The following posts have been tagged with "soccer key concept"...

Soccer Throw-In


This is a type of “Set Play.”  See the review of “Coaching Set Plays” for Set Play Tactics. Soccer Throw-ins are very important because each team will take 25 or more of them during a game. When the soccer ball goes out of bounds over the side line (i.e. the “touch line”), it is “out” on the team that last touched the ball before it crossed totally over the side line, and the opposing team is allowed to get the ball and one of their soccer players (often the closest, or a player designated by the coach to take the throw-ins) is allowed to inbound the ball by picking it up with his hands and throwing it back onto the field. This is called a “throw-in”. This is the only time a player other than the Goalkeeper is legally allowed to pick up the ball with his hands. For a throw-in to be legal: (a) the ball must be thrown from behind & over the head (b) it must be thrown using both hands (c) the thrower must face the field (d) at the instant the ball leaves the thrower’s hands, some part of both feet must be on the ground, either on or outside the side line (e) the ball must be throw-in from the place where it went out of bounds (Referee’s usually let the throw-in be taken from the approximate point where the ball went out of bounds, and you rarely see arguments about this). If the thrown ball does not enter the field, the throw-in is retaken by the same team. The thrower may not touch the ball again until it has touched another player. The penalty for an illegal throw-in is that your team loses the ball & the other team gets to take a throw-in from the same spot. A goal may not be scored on a direct throw-in (i.e., it doesn’t count if it is thrown into the soccer goal without another player touching it first). A player is not offside if he receives the ball direct from a throw-in. An opponent must stay at least 2 meters from the thrower and can be given a yellow card for standing closer than 2 meters (note that this rule probably won’t be enforced at very young ages). Also, an opponent is guilty of unsporting behavior and should be given a yellow card if he unfairly distracts or impedes the thrower (e.g., by jumping around, shouting or making gestures to intentionally distract the thrower, or by jumping in front of the thrower). When a throw-in is awarded the Assistant Referee will point the flag in the direction in which the attackers will advance (i.e. toward the goal of the team it is out on). (See “Soccer Offside Rule“, and “Assistant Soccer Referee“). See the Soccer Throw-Ins Navigation Page


Soccer Speed Dribbling


Speed Dribbling is a way to move the soccer ball fast when you are open. Instead of keeping it close to your feet, you kick it forward and run to it (being sure to get there before an opponent), then kick it forward again, etc. The techniques are different for Control Dribbling and Speed Dribbling. To Speed Dribble, you kick the ball forward using the outside top of the front of the foot (not the inside of the foot). There is an excellent demonstration of Speed Soccer Dribbling on the Anson Dorrance-Tom Stone Soccer Clinic DVD at minute 19:15, ‘Dribbling for Speed’. (See Soccer Pass to Yourself, How To Teach Dribbling and Soccer Control Dribbling).


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“).


Soccer When To Shoot


My rule is: “If you have a shot, take it.” This means you should shoot any time you are in soccer scoring range & have a clean soccer shot, but if it is a long shot (i.e., from outside the soccer Penalty Box) chip it at the top of the goal. (A grounder from far out doesn’t have much chance of scoring). Sometimes soccer players will pass up a clean soccer shot to try to pass. I tell them “If you have a shot, take it.”


Soccer Where….From?


Ask your soccer players “Where will the other soccer team score from’” The answer is, “In front of our soccer goal“. Repeat this often until they have it memorized. You must teach them to protect the area in front of your goal & have enough defenders in front of the soccer goal to not let the attackers get clean shots, but you must also leave forwards out (a long pass away) so you have a way to outlet the ball. As players get older, attacks will be less direct & more scores will come from “crossed soccer balls“. But, still, most scores will occur “in front of the goal”. This is even true for the pros.


Soccer When To Dribble and When To Pass



a.  Any time you have a soccer pass, take it. Dribble only when you can’t pass or if you can dribble & score.

b.  Generally, do not dribble in the 1/3 of the soccer field nearest your own goal (i.e., in your "defending Third") unless you must in order to get past a defender so you can make a pass or a clearing soccer kick, because if you dribble near your goal the other team might steal the ball & score. Especially if the ball is in the Danger Zone, you should clear it, preferably to the side. If you must dribble, dribble toward the side line, not toward the center. (See "Soccer Attacking", "Soccer Creating Space" & "Soccer Attacking Third").

Soccer Two Touch


When the soccer ball is stopped & then passed so that it has been touched (Key Concept) 2 or more times it is called a two touch soccer pass. (See One Touch). U- U-6, U-8, U-10, U-12, etc. The U stands for “Under”. At younger ages, soccer leagues are often organized in 2-year increments. (See “Age“).


Soccer Through Ball


(aka Through Pass). A soccer pass between defenders into the open space between the fullbacks & the soccer goalkeeper with the idea that a forward will beat the defenders to the soccer ball. There are 2 types: a “Straight Through Ball” & a “Diagonal Through Ball”). (See “Pass To Space”, “Leading Pass” & “Pass To Yourself”). This is a very important soccer concept to teach & one that I think should be introduced by U-8 & definitely by U-10. By U-12 (& sometimes by U-10) defenders will be “pushing up” & it will become very difficult for attackers to dribble past the “Last Defender”. “Through Balls”, “Passing to Yourself”, “Switching The Play” & “Wall Passes” become the keys to a successful offense. If the other team is having success with through balls, it may be because your soccer defense if “flat” & doesn’t have “depth”. (See “Depth“, “Zone Defense“, “Push Up“, “Last Defender“, “Leading Pass“, “Give & Go“, “Pass To Space“, “Diagonal Through Ball“, “Styles of Play” & “Stretch The Field“).


Soccer Third Attacker


A soccer attacker who is in soccer scoring position or running with the attack but a long soccer pass away from the First Attacker.(See “First Attacker“, “Second Attacker“, & “Third Man Running“).


Soccer Sweeper


(abb. “SW”). A fast & tough player who usually plays just behind the fullbacks, although he is allowed to roam. His job is to cover the space between the fullbacks & the goalkeeper & to stop “breakaways” & “sweep up” the ball or kick long “through balls” out of bounds so the defense has time to recover. Using a sweeper increases your “depth” & field coverage and therefore allows your fullbacks to push up to support your attack. A Sweeper is like a free safety in American football. A good sweeper must be fast & willing to make contact to steal the ball. A Sweeper can be like a coach on the field and can help direct adjustments, since he is usually the deepest field player and in a good position to view the game. The trend with pro teams is to not use a Sweeper but instead to use a “flatback four”, which is 4 Fullbacks playing a zone defense and using a lot of “offside traps”. A Sweeper was originally used to back up man-to-man defenses. However, using a Sweeper can also be used with a “Zone Defense” (i.e., “Spatial Defense”). A great Sweeper who has speed and great coverage skills can allow your Fullbacks to push up to support your attack, even if they aren’t fast, because he will slow down the attack and give your Fullbacks time to recover. However, if you don’t have a great Sweeper, a better alternative for most recreational teams is to use a 3-2-2-3 formation where the FB’s stay deep, as described in “Formations”. (See “Push Up“, “Formations“, “Through Ball“, “Breakaway“, “Second Sweeper“, “Support“, “Cover“, “Defending Deep” & “Zone Defense“).