U10 Soccer Champions, How They Did It
2-1-3-2 9v9 soccer formation, defending deep
Fast break soccer attack
Importance of staying in position and praising players
When to move weaker soccer players to Forward

Hi SoccerHelp,

Thank you so much for your wonderful website. We coached a U-10 Boys Rec Team this year and the advice and practice games that we learned from your site enabled us to coach our boys to all the way to League Champions!

What worked for us? We ran a 2-1-3-2 for the whole year and defended deep. We finished the regular season at 10-4 with most of our losses coming in games where we were missing several players. We found that we were fast break team, and that almost every one of our scoring opportunities was created because the team stayed in their positions. We constantly praised our kids for playing position and took time to single out midfielders who made passes that enabled our forwards to score. We also discovered that after posting a several goal lead, we could put our least able players at Forward, allowing us to keep the ball away from our net with greater ease AND giving those kids scoring chances.

Once the playoffs began, we never lost a game.

Thanks again for your great website. We plan on using it again next year when we move up to U-12 and start playing 11 v 11.

Dylan and Ray, Premium Members


Hi Dylan and Ray,


Thanks for writing and for being a Premium Member. I love getting letters like yours.

What you are doing is obviously working great, and you're having fun and motivating your players. It's clear your team got better as the season went along.

There are 4 things I highly recommend if you aren't already doing them:

  1. Teach Coaching Rule No. 3 -- it's worth 2 goals per game at U-10. It teaches your players how to defend goal kicks, punts, throw-ins and free kicks. If you can win most of those, it will help your team a lot and make it hard for your opponent to launch a fast break. You can teach it in about 10 minutes at practice or before a game.
  2. Play Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race a lot and use it to teach Aggressive Receiving.
  3. Play Win the 50/50 Ball 1v1 Attacking and Defending a lot. 1v1 attacking and defending is VERY important.
  4. Play Dribble Across a Square as a warm-up to start every practice (tell your players it's your warm-up so they don't complain). Play it twice with the square 10 steps wide and twice more with the square 14 steps wide -- use the bigger square to teach your players to recognize open space and accelerate into open space, which will help your fast breaks. This is explained at the Premium version of Dribble Across a Square. This is the best way to teach dribbling � nothing else is as good. This game helps children's brains to learn to process a lot of activity, to use peripheral vision, and to make correct, instinctive decisions and maintain composure when under pressure and in heavy traffic.

Those 4 things will really help your players. If you play those 3 games a lot, your player's skills will develop faster than players on teams that don't play those games... the reason is that those 3 games are more efficient and more effective. I often get letters from coaches whose players have gotten significantly better by the end of the season, and the coaches notice the difference compared to players on other teams.

Thanks for sharing with me what helped you and what you learned. Please let me know how you do next season.

Best regards,

David at SoccerHelp