Football footsteps half hour


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Football footsteps half hour provides basic skills that are necessary to afoot a foundation for competitive soccer and major training operations are highlighted. Basing ball control ,passing and timing skills are highlighted in this handout. Major game skills and physical training is also included. Enjoy your reading and develop your interest in coaching soccer

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Football footsteps half hour

  1. 1. 2222221 Football Footsteps Half Hour A Comprehensive Guide to Competitive Football By J. Zvirikuzhe By J Zvirikuzhe
  2. 2. 2222222 Contents Page Author’s Carrier Page…………………………………………………………………… i Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………………….ii Passing Techniques…………………………………………………………………….… 1 Techniques for Receiving a Ball……………………………………………………..........5 The Ultimate Guide to Soccer Dribbling Moves…………………………………….........7 Trapping the Ball Techniques Explained………………………………………………… 9 Shooting Skills You Must Have in Your Arsenal !............................................................. 10 Learn to Control a Soccer Ball with Ease………………………………………………...12 How to Perform a Sliding Tackle? ..................................................................................... 14 How to Dominate Your Soccer Game in the Air? .............................................................15 Introduction to Formations……………………………………….…………………….... 19 Offensive Game Plan: The 4-3-3 Formation ……………………………………………..23 Choosing a Formation in Soccer …………………………………………………………30 By J Zvirikuzhe
  3. 3. 2222223 Name: Jacob Zvirikuzhe Carrier in Junior/School League Centenary High School 2005-2008 Position: Defender Rank: Captain (2008-2009) Carrier in Competitive League Quick Turn( August 2006-December 2010) League Status: Second Division 2006-2009 First Division 2010 Position: Defender/Midfielder Rank: Captain Carrier in Minor League 1. Club: Angry Buffalos Football Club Position: Defender Rank: Captain (2012) 2. Club: Hot Movers Position: Defender/Attacking midfielder Rank: Captain, Vice Captain (2013) 3. Football Administration Experience Hot movers (Assistant Coach) Professional Qualifications FIFA Level 2 Coaching Certificate(2011) By J Zvirikuzhe
  4. 4. 2222224 Master These Passing Techniques and Start Dominating Your Games, Today! Mastering the art of passing is a must if you want to perform well as a soccer player. Without good passing skills your time on the field will be short. Passing is so simple but still so difficult. It may look simple when professional players find each other with long and precise passes, but these players have spent thousands of hours on a soccer field practicing passing. Playing Simple You should always try to pass the ball simple. With simple I mean that passing the ball to a nearby standing teammate should always be your first option. Make sure that you don't pass the ball if they are marked by an opponent. Of course you will get credit from teammates when you find them with 40 yard passes, but always try to pass the ball to your nearest teammate. Stay Focused and Calm Providing your teammates with quality passing, especially when you are under pressure, is also a moment where you need to be calm and try to find an easy solution. In order to become good at passing, you also need to become familiar with the different type of passes, and the various ways in which they are used... Push Pass In soccer, the most frequently used pass is the push pass. This pass is easy to learn and you will know how to perform a push pass correctly just after few training sessions, but to master it you will need to practice a lot more. Wall Pass By J Zvirikuzhe
  5. 5. 2222225 The wall pass, also known as the give and go and one two pass, is a tactic that many sports use. In fact, the wall pass is the most basic one of all offensive tactics but is still very effective when used in the right situations. Chip Pass The chip pass is performed by a jabbing motion down and under the ball to get it up into the air. With a chip pass the ball will get a backspin which will slow down the speed of the ball when it lands on the ground. Backward Pass The backward pass in soccer is very efficient when you have the opponent's goal behind you. This type of pass is performed by kicking the ball with the heel or the sole of your kicking foot. Passing into Space Passing into space is used frequently when the game is played at high speed. The player without the ball must provide a passing option for the ball holder by running into space. If you are the ball carrier, you must look around you and keep an eye on movement and runs by your teammates. By J Zvirikuzhe
  6. 6. 2222226 Techniques for Receiving a Ball Receiving the ball is not as complicated as you may think. After a few practice sessions you will have pretty solid receiving skills. Yet things can get difficult very quickly - what happens when you have an opponent at your back who is doing everything he can to clear the ball away from you? That's tough, wouldn't you agree? The reason for why it is harder to receive the ball while being under pressure is that your brain needs to concentrate on two things at the same time. Besides watching out for where your opponent is you need also to put the ball under control and do something useful with it. Study Professional Soccer Players So, how can you increase your receiving skills? You can start by studying professional soccer players either on TV or LIVE. You should not study a fullback if you are playing as forward. It will improve your game in offense but it will surely not improve your abilities in defense. While studying your favorite players, watch for how they move. Start by looking what he is doing before and after receiving the ball (shooting, passing, dribbling etc?). Second thing you can do is to practice more. If you feel that receiving is something difficult try to practice longer and harder. While performing receiving drills on your regular practice, your focus on them should be 100%. Plus, you must have confidence in what you are doing as well! Don't walk around and talk with your teammates during your practice. You will not only lose focus on the drill but your coach may get angry and send you off the field. Third way to improve you receiving skills is to practice alone. The only thing you will need is a ball, a piece of ground and a wall. By J Zvirikuzhe
  7. 7. 2222227 Using a Wall For Practice Many great soccer players have gain their tremendous receiving skills by kicking the ball against a wall. This is a great drill and the wall will never complain and you will be able to practice on different methods of receiving (chest, inside of the foot, outside of the foot etc). Keep in mind that you will not become a good soccer player overnight. You need to practice, practice and practice again. If someone told you that you can become a good soccer player without practicing then that person is a liar. Always try to perform better and don't be satisfied if you have been voted as the player of the match. Try instead to be that player next game as well. Now, let me present few receiving methods that you will use during your games... Inside is The Most Basic Technique This is the most frequently used tecunique for receiving. While it is a pretty basic skill, you'll need to spend many hours before mastering it completely. One of the best methods for learning this technique is to kick the ball against a wall and then try to receive it by using the inside. Use Instep When You Are Not Under Pressure By J Zvirikuzhe
  8. 8. 2222228 This part of your foot is usually effective when a ball is dropping and you have time to gain control over it without pressure from opponents. You may also use the instep part when trying to steal the ball back from your opponent with a slide tackle. Use Your Thigh When The Opponent is Marking You This part of your body is very effective for controlling the ball when you have an opponent behind you. The part of the thigh that you will use to control the ball can be marked just about the bottom of your shorts. Cushion The Ball on Your Chest This is the largest area of your body. It may hurt a little while practicing on your chest control especially if the ball is hard. To avoid this you should try to be relaxed and let the ball cushion on your chest just like landing on a pillow. This method of controlling the ball is especially useful in situations with little space and many opponents around you. The Ultimate Guide to Soccer Dribbling Moves "A soccer move is a term that includes feints, footwork, dribbling and turning with a soccer ball" By J Zvirikuzhe
  9. 9. 2222229 First thing that you will notice when starting to practice on your moves is that some of these moves will be a piece of cake to learn while others will seem to take a lifetime to master. This is pretty common and nothing to be worried about, especially if you have recently started to learn how to play soccer. You may even get frustrated if you notice that your other teammates are learning the moves faster than you. Don't let that affect you. Instead, encourage yourself to practice even harder because it is the only way. But if you really want to know why your teammates seem to be born with some particular moves, keep on reading. Are My Teammates Better? Your teammates are not better on soccer than you just because they know how to perform some cool soccer moves just after a few tries. Instead, some people need a very short time to learn things, and this is not just because they are smarter than others, they simply have a natural born talent for something. But just because you don't have a natural born talent (e.g brazil players) for soccer doesn't mean that you should give up directly. Talent is just something that will help you on the way, but without real hard work you will never become a good soccer player. Style or Not to Style? One thing to keep in mind is that you should not learn a specific soccer move just because you want to style for your friends and others. Instead, you should only learn a move if you can perform it during a soccer game. Many players seem to forget this and spend many hours practicing on soccer moves that they will never use during a soccer game. I can agree that styling for others is exciting, I mean when people are standing there and whispering "WOW", you will feel like the worlds greatest soccer player. But, instead of practicing on some moves that you will never use in a regular game, try to use your time instead on something more valuable like practicing on your push pass or shooting skills. By J Zvirikuzhe
  10. 10. 22222210 Where to Get Inspiration? The best way to get inspiration for different soccer moves is to watch all kind of soccer both live and on TV. Bring a notebook and write down what these players are doing when performing a move. Instead, study how they move and apply that to your own style of play, but don't try to copy their way of playing, it is impossible, believe me! If it was possible every soccer player on the earth would have same skills as Cristiano Ronaldo or Ronaldinho :-) When to Practice? Do not practice on your soccer moves during a regular soccer match. Before you decide to try a move in soccer games you need to master it properly. My advice to you is to first start to practice on your backyard or similar where no one will disturb you. When you feel that you have enough skill to perform this move against an opponent, try it out on training. You need some opponents to try your awesome moves on and the best ones are your teammates. When you can get around your teammates with your new learned moves you are ready for the last step which is trying them out in a real soccer game. What if You Fail? First time you perform a move in a real soccer game, you may fail but don't let that discourage you. Instead, learn from your mistakes, and wait for another chance and try out your move again. With another chance I don't mean that you should try out your moves every time you receive the ball. You need to remember that soccer is not a one man game. Beside you, there are 10 more players that really love to play with the ball and you must consider that before trying out your new learned moves. My advice is to pass the ball 3-4 times after a failure and then try out the same move again. Remember, to become a better soccer player you cannot be afraid of failure. Trapping the Ball Techniques Explained By J Zvirikuzhe
  11. 11. 22222211 Trapping the ball is an important skill you need to master as soccer player. It doesn't matter if it is a pass from a teammate, a clearance from the goalkeeper or a 40 yard cross pass, maintaining the possession of ball is crucial. The difference between professional and amateur soccer is the quality of the first touch. Trapping the ball in 3 steps 1. Your foot should be 2-3 inches off the ground. 2. You toes should point up. 3. Now use the sole of your foot to stop the ball. Here is how to trap a ball that is bouncing 1. Try to figure out where the ball will bounce. 2. Move yourself to that spot. 3. Now, turn the foot sideways. 4. Lift your foot slowly off the ground. 5. Directly after the ball hits the ground use your instep to touch it. 6. The backspin of the ball should roll it toward you. Keep in mind that figuring out where the ball will land or bounce takes some time to master especially if you are new to soccer. The most important thing with trapping is to gain control over the ball. You don’t need to make it look pretty every time. Tips     Arial spin balls can make ball trapping pretty complicated. When a ball is spinning toward you, it should be trapped by moving your foot gently backward. A ball with backward spin should be trapped by using only the upper of your foot. A side spin should be sandwiched between your foot and the ground when it is possible of course. It can also be flicked upward to your thigh height which will should neutralize spin on the ball. Keep in mind to let your foot move back with the ball as the ball hit your foot. You should not lock your foot. If you do so, the ball will just bounce off just like hitting a wall. Have your body relaxed and don’t be scare to fail. By J Zvirikuzhe
  12. 12. 22222212 Remember this: You may have great talent but without hard practice you will never become a good soccer player. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start to practice :-) Shooting Skills You Must Have in Your Arsenal! With shooting mastered, you will be able to score more goals, but what you may have missed is the fact that shooting is not just about power. If you want to master the art of shooting you will also need good precision and be able to decide when to fire a well placed shoot. This will be the key points for how many goals you will score. Good scoring ability is also important because it may increase your chances of becoming professional. But don't get me wrong, just because you are good at scoring doesn't mean that you will become professional! Instead, you must work hard to improve your weak sides, because no soccer player in the world is perfect, and I don't think he/she will ever exist. Now, let's check out the different shooting methods... Instep Drive or The Knuckle Shot The instep drive is a very useful shooting technique when you want to strike the ball with power from long range. However, this type of shot is very hard to control which means that you should not be surprised if the ball ends up 20-30 yards behind the goal. Swerve Shot A goalkeeper's worst nightmare is type of shot will save it requires a lot how to perform a and not many perform it in high practice on it and failure is the key to Full Volley By J Zvirikuzhe known as the swerve shot. This swerve once you fire it and to of effort. However, learning learn swerving shot is really difficult players in the world are able to tempo. However, you should still try it out in real games because success.
  13. 13. 22222213 A full volley can create a powerful shoot which can be impossible to save (if you get it on the goal of course). The most difficult thing with a full volley is to get your shot on the goal). You really need to strike the ball perfectly and in right moment. If you fail to do so, the ball will often end 20 yards behind the goal. This type of shot is ideal when you have several opponents running towards you while the ball is falling from the sky. A common situation is when the ball is cleared away from a corner kick and you are standing about 510 yards from the penalty box line. Half Volley A half volley is pretty similar to the full volley except that you will first get control on the ball and then fire the shot. This is also why a half volley is a better alternative for long range shoots because you will be able to receive, aim and fire the shot while the opponents are unprepared. However, keep in mind that beating the keeper with a 30 yard shoot really requires a lot of skill. But, I've seen people score goals from 70 yard with the half volley so it is not impossible. Like with any other soccer shot you should not overdo it. Instead, try it twice but not more than three times per game. Side Volley By J Zvirikuzhe
  14. 14. 22222214 A side volley is great when you have the ball bouncing at your side. A side volley requires good balance and great precise timing which means that you need to play it properly before striking the ball. The most difficult thing with a side volley is to get the ball on the goal. It may look easy but often you will either totally miss the ball or send it 30 yards behind your opponent's goal. Flying Volley The flying volley is not something you will see every day. This is a type of shoot that requires great acrobatic abilities and timing. The most difficult thing with a flying volley is that you need to jump in the right moment. It is also crucial to know how to land because if the ground is hard it will hurt, believe me; I know what I am talking about :-) There is also a risk that you could hit your opponents head instead of the ball. So, be cautious and make sure to plan your jumps. Learn to Control a Soccer Ball With Ease To improve your ball control you will need to understand that practice is the way to success. This might be a bit unclear at first, so let me provide a real world example for you. When you started to learn how to write you felt that every sentence took a day to complete. However, after a year of practice you even managed to write a short story about your summer trip. Today, after several years of practice you are able to write a sentence in only few seconds. The point with this example is to make your realize that the more effort you put in something, the better results you will get. You can't expect to have great control if you don't practice. By J Zvirikuzhe
  15. 15. 22222215 To help you out I have created this guide to give you ideas on how to improve your ball control. The next section is all about the most common used soccer techniques for ball control. Inside If you are new to soccer you should try to use the inside part of your foot as often you can. It will be easier for you to set up the ball then if you were using any other parts of your foot. It might seem awkward at first, but the technique will feel more natural as time passes. Outside The outside is the most frequently used part for controlling a ball in soccer. The reason is pretty obvious, it is impossible to achieve the same speed with any other parts of your foot. Keep in mind that you can squeeze the ball to the outside of your body with very little effort or need for foot readjustment. This is achieved with a smooth movement which can also disguise your intention to an opponent. This is the part you should use when you want to achieve maximum speed on the soccer field. Sole The sole is very useful for controlling the ball when you are facing the opponents goal with your back with minimum space available but also when you are performing some particular soccer moves (e.g. 360 or Ferenc Puskas).. Summary These are just a few ways to control the ball during a soccer game. It might sound straightforward, but you really do need to make sure that you practice as much as possible. By J Zvirikuzhe
  16. 16. 22222216 How to Perform a Sliding Tackle? A slide tackle is very powerful while playing in defense. When executed properly and timed with precision, the sliding tackle will stop any opponent from getting around you. This tackle will also look pretty cool on the soccer field. However, you need to keep in mind that this one is a last-ditch tackle. Make sure to use it sparingly! If you execute it too often, it may result in a yellow or red card. Here is How to Perform a Slide Tackle: 1. The first thing you need to do is to decide whether you will try to clear the ball or try to regain possession of the ball. 2. Now, slide on either the left or right side of your body. It doesn't matter actually which side you are sliding on as long as you perform the tackle properly. 3.Lead with either left or right leg. If you are executing the slide tackle using your left side, then you should lead with using your right leg and vice versa. 4.Extend your foot toward the ball while keeping your left or right (depends on which foot you lead with) leg bent approximately 90 degrees. 5.Try to kick the ball first without hitting your opponent. If you don't manage to hit the ball first you will surely be punished with a foul. 6. While sliding, you have 2 options, either knocking the ball out of play or trying to tap it gently to regain possession of it. 7.Use your left arm and leg (or your right arm and leg) and rise quickly from the ground to regain balance. Tips     It is easier to execute a slide tackle on wet surface then on hard surface. Slide tackling is also dangerous for your own well-being. If you don't know what you are doing you may injure yourself seriously (in worst case, you could break your own leg). Don't show you opponent that you are preparing for a slide tackle as he or she may realize that and fool you easily. Never tackle your opponent from behind while he is trying to gain control on the ball! By J Zvirikuzhe
  17. 17. 22222217  Keep in mind that tackling may take some time and you may also receive few yellow cards on the way. However, when you master it, you will be able to perform slide tackles at any time. How to Dominate Your Soccer Game in The Air? Heading is vital for dominating the game in air. Having good heading ability will help you dominate in the front of both six yard boxes. You will also be able to score more often at the corner kicks. With your heading skills your team can use the long ball tactic and completely bombard your opponents with long passes towards their penalty area. As with every other soccer skill, learning how to head a ball properly may take you some time to learn. Remember to keep your focus on improving your heading skills every practice. If you do that, you will soon notice some great results in your heading skills. Now, let's take a look at the different methods for heading a soccer ball. The Flick Header is Ideal for Passing and Scoring The flick header gives you the opportunity to play the ball in any direction off your head. This technique is usually used in front of the near post when the ball is crossed from the wing. This method of heading makes it very difficult for the soccer goalie to grip the ball. Diving Without Risking Your Life! By J Zvirikuzhe
  18. 18. 22222218 During a diving header you must propel your body in the path of the ball. Your arms must also be stretched forward to protect you when landing on the ground. Many soccer players find this type of header very difficult to master. If you have a problem with performing this technique, try to practice the dive without ball. Glancing Header is Easier Than You Think! When performing a glancing header you need to turn your head in the direction of your aim. This motion will redirect the oncoming ball. The glancing header provides versatility in the air. This method of heading is especially important in front of the goal when you want to direct the ball past the opposing goalkeeper but also on the field for passing the ball to your teammates. Standard (Defensive) Header is Ideal for All Situations! When performing a standard or defensive header you need to hit the ball with power. This is done by arching your back and swinging your head forward. You must also keep your shoulders leveled and perpendicular to your aim. The standard or defensive header is ideal for soccer beginners. Jumping Header is a Skill You Must Learn! By J Zvirikuzhe
  19. 19. 22222219 A jumping header is ideal for scoring during a corner kick but it requires you to jump at the right moment. Jumping to early or too late will result in a poor header! This skill is crucial to learn no matter which position you are playing at! Summary All of these header techniques definitely have their place in the world of soccer. When you're just starting out, you must want to learn every last one all at once. This is only going to make you overwhelmed and increase your risk of injury. You are going to need to practice as much as possible in order to really become a better soccer player. It's easy to feel discouraged and want to give up, but that's really not something that you want to do. Be sure that you give yourself enough time to honestly learn what's going on in a deeper level. That is the real difference between "here and there" soccer players, and players that really understand what it means to play soccer well! Introduction to Formations The 4-5-1 Formation This formation has been favored by European teams for years. It is often employed when coaches want a safety-first approach from their sides, and observers can regularly witness the formation being used in Champions League matches. Opting to pack the midfield with bodies means more defensive solidity. Striker in the 4-5-1 Formation With only one player up top, there is much burden on this striker to perform. By J Zvirikuzhe
  20. 20. 22222220 It is crucial that he holds the ball up and brings others into play. Didier Drogba is an excellent example of a player with the strength and awareness to shoulder the burden of a lone striker. Pace is also an advantage as the striker will be asked to run on to balls from the midfield. Target men with good control, heading ability and upper body strength like Drogba can flourish in this position. Playing against an entire defense alone can take it out of a player so it is important that he is fully fit when taking to the field. Midfielders in the 4-5-1 Formation It is crucial that if a team has attacking intent, the midfielders go forward at regular intervals to support the striker. As is the case with most formations, one defensive midfielder will sit back and screen the back four. This player is charged with breaking up opposition attacks, and when the team is on the back foot, acting as an extra member of the defense. But the two around him should be looking to attack as well as defend. A more attacking five-man midfield can be difficult for opponents to deal with as it is hard to pick up advancing midfielders who are making late runs into the box, or passing the ball between them to make space. Wingers in the 4-5-1 Formation While at least one of the central midfielders will be instructed to go forward regularly, this is also the case with the team's wingers. Indeed, if a team is setting out to attack, the formation can look more like a 4-3-3, with the two wingers playing more advanced roles as they look to support the front man, and get into goal scoring positions by cutting in. The orthodox winger's job is to run the line and look to get crosses into the box, but for these to be effective, midfielders must advance into the penalty area. A winger must still be mindful of his defensive responsibilities, with more and more teams fielding marauding full-backs. Full-backs in the 4-5-1 Formation There is more onus than ever before in world soccer on the full-backs to attack, and this still applies in the 4-5-1 formation. How much they go forward is dependent on how attacking a team's outlook may be. By J Zvirikuzhe
  21. 21. 22222221 The primary role of the fullback is to defend against wingers and opposition full-backs, while helping out the central defenders. Central Defenders in the 4-5-1 Formation Whatever the formation, the job of the central defenders remains largely unaffected. Center-backs are charged with heading the ball away, tackling and blocking. While they are generally free to go up for set-pieces in the hope of heading in a cross or a corner, their primary role is to stop the opposition strikers and midfielders. The two central defenders can mark zonally (zonal marking) or take on man-to-man marking roles depending on a coach's instructions. Common Defensive Soccer Formations In soccer, a team will employ one of three types of formations: Offensive, Balanced, or Defensive. Though a team can use more than one formation throughout a game, usually a team will choose one specific formation as its base formation. Using a Defensive-minded Soccer Formation There are many reasons that a team will rely primarily on a defense-oriented formation, including the following: Individual offensive talent: When a team has two or three gifted players who can create scoring chances on their own, they have the luxury of letting the other players sag back and come up to help on offense when necessary.  Porous defense: If a team has let in a few early season goals, switching to a formation that clogs the middle of the field in front of the net is a great way to alleviate pressure on defenders. Shaky goalkeeping: A team that has yet to decide on its primary goalie may choose a defensive formation that lets the keeper slowly gain confidence. A tough opponent: Switching to a defensive alignment isn’t always easy. But sometimes sending a few players back on defense against a talented offensive team can help keep snuff out offensive chances and quickly cycle the ball upfield.    By J Zvirikuzhe
  22. 22. 22222222 At the youth and intermediate levels, defensive formations are designed to clog the field in front of the net, forcing opponents to find space along the sidelines. This results in predictable approaches, making it much easier for the defense to adjust on the fly. The formations outlined below are especially useful when a team is protecting a lead, or trying to slow a game down against a more talented, faster opponent. The 4-4-2 The defensive-minded 4-4-2 is the most popular formation in soccer today. It provides a great defensive framework by allowing the four midfielders to quickly sag back toward the defenders, eliminating space for opposing offensive players. The 4-4-2 is most effective when the two wing midfielders are fast and skillful, so that they can quickly transition between playing defense and offense. This formation also allows one of the two sweepers in the middle to mark the opposition’s best offensive player, following him throughout the game to limit his opportunities to score. Midfield Diamond Formation Four-on-four drills are a great way to teach the diamond formation. Players must grow accustomed to re-forming the diamond shape after responding to offensive attacks, resuming the proper spacing and depth. They also must get comfortable cycling the ball forward after dispossessing an opponent. The diamond formation lets one midfielder play forward as an attacking midfielder, while the other focuses on defense — the resulting formation creates a diamond shape.    The diamond formation relies on a tough, hard-tackling defensive sweeper to clear out attacks and get the ball the forward to the attacking midfielder or wing players. Coaches who use the diamond formation often put their toughest, most durable players in the two sweeper positions. These players can be great at eliminating space for the opponent and quickly stifling attacks. The offensive midfielder should be a gifted passer who is comfortable with the ball at his feet. He should be able to set up chances for the two strikers up front. The wing players also have to be fast and fit, able to quickly join a counter-attack. This formation is a great tactic against teams that tend to move the ball straight downfield instead of relying on the skill of wing players who look to find space along the sideline. By J Zvirikuzhe
  23. 23. 22222223 The 4-5-1 Teams that are struggling to find a defensive identity may prefer to try the stifling 4-5-1 formation. This alignment clogs the middle of the field and keeps players focused on getting back on defense. It also emphasizes trapping, and discourages long offensive passes downfield by giving your team a numbers advantage everywhere on the defensive side. The 4-5-1 encourages cycling the ball along the outside, where speedy wing midfielders can take advantage of slower players on the outside. Having five midfielders naturally forces the wing players closer to the sideline, where they can outrun defenders and find quick counter-strikes. The 4-5-1 can quickly become a 4-3-3 by directing the wing midfielders to move forward. This is helpful when a team falls behind or needs more offense during a game. For this reason, it is a great formation for younger teams. The 4-1-4-1 A unique variation of the 4-5-1, this formation relies on a solid defensive midfielder who is both an aggressive tackler and skillful enough to initiate offensive attacks by finding open men along the wing. A speedy striker up front who can find space in opposing defenses, and is a talented finisher, is also crucial to the success of the 4-1-4-1. For these reasons and because it emphasizes clogging the middle of field, the 4-1-4-1 is a great defensive formation for teams with players of varying skill levels. Four midfielders can hide players who are struggling to learn the game, while emphasizing the talents of a few skillful players up the middle. The 5-3-2 By J Zvirikuzhe
  24. 24. 22222224 Using a five-man backline has become a popular tactic in recent years. It has three central defenders freelance in the middle of the defense, eliminating space and quickly closing on the man with the ball. Coaches who favor a five-man backline do so because it takes away the time and space needed to set up scoring chances. along the sideline. The 5-3-2 is also flexible, in that it allows the two wing defenders to move forward after getting rid of the ball and clearing the zone. As in other defensive formations, the wing players should be fast enough to recover quickly. However, they must also be tough and aggressive defenders to discourage forays Choosing the Right Formation The right formation for your team depends on the talents of the players on the field and the game conditions. However, regardless of talent level, a team that begins each game with one of these formations as their base should have success snuffing out attacks and cycling the ball forward. The 4-2-3-1 Formation A look at the 4-2-3-1 formation and how it is implemented The 4-2-3-1 formation came to prominence in Spain in the 1990s and early 2000s and is now used by many teams throughout the world. The two players in front of the back-four, known as the ‘double pivot’ (double pivot) in Spain, give support to the defense, with one player breaking up opposition attacks, and the other putting more emphasis on distributing the ball to the attacking players. The formation should ensure teams are not out-numbered in midfield, and with so many advanced players, there is great flexibility. Striker in the 4-2-3-1 Formation By J Zvirikuzhe
  25. 25. 22222225 In this formation, the striker should not lack support as he has three players whose job it is to supply him with ammunition. If the players behind the main striker are of genuine quality, the formation can be a dream for a striker as he should receive plenty of balls into the penalty area. The 4-2-3-1 formation can accommodate a big target man who can hold the ball up and lay it off for the oncoming midfielders, or a more nimble striker capable of running on to balls and finishing chances. It is important that the front-man is a strong physical specimen as, despite the support from midfield, he will need to hold off defenders as he looks to carve out chances for himself or teammates. Attacking Midfielders in the 4-2-3-1 Formation The three attacking midfielders can be hard for opposition defenses to pick up, especially if they interchange and run in from deeper positions. There is usually one central creative force, playing behind the striker. When Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia won Spanish League titles in the first half of the last decade under Javier Irureta and Rafael Benitez respectively, Juan Valeron (Deportivo) and Pablo Aimar (Valencia) both featured behind the striker, their subtle skills creating havoc in opposition defenses. To either side of the playmaker, there are two wider players whose job it is to create chances from the flanks as well as cutting in. There is also an onus on these three players to help out defensively, particularly those playing in the wide roles. When on the back foot, these players should be helping their fullbacks, and the formation will look more like a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. Defensive Midfielders in the 4-2-3-1 Formation It is imperative that the two players have positional sense in order to protect the back four properly. One of these two is generally more of a tackler, with the other concentrating on distribution. In that title-winning Valencia team, David Albelda and Ruben Baraja formed an excellent partnership. Albelda did much of the tackling, while Baraja was more offensive. The pair complimented eachother superbly. Xabi Alonso is the perfect example of a player whose job it is to defend, but also to open up the opposition with his cultured range of passing. Having two players in front of the back four provides a platform on which the team’s more attacking players can create chances. By J Zvirikuzhe
  26. 26. 22222226 Full-backs in the 4-2-3-1 Formation It is the job of full-backs to defend against opposition attackers, particularly wingers. It is important that they stop the supply line for the striker, so must be strong in the tackle. Pace is key if they are up against a speedy winger, while they will also be expected to help defend against opposition set-pieces so good heading ability is also required. A team's full-backs can also be a major attacking weapon. A full-back with pace, power and good crossing ability is a real asset on the flank as they can stretch the other team's wide players and provide ammunition for strikers. Central Defenders in the 4-2-3-1 Formation The job of the central defenders is consistent with other formations such as 4-4-2 and 4-51. They are there to repel opposition attacks by tacking, heading and marking players (employing either zonal or man-marking tactics). Center-backs can often be seen going up for set-pieces in the hope of heading in a cross or a corner, but their primary role is to stop the opposition strikers and midfielders. Strength and concentration are two important attributes when playing in this positio Offensive Game Plan: The 4-3-3 Formation A look at the attacking 4-3-3 formation and how it is implemented Barcelona's Josep Guardiola has won the Spanish league, cup and Champions League with the formation By J Zvirikuzhe
  27. 27. 22222227 Barcelona and Arsenal both employ the attacking 4-3-3 formation and are two of the most attractive teams to watch in world soccer. The formation works best when a team is going forward and attempting to win a match, rather than simply trying to contain the opposition. However, the respective managers of Barcelona and Arsenal, Josep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger, do their best to ensure there are enough players defending when their teams are on the back foot. The attacking 4-3-3 formation is used by many clubs in world soccer, but rarely with such devastating effect as the two Spanish and English sides. Here we look at how it works from an attacking standpoint. The Central Striker The formation relies on an out-and-out striker to play in the center of the front three, capable of holding the ball up and bringing the two players on either side of him into the play. In Barcelona's case this is often David Villa, while Robin van Persie undertakes the role for Arsenal. Their other main function is to be on the end of chances created. Wide Attackers Offensive midfielders on either side of the striker are instructed to use their pace to get at full-backs and cross the ball in for the central striker and advancing midfielders. It is important that these wide players have the skill and technique needed to beat opposing defenders. In Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Arsenal's Andrey Arshavin - we have two prime exponents of this art. Often you will see these types of players cut inside and run at the central defenders, regularly playing quick passing exchanges with teammates before getting into the penalty area and releasing a shot. Messi, for example, plays on the right of the central striker but being left-footed he loves to cut inside before shooting or passing. While it is the central striker's job to score goals, these players are also expected to weigh in. Defensive Midfielder The three midfielders perform different defensive and offensive roles. At the centre, often playing just in front of the four defenders, there is a defensive midfielder whose job it is to break up opposition attacks before releasing the ball to teammates. Sergio Busquets or Javier Mascherano perform this role for Barcelona, and it is Alex Song's responsibility in the Arsenal team. Neither score many goals, but their role in the team should not be understated as their teammates can attack in the knowledge that they have a dependable tackling midfielder behind them. All-Round Midfielders There are two players flanking the defensive midfielder whose duty it is both to defend and attack. These "box-to-box" midfielders should be getting into the opposition's penalty area By J Zvirikuzhe
  28. 28. 22222228 regularly with the aim of finishing off the chances created by the wide attacking players. It is also their job to construct attacking moves once they have received the ball from one of the four defenders or defensive midfielder. For these roles to be carried out well, such players need to have superb passing abilities, like Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere. Other Responsibilities Of the six players we have looked at in this 4-3-3 formation, you will see five regularly going forward, but they must also be mindful of their other responsibilities. A team cannot always be on the attack, and when you see Arsenal under pressure from the opposition, it is not uncommon to witness their formation switch to a 4-1-4-1 as the wide midfielders drop deeper to win the ball back. Common Offensive Soccer Formations There are three types of formations to choose from: Offensive-minded, Balanced, and Defensive Minded. When determining the best formation for your soccer team, there are several key factors to consider. Here are a few such factors: The players you have in certain key positions  The overall skill level of your backline  The speed of the forwards and midfielders in getting back on defense.  For an offensive-minded formation, the key is finding one that will allow your team to score with ease. However, the same approach likely won’t work for multiple teams—which is why more than one offensive formation exists. Below are some of the more popular offensive formations in soccer today. The 4-4-2 Drastic changes in formation are rarely recommended from game to game. However, a team that has the flexibility to tweak its formation based on game conditions can take advantage of match-ups and give itself the best chance to win. By J Zvirikuzhe
  29. 29. 22222229 For youth and intermediate players, the most common soccer formation is the 4-4-2, in which four players line up as defenders, four as midfielders, and two as forwards. This formation gives players and coaches the flexibility to move forward into the offensive zone or sag defensively to provide support. The 4-4-2 provides decent all-around coverage, without emphasizing too much on either offense or defense. The 4-3-3 Offensive chances require open space and fast players who can take advantage of it. A team equipped with a few fast players, and good passers who can find them downfield, will find success easily in the 4-3-3. The 4-3-3 is a great formation for getting pressure on the defense without sacrificing the backline. Here are some of the key facets of using the 4-3-3:    Having a skillful striker who can play in the center of the front and find space in the defensive zone. Midfielders regularly and easily getting the ball to the wing players. Speedy wings who can both use space along the sideline and cycle the ball into the center of the field. A solid 4-3-3 must also feature an athletic sweeper; this player should be capable of running all over the field, and have lots of endurance. He must be willing to be a defensive midfielder, and join the fray on offense, finding his wing teammates and striker for scoring chances. And when he’s not doing that, the sweeper should clog up the midfield and spark counter-attacks by getting the ball out to teammates. At the youth level, the strength of the 4-3-3 is that it spreads out the offense and unclogs the middle of the field. Therefore, players must adjust to having teammates near the sideline, and avoid the tendency to force the ball down the middle of the field. The 4-2-4 By J Zvirikuzhe
  30. 30. 22222230 The rarest and most attack-focused formation in soccer is the 4-2-4. It is a high-risk, pressure-heavy formation that relies on having two skillful midfielders who are comfortable with the ball at their feet, and capable of applying quick pressure to slow down offensive attacks. The 4-2-4 often employs a diamond-shaped formation among the four forwards. One center forward is stationed near the penalty box, and the other should be in a sweeper position – ready to sag back and help in the midfield. The sweeper must be adept at finding space between the opponent’s midfielders and defenders, along with serving as a point man for a quick strike or a pass to a teammate on the wing. It is helpful if he is a taller player who provides a big target. The 3-4-3 The 3-4-3 is a great formation to use against an opponent that uses only two forwards. However, it can be easily exploited against a team that also uses three forwards and has midfielders who can quickly get the ball up field. It is an aggressive formation that relies on winning the battles in the midfield and controlling possession to create offensive opportunities. A central midfielder must be prepared to drop back to help the defense by pressuring the ball. Like the 4-3-3, this formation relies on a talented, accurate striker and speedy wing forwards who apply pressure on a defense. The 3-5-2 Offensive formations such as these are almost never seen in today’s international game. Nearly every major club and national side prefers four defenders, leaving a lone striker or two forwards to wait for support if a quick strike is unavailable. The 3-5-2 is a safer offensive formation, and can easily be implemented by teams that use the 4-4-2 as their base formation. It also has the advantage of sending the two wing midfielders back on defense when the opponent is applying pressure. The 3-5-2 requires patience, crisp passing, and a willingness to look toward the sideline instead of straight up the middle. By J Zvirikuzhe
  31. 31. 22222231 The key of the 3-5-2 is winning possession in the center of the field. Clogging the middle can force a defensive-minded team out of its shell in order to gain possession. This formation relies on dominating the middle of the field, leading to opportunities for counterattacks to speedy forwards who can sprint along the sidelines and find space in the corners. The 3-5-2 is also great for triangle-passing between two midfielders and a forward to cycle the ball downfield. Completing a pass to a forward directs the defense backward, helping midfielders get into the offensive mix. The Right Formation for You To truly understand how an offensive formation works, it must be practiced regularly and be part of the overall team philosophy in order to help the club win. Choosing the right offensive formation depends on your team’s personnel, as well as the exploitable weaknesses of an opponent. It also demands that a team have enough time to practice the formation so that each player can master his responsibilities on the field. When used correctly, these offensive formations should help your club find the back of the net. Understanding the Basics of The 3-4 Eagle Defense Defensive Formations - The 3-4 Eagle Defense 3-4 Eagle Defensive Formation The 3-4 Eagle defense evolved from Buddy Ryan's 46 defense and Fritz Shurmur first unveiled it with the Los Angeles Rams in the early 1980s. The alignment is basically the same as a normal 3-4, but a linebacker is inserted in the nose tackle's spot, leaving the formation with just two linemen and five linebackers. If you take a look at the illustration on the right, you will see a diagram outlining the 3-4 Eagle defense. The Os in the diagram represent offensive players while the Xs represent the placement of the defensive players. Notice the lowest row of Xs near the line of scrimmage (imaginary line seperating the offense and defense). In this formation, you have just two defensive linemen on the field, By J Zvirikuzhe
  32. 32. 22222232 normally defensive tackles (DT). In the middle of the line, where the nose tackle would normally be, is a linebacker (LB). Two more linebackers line up as ends, outside the defensive tackles. The last two linebackers line up behind the defensive line. Two cornerbacks (CB), one on each side of the field, line up to cover the wide receivers. There are also two safeties. The exact positioning of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in. More Defensive Formations 3-4 Defense Understanding the Basics of the 3-4 Defense 3-4 Defensive Formation The 3-4 defense is a basic defensive formation that is used by several NFL teams. Bud Wilkenson devised the alignment at the University of Oklahoma in the late 1940s. The alignment features three down lineman and four linebackers in the front seven, thus the name 3-4. If you take a look at the illustration on the right, you will see a diagram outlining the 3-4 defense. The Os in the diagram represent offensive players while the Xs represent the placement of the defensive players. Notice the lowest row of Xs on the line of scrimmage (imaginary line seperating the offense and defense). You have two defensive ends (DE), one on each end of the line, and one nose tackle (NT) in between. Right behind the defensive line are four linebackers (LB). At times, one or more of the linebackers will line up on the line of scrimmage as is shown in the diagram. Two cornerbacks (CB), one on each side of the field, line up to cover the wide receivers. There are also two safeties. The exact positioning of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in. The 3-4 defense is a basic defensive formation that is used by several NFL teams. Bud Wilkenson devised the alignment at the University of Oklahoma in the late 1940s. The By J Zvirikuzhe
  33. 33. 22222233 alignment features three down lineman and four linebackers in the front seven, thus the name 3-4. If you take a look at the illustration on the right, you will see a diagram outlining the 3-4 defense. The Os in the diagram represent offensive players while the Xs represent the placement of the defensive players. Notice the lowest row of Xs on the line of scrimmage (imaginary line seperating the offense and defense). You have two defensive ends (DE), one on each end of the line, and one nose tackle (NT) in between. Right behind the defensive line are four linebackers (LB). At times, one or more of the linebackers will line up on the line of scrimmage as is shown in the diagram. Two cornerbacks (CB), one on each side of the field, line up to cover the wide receivers. There are also two safeties. The exact positioning of the defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties) depends on the type of pass coverage they are in. More Defensive Formations Choosing a Formation in Soccer Formations are the way a soccer team lines up its defense, midfield, and forward line at the beginning of the match. If you want to get technical, you could produce dozens of formations due to the mathematical possibilities and new ways coaches are trying to devise to play the game. Soccer is a fluid game where a midfielder may become a forward for five or ten minutes and then return to his original position. Or, likewise, a forward can come back to defend. When talking about formations, defenders are listed first and then midfielders and forward. For example, a 4-4-2 formation has four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards. Goalkeepers are not counted because they are the one position that has not changed over the years. Just remember, the best coaches aren't necessarily ones who devise the best formations, but rather are the ones who devise the best formation for their team to accentuate its strengths and to hide its weaknesses. Youth soccer In youth soccer, coaches should not introduce tactics until players have truly learned the game — usually around the age of 14. Players need time to develop, breathe, and have fun. By J Zvirikuzhe
  34. 34. 22222234 For the beginner, soccer starts out nearly the same. All the players run after the ball or the player with the ball, like bees after honey. Slowly, but surely, they learn to find their own space and spread out across the field. The 4-4-2 England used the 4-4-2 formation (see Figure 1) en route to securing its first and only World Cup title in 1966. A forward is moved into the midfield, putting a lot more pressure on the two players up front to score goals. Saying that, the 4-4-2 is one of the preferred formations of today's modern game. The theory in using another player in the midfield is that it bottles up the opposition in the midfield before they can get to the attacking third. Figure 1: The 4-4-2 formation. This formation is a long shot to use consistently and successfully today because most coaches prefer to use five or even six players in the midfield. The 4-3-3 By J Zvirikuzhe
  35. 35. 22222235 Many North American Soccer League teams used the 4-3-3 formation (see Figure 2) in the 1970s, moving one midfielder up to the forward position. Everything is relative. This formation, which utilized a sweeper (free safety), was considered more defensive than the 4-2-4. But compared to today's more cautious approach, the 4-3-3 would be considered an attacking formation in some quarters. Figure 2: The 4-3-3 formation. The 4-2-4 The 4-2-4 formation (see Figure 3) is the most offensive-minded in modern times. The 1958 world champions of Brazil, with 17-year-old Pelé, made this strategy famous and made it work. To take advantage of this formation, you must have talented and skillful midfielders and forwards to strike early and hold the ball for long periods of time because the pressure is on the midfield and defense big time when the opposition possesses the ball. By J Zvirikuzhe
  36. 36. 22222236 Figure 3: The 4-2-4 formation. The 3-5-2 Today's game is won or lost in the midfield, which is why the 3-5-2 formation (see Figure 4) is popular. A team that doesn't have its midfield operating at peak efficiency suffers in ball possession and scoring chances. So, many coaches like to use as many as five midfielders, although two outside midfielders may have more defensive responsibilities than their mates. By J Zvirikuzhe
  37. 37. 22222237 Figure 4: The 3-5-2 formation. The 3-6-1 Many German teams use the 3-6-1 formation (see Figure 5) in road games as they try to clog the opposition up in the midfield, attempting to pull off a tie or a win. By J Zvirikuzhe
  38. 38. 22222238 Figure 5: The 3-6-1 formation. This strategy may be dangerous. Former U.S. national coach Steve Sampson used this formation during the 1998 World Cup and failed miserably. After the team used primarily a 4-4-2 formation, Sampson deployed it some two months before France '98, and it backfired, producing just one goal in three games. A coach should not change a team's formation drastically during a match, particularly for young or inexperienced teams who may get confused. If a team is trailing and trying to tie up the match, taking out a midfielder for a forward works. If a team is leading, replacing a midfielder with a defender and/or a forward with a midfielder are also proper tactical moves. The 4-4-2 is The Most Popular Formation Today By J Zvirikuzhe
  39. 39. 22222239 This is the most used formation in soccer today. The main strength of the 4-4-2 formation is true balance. Offensive attacks are combined with solid defense. The weakness is the two center players who must be supported by the midfield. The 4-4-2 is probably the first formation you will encounter as you start to play regular games. The 4-3-3 Flat is Synonyn for Total Soccer A classic formation that was adapted by the 1970's great teams. It was with the 4-3-3 that West Germany won the World Cup of 1974. This formation is typical for the total soccer system that was played by The Netherlands and West Germany. The mighty F.C Barcelona of Spain has adapted this formation successfully in their games! By J Zvirikuzhe