U8 Coach Wins Big with New 8v8 Soccer Formation & Pushing Up
With a 2-1-3-1 & Defending Deep was 1-0-2 with 7 Goals
With 2-3-2 & Pushing Up Scored 17 Goals & Gave Up Only 2
44 Letters from Coaches about 8v8 Soccer Formations
When to Push Up on Attack & When to Defend Deep
Soccer Drill that Helped Scoring
Note From David: Below is a letter from a U8 coach that discusses 8v8 soccer formations. He had tried a 2-1-3-1 soccer formation and Defending Deep with average results (a 1-0-2 record, scoring 7 goals & gave up 5), but then changed to a 2-3-2 formation, put 2 fast and brave players at Fullback, pushed them up on attack and had spectacular results (scored 17 goals & gave up only 2 in two games). IF you have fast Fullbacks, you are probably better off to have them Push Up on attack. ALSO, if your team is U8, your Fullbacks can probably safely Push Up when you attack until U10 even if you have slow Fullbacks because the opposing teams usually aren't good enough to have a good attack. On SoccerHelp Premium there are 44 letters from coaches like the one below about 8v8 formations, tactics and Styles of Play.
I love SoccerHelp. This is my first year as a head soccer coach after two as an assistant. I have a U8 girls team and I want to share my U8 experience this year as it relates to the ideas I have gotten from Soccer Help. My girls are beginning-of-the-school-year first and second graders. I find that trying to count trips across a square or around a cone is something that is beyond them. The 2nd graders do OK, but the 1st graders are clueless. That doesn't diminish the effectiveness of Dribble Across a Square or Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race. We just go until I say stop. We use these almost every practice and halfway through the season it's really paying dividends. My girls as a team are better dribblers than the opponents and they pass up the field better as well. We also play Strength On the Ball frequently and I think this had paid the biggest dividends from a scoring standpoint.
Almost all U8 teams I've observed for the past several years score most of their points on breakaways where an overly-talented individual beats a weak defender or two and scores. My girls are scoring in the goal box. They win the loose balls or legally move the defenders off the ball.
At the end of practice, I have them play Strength On the Ball with a portable goal. The winner is the last player to touch the ball before it goes in the goal. They love this.
We play 8v8. The first 3 games I played a 2-1-3-1 soccer formation and defended deep. I had 4 really weak players (they're no longer weak) and two fast girls that love playing Stopper. I hid the weak players at outside MF and one of the FB positions.
I have a couple of players who make good CMFs and couple smaller girls that have a knack for scoring. They played Forward. The record for our first 3 games was 1-0-2 with scores of 2-2, 4-2, and 1-1. I switched to a 2-3-2 soccer formation with my 2 Stoppers playing Fullback but I pushed them up as both are fast and fearless. We also began using the Goal Celebration idea which they absolutely love. The opposing coaches don't like it but it seems to have brought the girls together as a team. We stop after we're up by 3 or 4. They won 7-2 the first week after the switch with our best player absent and won the next week 10-0, a game where I kept my best 4 on the bench for the first quarter. The past two games have been played entirely on the opponents' end of the field. Breaks are stopped before they start as even my weak girls are beginning to steal the ball from better players by moving them off the ball with a shoulder.
Thanks Soccer Help!
Coach Rob, Premium Member, Florida
Thanks for being our customer and for writing and for the kind words.
I think you are a great coach and am impressed with the adjustments you have made for the benefit of your team. And I like your ideas about how to use Dribble Across a Square for first graders. Your players are improving and having fun - what could be better.
Thanks for the feedback about the practice games - that really helps me and I will share it with other coaches so it can help them. I get lots of great feedback about the Shoulder Tackle & Strength on the Ball game
It is easier to get away with Pushing Up at U8 than U10 or U12, but with good, fast Fullbacks, it is okay to Push them Up at any age.
Your team is playing great with a 2-3-2 soccer formation and I like the fact that a 2-3-2 formation still allows you to have a strong Center Mid and to hide weak players at RMF and LMF.
My tip for you is to read carefully the things you can teach using the Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race practice game. I am about to write a newsletter about this. That game can teach players how to play fast, and playing fast will greatly increase goal scoring. It can teach many things -- Aggressive Receiving, to pass ASAP instead of holding the ball too long, one-touch as a way to play faster, speed dribbling, turning, importance of "first-touch", receivers to move to the ball and how to receive the ball at game speed, and passing while running. It teaches players to play faster and that teams who play faster will win.
I think you can have a very exceptional team. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I had not realized how much the Strength on the Ball game could help scoring.
David at SoccerHelp
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