Development of individual skills – individual, group and team tactics:
This is a critical time in the player’s development. Many stop playing due to other interests, lack of success, shortage of playing opportunities, poor leadership or other reasons. Players tend to lack mental toughness and self-confidence. They tend to be self-critical and struggle with their desire to be competitive or need to be more competitive. There is a need for attention and security. A great focus on team spirit, leadership and discipline within the team.
Coach must be: Charismatic, experienced, knowledgeable, articulate, a disciplinarian, have managerial know-how, a thoughtful persuader.
Individual: Decisions based on thirds of the field
In attack: There must be an application of varied technical abilities in order to increase tactical options. There must be an aggressive attacking mentality in final third. Emphasis should be placed on predicting what the game will need next. Knowing what each player’s specific roles and responsibilities are lends to greater understanding of the big picture.
In defense: There should be a clear understanding of how the quality of pressure affects team defending success. There must be an ability to take options away from the attacker.
Small group: 4 v. 4, 7 v. 7, 9 v. 9
In attack: Players must understand the balance of needing possession and penetration. Continued work on combination play (wall pass, take over, overlap, double pass, third player running etc.). Playing for penetration and creativity in solving problems becomes important.
Mobility – movement without the ball
Crossing – picking out a runner rather than putting it in the box
Box organization – penetration, width and support for every ball played in the box
Attacking as a group of three (forwards, midfielders and defenders)
Set plays (80 percent success rate: where we get: 1) goal; 2) shot on goal; or 3) corner kick
Cover, delay, dictate and recover
Communication (who, what, when, where)
Defending as a group of three (forwards, midfielders and defenders)
Enjoy winning possession of the ball and dictating the play
Team: Clearly defined team tactics, how the team decides to play as a group.
Comfort with direct and indirect styles
Sustained possession as a means to break down the opponent’s defense
Understanding how to counterattack
Decisions based on thirds of the field
Comfort with “high pressure” and “delayed high pressure” styles
Understanding of zonal and man-to-man marking play
Goalkeeper as the last defender
Keeping good team compactness
Stopping the counterattack
Decisions based on thirds of the field and different systems of play
System: The recommended system to expose players to various systems using a 3-4-3 and a 4-3-3.
Note: A great deal of coaching/teaching within 7 v. 7 and 9 v. 9 games.