How to Double Your Soccer Goal ScoringHi SoccerHelp, Our girls U10 rec soccer league plays 6 v 6 on a standard 6 v 6 field with four 12 minute quarters. My team was relatively young for the league with 2 ten year olds and 8 nine year olds. We surprisingly finished with a record of 8-1-2, but our problem was that we only scored 28 goals in 13 games; the good news was we only allowed 13 goals. We played great defense, and I had one girl who was probably the best GK in the league but I only let her play GK for usually 1 or 2 quarters because she still needs to develop other soccer skills, and my two ten year olds were more than adequate in goal. I'm looking to score more goals next season with basically the same team. I generally played a 2-1-2 formation. I had two girls who could run all day and had above average soccer skills; they usually played CMF. I had two girls who were very weak and usu. played RF. The rest of the girls were fairly athletic, speedy and aggressive and rotated between a FB and LF. I played the FB's up because we had the speed to offset counter-attacks, but I also had my F's come to my defensive third line to help support the defense. Because my RF was ALWAYS a weak player, the LF usu. had to try to create her own scoring opportunity and hope for help from the CMF. We had very few shots on goal per game but likewise had few against us. There was nothing wrong with an 8-1-2 record but 5 of our wins were by one goal so there was very little margin for error. I feel like I have enough talent to score more. Would a 1-1-2-1 soccer formation be a better fit for my team? Coach U ---------------------- Hi Coach U, First, congratulations on your success -- that's an excellent record and I can tell from your letter that you're a good coach. 6v6 is tough because you don't have a good place to put weak players. I don't like 6v6 for Rec soccer for that reason. I wouldn't change my formation. You've done great with it. You want to score a few more goals and here are some ideas for you to consider:
6v6, 1-1-2-1 Soccer Formation vs. 2-1-2 Soccer Formation
How to Effectively Use a "Stacked" Formation to Control the Center of the Soccer Field
Putting Players in Positions Where They Can Excel
A Soccer Coaching Success Story and How He Did It Through Fundamentals, a New Soccer Formation and Good Coaching
Please let me know if any of these ideas help. David at SoccerHelp ---------------------- Hi SoccerHelp, We had our first game last night and won 4-1 (we lost to this team last season) using a 1-1-2-1 formation with a Stopper and FB playing deep. I kept the forward up at the mid-line and had her track the ball and shift from side to side for passes up to her. The formation made a huge difference because I am able to better match the individual skill sets of the girls to positions in which they can excel. Also, my team is very strong in the Center of the field where as you know is the danger zone on defense and target zone on offense. In addition to your tips about marking behind, etc. which also work extremely well; I always emphasize quick throw-ins down the line. We gain a lot of territory with this strategy and rarely put our team in a bad position after a throw-in. Coach U ---------------------- Hi Coach U, That's excellent. Thanks for sharing this. It sounds as if your offense is better -- you were averaging 2 goals per game and scored 4 in your first game, a 100% improvement. Your 1-1-2-1 has the advantage that you can have the Stopper "Push Up" as far as you think is safe when you attack based on her speed to "recover" (she can Push Up as far as you think she can, yet still be able to "recover" in time to help out your FB when needed). when your MF�s and Forward attack. It gives you more depth and the "stacked" formation allows you to have better field coverage. I'm sure you are having your Fullback stay toward the Center (instead of getting pulled toward the sideline) and having your Stopper shift from side-to-side with the ball. If you leave your FB Deep and have a good Goalie, and if your Stopper is fast, it would be pretty safe to have the Stopper Push Up to the Halfway Line and shift from side-to-side with the ball. That would put the Stopper in position to win any cleared balls AND to stop an attack. It would have to be a great U10 Rec team to score against you, and by having the Stopper support your attack, your team should score more goals. You might want to try it when you get a lead. The critical thing will be to teach the Stopper to have the discipline to understand that her Main job is defensive -- to "Stop" the balls that are cleared and to "Stop" the attack, and to basically stay on the Halfway Line so she is in position to "Recover" to a defensive position to help your FB defend your goal. I agree that it's critical to be strong in the Center of the Field, if you control the Center of the Field, you will almost always win the game. By leaving your Forward Pushed Up at the Halfway Line, shifting from side-to-side and having your FB, Stopper and MFs clear the ball straight ahead, you will start to get some Breakaways and the opposing FBs won't be able to Push Up as far (her position will keep the opposing FBs from crowding up to support their attack). Thanks for writing, David at SoccerHelp ---------------------- Hi SoccerHelp, I am playing the 1-1-2-1 exactly how you just described it in your reply. I am working with a great group of girls who follow instructions very well. My stopper is my fastest and biggest player who is more defensive minded than offensive although she did score on a beautiful attack right up the center of the field when no one on the other team challenged her. My fullback basically is assigned the middle 80% of the penalty box and the MF drop to the sides as needed to stop an attack or get a loose ball. Update- we won Saturday 6-1 against a team we beat last season 2-1. The score easily would have been 12-0 had I not played kids out of position the whole second half. Coach U ------------------ Hi Coach U, WOW!!! That's great... Well, it sounds like you've solved your scoring problem. Why are you now scoring so many more goals than last season? You played the same team and scored 6 vs only 2 last season, and could have scored 12 -- What's the difference? I'm very interested in this, because obviously you have found the answers. You are scoring in a way most coaches only dream about. Thanks for sharing. David --------------- Hi SoccerHelp, The main reasons for increased scoring are that 1-1-2-1 really suits my team. Also, several of my players have improved tremendously since last season (it is a U10 league and I have 7 U9's and only 2 U10's, so my U9's have all gotten better). My daughter maybe scored 1-2 goals last season but already has 5 goals in 2 games and 2 scrimmages playing limited time at forward. Last year I hid my worst players at Right forward was not strong in the center on offense. Now I hide my worst players at RMF, but I am still strong in the center with a good stopper and forward. Also, unlike last year, even my worst players are brave and can play FB. The other coaches clearly are not seeing what I am doing to them on offense, or defense for that matter, because in reality my talent is not really superior to the other teams. My forwards score half their goals on break-aways from good passes upfield from the stopper. The other coaches generally do not defend deep enough and get in trouble. I am also now finding that passing is contagious. It is like a light went off after we scored some goals on good passes, and they see the benefits of pass rather than trying to get around multiple defenders. Plus, with constant emphasis on quick down the line throw-ins, marking up behind, etc. My girls seldom put themselves in a bad position on the field. Coach U ---------------------- Hi Coach U, Great job!!! Seriously -- excellent coaching! It's amazing what can be achieved with good fundamental coaching, choosing the right formation and style of play, motivating your players, and putting them in positions where they can excel. You sound like a great coach and a good guy too -- not running up the score shows that. You have done a real service for your players by teaching them the fundamentals they need to be successful as a team. It's a great feeling to see your team improve as a team and as individual players. One thing to consider is that travel team coaches will probably start to recruit your best players, including your older daughter. On the other hand, parents of good players will start to want their kids on your team. You might want to consider whether you want to take your best players and form a select/competitive team for next season. Or, if you keep playing Rec, perhaps you move up to U12 so you have more competition. Here's a tip based on my personal experience: at U10, continue to stick with the fundamentals and don't try to teach too much new stuff at once because if you do your players might get confused. Please let me know how you do as the season progresses. Thanks for sharing this with me, David
- Keep in mind that U10 Rec girls often don't score lots of goals because they lack the passing skill for combination play.
- Play the "Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race" game a lot and use it to teach Aggressive Receiving.
- If you can get more players into the attack, you will score more goals. There's a risk of course, because you have to be more aggressive to do that, so you are more vulnerable to counterattacks. You might consider letting one of your FBs come into the attack and leave the other one in the Center Circle.
- Are you trying to play the ball out of your Defensive Third by using a controlled passing Style of Play? Did you score any goals on fastbreak counterattacks? I think you're pulling your Fs too deep to support your defense and that's taking away any opportunity to counterattack. By the time your team can get across the Halfway Line, your opponent has recovered to defensive positions -- a U10 Rec team will never soccer many goals if they always allow the opposing defense to get in position before they attack. Think about leaving your Fs at the Half line and sending some long balls for them to break onto. When your goal is under attack, leave your MF a short pass from the ball and have her shift from side-to-side with it so she is in position to win cleared balls. Have the F's shift from side-to-side with the ball and tell your FBs and MF to clear the ball straight ahead. If you do this you should score at least one more goal per game, maybe 2. That isn't "Boom Ball" -- it's a counterattacking style of play. There was an article in the recent Soccer Journal that says that in Euro 2008 46% of all the goals were on counterattacks, so even the pros are playing this style to score more goals. This could make a big difference.
- Have you taught Coaching Rule No. 3 (how to mark on Throw-ins, Goal Kicks, punts and free kicks)? It's worth a goal per game and is easy to teach. It's on Premium at "Coaching Rules." This could make a big difference.
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