Soccer Coaching Rule No. 1

Hi SoccerHelp,

I don't really understand coaching rule #1. If, on the other team's throw-ins, our guys are dynamically marking the other team, they should be able to intercept the ball. There could be a few layers of people surrounding the person throwing in, and the closest may be thrown over, but if the farther layers are marking, they will not get thrown over. Could you please explain further or point to an article.

Great site. I'm reading through all the definitions right now and will move on to the rules later.

Thanks, Cathy

Hi Cathy,

The mistake many coaches, and players, make is to try to intercept the opposing team's throw-ins. That isn't the critical thing, the critical thing is to avoid giving up a goal. If you play me and try that, I'm going to kill you, because that's what I hope you try to do. I will simply have my receivers move close to the thrower, which will pull your defenders close to the sideline, and then make a long throw toward goal if we're on the half of the field that your goal is on, or down the line if on my Defensive Half. My players (the attackers) will know what to expect and all but my Fullbacks (who will stay back to prevent a counterattack) will break toward goal so we will outnumber your defenders, and your defenders are then chasing the ball toward your goal, which is also problematic for your team, since they are going the wrong way.

Instead, teach your players to mark BEHIND an opponent (about 2 or 3 steps behind). If you mark in front they will simply throw over you toward goal and score; the Danger is getting thrown over. You allow the opponent to inbound the ball, but you don't give up a dangerous throw or a fast break on your goal. You control their field position. If the opponent makes a bad throw, your player is in position to steal the ball. Or, your player can allow the receiver to receive the ball and THEN move close behind and try to steal the ball or kick the ball away when the attacker turns.

If you mark in front you aren't keeping "multiple layers of defenders" between the ball and your goal.

Trust me on this, thousands of coaches have tried it. Or, try it both ways and observe.

Remember the Rule: "Don't get thrown over."

David SoccerHelp