U14 Soccer Success Story
All Girls Soccer Team Beats Mostly Boys Team 6-5
Four Players Scored - Great Tips & Tactics
Coach Says the Key was to Defend Deep and 3 SoccerHelp Drills --
Push & Blast Off, Pass to Space, Run with Ball and Shoot, Shoulder Tackle & Strength on the Ball
His Girls Physically Dominated the Boys - Took the Ball Away Over 20 Times
His Daughter Has Gone from Average to Outstanding
Teaching his team to use open space to have a fast, creative, fluid attack
He Has Been Asked to Coach the Middle School Soccer Team
For more soccer Coaching success stories and tips from coaches, visit Soccer Coaching Success Stories Navigation Page.
(Note from David at SoccerHelp: Notice the real benefits of the SoccerHelp soccer drills they used. The Pass to Space-Run with the Ball-and Shoot soccer drill is teaching his team to use open space to have a fast, creative, fluid attack that scores lots of goals and how to coordinate passes and runs, and to anticipate passes - that becomes how they attack, so they expect the passes and runs, and start to understand how to use open space. As you know, that is very unusual for a Rec team. Also, once again we see the benefits of the Shoulder Tackle and Strength on the Ball soccer drill)
My team is a U14 Rec All Girls soccer team. We play a 2-1-3-1 soccer formation. We played on a big field that is 90 yards by 60 yards. We also play 35 minute halves. In our first game a little over a week ago, we faced a U14 Coed team that typically fielded 8 boys and 4 girls on their roster. They played at least 6 boys the entire game, in an 8 v. 8 environment. It was blazing hot and my girls could not hang with the boys. We lost 9-2 in an embarrassing fashion. My CM was not pulling back, my Stopper was getting beat and my FBs were not aggressively defending the middle of the Penalty Box. It was truly a recipe for disaster and a disaster it was.
During the following week of practice I knew we had some work to do. As we anticipated facing a team of 6 boys and 5 girls, who had beaten their first opponent 7-3, taking your advice, I stuck with the 2-1-3-1. (I asked for and got a water break during the second half. And, I found a new goalie to play our second half.) During practice we played the Push & Blast Off and Pass to Space-Run with the Ball-and Shoot soccer drills with my Mids and Forward. We also worked with one new goalie separately with parental help during practice. I strongly encouraged the girls to play a brave match and told them this was not a game of "let's play fair" and give the other team the ball. I told them to act like the ball was all theirs and to keep it as much as possible. And, when it was taken away to take it back by not being afraid to get physical.
Well, we were down 4-3 at the half. We switched goalies and put our first half Keeper in at Stopper. Our CM, played a solid game by keeping our Forwards and the two other MFs in front of her and not opening up space behind, between her position and the Stopper. She continually fed the ball up on long passes with our F and MFs running onto the ball and either shooting or making an easy pass for a shot. We scored 3 in the second half, and held our predominantly male opponents to only 1, coming away with our first win of the season, 6-5.
With such a big field, teaching them to pass to space and having the F and MFs practice running to space, catching up with the ball and heading to the goal was key. We went from scoring 2 goals in game one with our fastest Forward to scoring 6 goals with four different players. And, our speedy Forward who scored twice in the first game, was not even at this game. With a little more control in passing distance from our CMs, we would have scored at least 3 more, as our CMs often passed it up too far and the Keeper for our opponent had an easy pick up several times.
Another Key was Defending Deep by keeping our CM in the Middle Third and not letting her push deep into our Attacking Third. I told her that her job was to "Feed the Forward" and let the F and MFs score. She held her position, did not get too worn out and played brilliantly. We had several scores that were simply three long passes and a shot, from FB or ST to CM to F, then shoot. I found it most helpful to explain to the girls that the field is broken into three parts, the Defensive Third, the Middle third and the Attacking third. They need to know how much of the field to cover and how to keep from running themselves out of gas on such big field.
Their improvement and play was superb. The other coach was impressed and frankly surprised that an all Girls team beat his majority boys team. He was really surprised at how physical they played. He said, "your girls aren't afraid to use their shoulders and fight for the ball." The girls he was describing have played for me at least three previous seasons, and we played Shoulder Tackle and Strength on the Ball nearly every practice. And, it showed during this game. Time after time, I had smaller female players, literally going shoulder to shoulder and taking the ball back. It must have happened over 20 times during the match.
Every team from U10 on up, should play the Shoulder Tackle and Strength on the Ball soccer drill. Strength on the ball to me is so much more important than being able to do a Scissor move or a Steparound, I can't describe it. My girls know how to take the ball, then to Push and Blast Off. We combined those two efforts with Passing to Space, Running onto the Ball and shooting to overpower our opponent.
We also had our entire team do our T-I-G-E-R cheer after each of our goals.
The other coach described us as a wake up call for his team. I would say it is a sign of things to come, as my girls will continue to improve.
I am very happy and could not wait to share the story with you. To put me up even ten feet higher, my daughter played CM for about 60 out of 70 minutes during the Match. She was truly dominating in the middle, literally taking the ball away from the boys time and time again. And, then clearing it 15 to 20 yards to spaces in front of her F and MFs. Even though she didn't score a single goal, she won the game for us, no question about it. Before, I started using Soccer Help, my daughter was just your average kid having fun playing at the YMCA. Sticking to the Soccer Help games and strategies, she has become a dominating Recreational player who now wants to tryout for a competitive team.
In the past three years since I started using your site and following your personal advice, I have seen my daughter go from average so outstanding. A million thanks to you, David.
And, to add to the bounty, my daughter's Middle School has a new Athletic Director who has asked me if I am interested in coaching the MS girls team in the Spring. Of course, I said yes. Now she is going to come out and watch one of my games to evaluate me as her potential new Soccer Coach. I could not be happier about the way things are going.
Coach Brad, NC, Premium member
Thanks for being our customer and a Premium member, for the kind words and for sharing.
WOW!!! What a great story! Congratulations. I really appreciate you sharing this - it is very helpful.
Brad, you have become a really good coach - seriously - I'm impressed. You chose the right soccer formation and made some great coaching adjustments in your strategy, Style of Play and positioning to deal with the long field and get the most out of your team, and motivating them so they didn't lose their confidence after losing the first game 9-2. It is especially impressive to win 6-5 with your best Forward out, 4 players scoring and having to come back in the Second half, and it is VERY unusual for an all girls team to be a mostly boys team, since boys are usually bigger, stronger and faster at U14.
Please tell your daughter and your players that Coach David is impressed with their hustle, bravery, ability to listen to the coach and execute the game plan, and playing hard and smart for the entire game, and that I think they are going to win a lot of games.
I think you have found a recipe for success and have made adjustments that most other coaches would not have thought of. And I think what you are doing with a U14 Rec team is fantastic, given limited practice time and the fact that it isn't a select team.
I'm sure the girl's parents are amazed and that your players are very proud. I also suspect that more girls will want to play for you when they see how well this team is playing.
Congratulations on being approached by the Middle School - that is an honor.
Thanks for your tips - I will pass them on.
David at SoccerHelp
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