Soccer Aggressive Receiving


For young soccer teams and most Rec soccer teams it is very important to teach “Passing to Space” and “Aggressive Receiving“. What I mean is that you should use the Dribble Around a Cone & Pass Relay Race Soccer Practice Game to teach receivers that they MUST stay alert, on their toes, and stop the pass, no matter how bad it is…. they MUST assume that every soccer pass will be bad, get in front of it, and NOT let it get past them.

Many players seem to believe that a soccer pass is supposed to hit them in the feet, and they will just stand there flat-footed waiting for the soccer ball, and if it doesn’t come to them perfectly, they just let it go by and say ‘It’s not my fault ‘ it was a bad pass’. That is the wrong attitude. One of the most important things you can do is teach your players that a pass is NOT supposed to be perfect and that they must stay alert, on their toes, and go to the pass, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, do NOT let the pass get past them they MUST do their very best to stop the ball. Teach your players that most passes are to ‘Soccer Space‘ and that the pass is NOT supposed to be perfect.

The reason to teach this is that it is unrealistic to expect most Rec soccer players to be able to make a perfect pass when under pressure… SO, teach your receivers to NOT expect a perfect pass. In fact, teach them to expect a BAD pass and that they MUST be alert and do their very best to stop bad passes. Imagine the benefits of teaching Aggressive Soccer Receiving!

I suggest you give a special patch to encourage and reward this (pick a color or use a Star or Lightning Bolt). If you can teach this it will make a huge impact on your team’s play.

Ideally, your players should be able to both soccer pass to feet and soccer pass to space. But the reality is that young players will have a hard time making accurate soccer passes when under pressure, and so will Rec soccer players. That is a big advantage of teaching this approach and of teaching them to “Pass to Space” it makes it clear that they shouldn’t expect “soccer passes to their feet“. The Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race soccer practice game is the best way to teach Aggressive Soccer Receiving.


Soccer Zone Defense


There are 2 basic types of soccer defense: a zone soccer defense where defenders stay between the ball & the goal they are defending & are assigned a position relative to their soccer teammates (e.g., right, center, or left); and man-to-man defense where players are assigned to guard specific opponents (this is called a marking soccer defense). Many college & pro soccer teams today use some type of zone defense, but mark attackers who come into their “zone”. I think a soccer zone defense works best for recreational soccer teams because it doesn’t require fast players or great stamina like man-to-man defense does (i.e., it is better suited to slower players who don’t have great stamina). I use a shifting zone defense with “FB’s”, “MF’s” & “F’s” assigned a “relative position”; for example, Right Fullback (RFB), Center FB (CFB), and Left FB (LFB). Two key concepts to teach regardless of which type of defense you use are Soccer First Defender and Soccer Second Defender. Also, you must teach your players to mark attackers who are in scoring range (i.e., “Dangerous Attackers”) regardless of whether you play a zone or man-to-man.


Soccer Your End…


“Your End” of the soccer field is the end your soccer goal is on (i.e., the goal your soccer goalkeeper defends).


Soccer Yellow Card


A serious “caution” in a soccer game. Two in one game & a player is shown a “Red Card” & ejected. (See “Soccer Cards” and “Soccer Rules“).


Soccer Worrying The Goalkeeper


It is a soccer foul to harass, interfere with, or obstruct the soccer Goalkeeper by trying to keep him from putting the ball into play (e.g., if an opponent stands directly in front of the Goalkeeper when he is trying to punt the ball). Punishable by a Yellow Card and an indirect kick. (See “Soccer Cards” & “Soccer Fouls“).


Soccer Work Rate


A term soccer pro’s use to describe hustle & the extent to which a soccer player is always moving. I think “hustle” is a more suitable term for children.


Soccer Wings


The area near the right and left sidelines. Some soccer teams will attack down the wings of the soccer field because it is easier to move the ball down the “wings” than down the center of the soccer field.


Soccer Wing Player


In general, any soccer player whose assigned soccer position is the left or right instead of the center. But more specifically, refers to players whose job is to come into the soccer attack by bringing the ball up the side line (i.e., the “wings”) & to send good crossing passes into the center of the soccer field. Pure “wingers” aren’t used today as much as they used to be. “Wingers” used to be the wide forwards or midfielders (who were sometimes called “withdrawn wingers”). Wing midfielders are sometimes called “winghalfs” or “wingmids” & wing fullbacks are “wingbacks”. Today, it is more common to use soccer wingmids or wingbacks to come up to cross the ball than to have wing forwards. “Wingers” who bring the ball up the side are often very fast & excellent dribblers.


Soccer Wingback


Right and left soccer fullbacks (i.e., the FB’s who play closest to the soccer sideline, as distinguished from the center backs).


Soccer Win The Ball


The soccer term “win the ball” means to gain possession of the soccer ball, often when it is a loose ball or a ball which the other team also has a chance to win. Winning the ball is very important. The team that “wins the ball” the most usually wins the soccer game. Like in basketball, positioning relative to opponents can increase the chance of being able to win the ball. Hustle, speed, a quick start and not being afraid of contact are also important, especially on fifty-fifty soccer balls (i.e., loose balls which either team has an equal chance of winning). For example, if you are on defense, a good strategy is to stay behind the opponent. This will allow you to step in front and steal the ball or to defend the opponent even if he gets the ball. (Whereas if you play in front of the opponent and the ball gets past you, the other team might be able to fastbreak toward your goal). When on offense, good soccer positioning on your team’s goal kicks might be to stay beside the opponent so you have a chance to win both short and long balls. If your team controls the ball, you should try to get open for a soccer pass so you don’t have to fight to win the ball. Whether on offense or defense a soccer player should always be aware of where the nearest opponent is and if an opponent is nearby the attacker will often run to meet a pass so the opponent can’t beat him to it. (See “Soccer Attacking“, and “Soccer Shoulder Charge“).


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