 3 on the field, I think you will definitely want to have one player who is a dedicated defender (playing like a "Sweeper" as the "rear player") who supports your attack and stops breakaways by your opponents. This player would be a "relief valve" for back passes. This player should ALWAYS be shifting from side to side with the ball and stay between the ball and your goal. That way he is in position for back passes and to stop breakaways.

  4. In practice, there are 4 games I can promise will help your players: Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race (this teaches many things, including "Aggressive Receiving", Win the 50/50 Ball or Be the First Defender 1v1 Attacking/Defending, Dribble Across a Square and Shoulder Tackle & Strength on the Ball. Also, watch the video clip of the "Combat Game" at the Video Clips for Training Girls and Women to Win -- that game would be good for 12 year old boys.

  5. If you do throw-ins, goal kicks or are allowed to pressure balls passed in, you will want to teach Coaching Rule No. 3.

  6. You should definitely teach Aggressive Receiving, Passing to Space and the 2 basic types of Movement off the Ball.

  7. As for when to sub, this will depend on the abilities and endurance of your players, how many players you have, the size of the field, your personal philosophy, and whether your players will get bored if they are on the bench too long. I always preferred to sub frequently and would sub about every 5 minutes because it kept my players fresh and in the game. There is a good article on Premium at http://www.soccerhelp.com/premium/Substituting_Rules_When_And_How.shtml that explains how I subbed and has lots of ideas.

  8. Watch the video clip from Training Girls and Women to Win of "2 v 1 Attacking, Demonstrations of a Takeover, an Overlap and a Wall Pass"

  9. On offense, your "front 2" attackers should support each other to provide a passing option, and as I mentioned, the "rear player" should shift from side to side with the ball so he is in position for a back pass.

If you can't find something on Premium, start with the Alphabetical List of articles on the Home Page and then try the Premium Dictionary -- the Dictionary is a portal to topics.

I hope this helps. Please let me know what is most helpful and any ideas you want to share with other coaches.

David at SoccerHelp