3v3 Soccer Formations

Hello Kay,

I was looking (I am a premium member with 2 U9G's teams) for info on 3v3. I did not see anything. Any advice from David or you?

Unfortunately we do not have a "full side" tournament in the next few months. I have coached a 3v3 team with limited success. (In fact my only advice to myself is get good players which I have done with the 3 best off both teams). How about you guys?

By the way, both teams are undefeated this past weekend. Patches are still working. My primary team beat a team (2-0 ) that they would not have had a chance with 4 weeks ago thank you! I am still working on scoring more goals. The most we have scored is 3. Which is enough since we are holding the others teams to 0 or 1. I read your site almost every night. I will figure it out.

Coach Curtis

Hi Curtis,

Thanks for the letter.

There's not much if any info on 3v3, because there's not much you can do with 3v3 formations, but here are some ideas.

  1. If you play a 1-1-1, put your best athlete at the midfield position, so she can help on both defense and offense.
  2. Put your best scorer at Forward -- this is probably a player with some speed who is aggressive or alert enough to win the ball, and who either has a quick shot, or can make a move to get off a shot. Teach this player to be alert, aggressive and to watch for rebounds.
  3. Put a tough, brave player at Fullback -- one who is not afraid to block a shot with her body and who can clear the ball.
  4. It sounds as if your defense is good, so don't change it.
  5. Tell your Forward to NOT come any closer to your own goal (the goal your goalie defends) than a long kick from the ball, and to shift with the ball, so she is in position to win cleared balls, and tell your 2 other players to clear it straight ahead, so the Forward knows what to expect and can be in position to win the ball.
  6. Teach your players how to clear the ball (play the "Chips/Lofted Passes" game).
  7. Teach "Coaching Rule No. 3" -- this is worth 1 or 2 goals per game. (see the comment by Coach Bryan below)
  8. Start to teach "Passing to Space" instead of "Passing To Feet", it will GREATLY improve your attack (see below)
  9. Play the "Dribble Across" game 3 times to start every practice and play "Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race" a lot -- these 2 games are self-teaching and your players will improve a lot by playing them.

Curtis, do me a favor and let me know what helps you the most.