How to give instructions to soccer players that get results
"Freezer" idea for getting soccer defenders to guard an attacker
Tips for effective soccer coaching from the sidelines
An inspirational letter from a coach who rebounded from a 9-1 loss by motivating his players and changing his soccer formation
What to tell soccer parents to them from yelling instructions
Coach had lost his best players to Select soccer teams

(The following correspondence was posted in the Premium Forum. Premium Members have access to the Forum as part of their Membership - there is no additional cost. There are 32 posts regarding this one Topic, and over 400 Topics. If you want to read more, go to ... the posts are at "U-8 and U-10 Youth Soccer Coaching Questions and Discussion", and the title of the Topic is "6v6, 3-1-1 vs. 1-1-1-2, vs. 1-1-3". The team discussed is U-10 and they play 6v6. The Topic discusses 2-1-2, 3-1-1, and 1-1-1-2, the importance of "Depth", types of players who are best suited for different positions and a lot more).

Hi SoccerHelp,

We had our game this morning. The result was a 3 - 3 tie. My girls played very well and continue to improve with every game! It's great to see!

The "Freezer" idea worked out well. My Freezers covered man-to-man the other team's best forward that was on the field at the time. I had remembered one of the girls that I wanted them to cover and after their first substitution, it was apparent who the Freezer needed to cover when they subbed that girl out. Both girls my Freezers covered had excellent ball control skills and speed. But, I had told my Freezers to stick to them like glue and take the ball away from them if they got it or were going for a loose ball. They did great. This team had more talent and speed than we did and really should have beat us on paper. It is a team we lost to 2 - 1 a couple of weeks ago. I really think keeping my fullback between the posts to shut down crosses (which this team could do) has really helped our team. She is a smart player that happens to have a great leg. She can really clear the ball well. Also, I think the Freezer really helped slow down their offense so our defense had time to support and stop a lot of their attacks. I have found that I have to be fairly specific with my instructions on what the defense is supposed to be doing. For example, if I say I want you to herd them to the sidelines, play a couple of steps off the attacker and wait for a good opportunity to steal the ball... they do just that, but they never close for a steal, so the attacker just dribbles into our defensive third. If I tell them I want them all over the attacker with the ball, to shut down any shot or pass opportunity, they do it and do it well. I give them all little reminders during the game, never screaming, but in an encouraging way. I think that is better than what I have seen some coaches doing, screaming at the girls. I also told my parents early in the season that I am the coach on the sidelines during the game. The girls need to hear any directions they get from ME. I encouraged them to root and cheer for their daughters and the entire team, but I didn't want them shouting things like, "GET THE BALL!" I told them that may not be the player's specific job at the moment and that they could be doing their job perfectly already.

With one game left, this has been a great season and coaching experience for me. I have learned so much about how to COACH a rec soccer team. I have learned where I can play different types of players. I have learned which formation works for the team and players I have. I can use this knowledge in the future to assess players and teams that I coach and coach against.

I'll let you know how our last game goes. It is the team we lost to earlier this season 9 - 1.



Hi Bulldozer34,

Thanks for sharing this... it's great info.... very helpful.

I think a lot of coaches who start slow get discouraged... success stories like yours can keep coaches motivated by proving that they CAN help their team improve.

I think you're doing it right, including coaching from the sidelines... a Rec coach almost has to... you have to use the games as a teaching experience because you don't practice enough to teach everything.

I predict your team will do MUCH better this next game than you did in the 9-1 loss.

Good Luck!!! We're all rooting for you.


(UPDATE: Bulldozer's team lost 1-0 to the team that had beaten them 9-1 earlier in the season. He said that team was almost as good as a Select team -- none were slow and all seemed to know what to do)