Can Soccer Coaching Rule No. 3 Turn a Season Around?
U16 Team Loses first 3 Soccer Games, then Wins 5
Scored 20 Goals and Allowed 0
Wins Came After Teaching Coaching Rules 1, 2 and 3
Importance of Teaching Aggressive Receiving

To David at SoccerHelp,

I am still coaching girls Rec Soccer and we are in our second year in the Girls Rec. U16 division. I got started using SoccerHelp before you had the paid Premium you remember that far back? As you may remember, for several years I had a great team, but last year I lost a lost of my players to the high school team (which I take as a compliment) and had to start over. We lost our first 3 games and did not score a single goal! I had to regroup, re-think, re-tool. What had I slipped away from, what had I neglected? I looked at my notes from each game. We were giving the ball up on throw ins, we were not winning the majority of the goal kicks and punts and we were not stealing the opposing teams throw-ins, punts or goal kicks either. With my old experienced roster, they all knew my expectations on Coaching Rules 1, 2 and 3 and we did not routinely practice those. The kids knew what I expected and they executed. Now I had a lot of new kids in the roster and had failed to teach the new kids the old rules! How silly was that? The next week at practice we practiced, mostly Coaching Rule # 3, but really, for about 2 weeks, we worked on nothing other than Coaching Rules 1 � 3. Interestingly enough, we won our next 5 games scoring 20 goals and giving up none, we won 6 - 0, 3 - 0, 4 - 0, 3 - 0 and 4 � 0. What a relief! The take home message in all of this is, last Spring showed me, you always need to readdress the fundamentals (like Coaching rules 1, 2 and 3, and especially 3), each and every season, as the one time you don�t, it will definitely come back to haunt you.

You continue to do great work David, serving the soccer community, and continuing to improve the lives of a great many coaches and thousands of players around the world.

Best Regards,

Tony, Premium Member since 2004


Hi Tony,

Of course I remember you. You have been a Premium Member since 2004 and I always enjoy your letters. You have been a big help to me, and I appreciate it. And thanks for the kind words.

Thanks for bringing me up to date and sharing your experiences and the importance of not forgetting the basics. You are a great coach and that shows in the way you were able to quickly get your team on track.

Here is another idea that might be worth teaching (I copied this from Premium):

"For most Rec teams it is very important to teach "Passing to Space" and "Aggressive Receiving". What I mean is that you should use the Dribble Around a Cone & Pass Relay Race Practice Game to teach receivers that they MUST stay alert, on their toes, and stop the pass, no matter how bad it is.... they MUST assume that every pass will be bad, get in front of it, and NOT let it get past them.

Many players seem to believe that a pass is supposed to hit them in the feet, and they will just stand there flat-footed waiting for the ball, and if it doesn�t come to them perfectly, they just let it go by and say "It�s not my fault � it was a bad pass". That is the wrong attitude. One of the most important things you can do is teach your players that a pass is NOT supposed to be perfect and that they must stay alert, on their toes, and go to the pass, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, do NOT let the pass get past them � they MUST do their very best to stop the ball. Teach your players that most passes are to �Space� and that the pass is NOT supposed to be perfect.

The reason to teach this is that it is unrealistic to expect most Rec players and many young tselect players to be able to make a perfect pass when under pressure... SO, teach your receivers to NOT expect a perfect pass. In fact, teach them to expect a BAD pass and that they MUST be alert and do their very best to stop bad passes. Imagine the benefits of teaching "Aggressive Receiving"!

Thanks for writing and please let me know how your season goes and any good ideas you have to share..

David at SoccerHelp