The following posts have been tagged with "soccer push up"...

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 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“).


Soccer Support


You want to have “support” on both offense & defense. “Support”
refers to having teammates who are properly positioned near the ball (i.e., within passing range on offense and within 5 – 10 steps of the First Defender on defense):

A.  On Offense, there should always be 2 or more teammates within passing range (7-15 steps, depending on age) who are open for a pass. One of these can be following the ballhandler (a “trailer”). The key concepts are “First Atacker”, “Second Attacker”, and “Third Attacker”. (See “First Attacker”, “Push Up”, “Support Distance & Relative Position”, “Attacking”, “Attacking Tips” in Chapter 1, & Chapter 2, “How To Teach Offense & Defense”).
B.  On Defense there are 3 key concepts:
  1. “First Defender” – The player closest to the ball must challenge the ball & try to slow down the attack or block a shot, and
  • “Second Defenders” – The second closest player must be the Second Defender and back up the First Defender and stay between the ball and the goal. The Second Defender should stay about 5-7 steps behind the First Defender and should become the First Defender if the ballhandler gets by the initial First Defender. (In this case, the initial defender should drop back to help the defender who was backing him up).
  • “Shift & Sag” – As soon as the ball is lost, your team should quickly “transition” from offense to defense; the closest player should become the “First Defender” the next two closest should become the “Second Defenders” & all the rest should “shift & sag”. What this means is to shift so they are generally between the ball & the goal & sag back to create multiple layers of defenders (which is called “Depth”). There are 2 rules that you can use to teach your players how to “shift & sag” on defense:
    • The left & right players (e.g., the LMF & RMF or LFB & RFB) should not go past the center of the field.
  • Don’t go past a teammate unless it is an emergency & never go past two teammates. These rules apply to defense but not offense because more creativity is allowed on offense. (See “Shift & Sag“, “Shape“, “Depth“, “Cover“, “Width In Defense“, “Support Distance & Relative Position“, “Zone Defense“, “Defense” & “Flat Defense“).
  • C.  All players should shift toward the ball whether on offense or defense. Ideally, there should be multiple layers of support on both offense & defense.


    Soccer Restraining Line


    The farthest an attacking soccer player can legally “Push Up” without being “Offside”. See “Offside Rule (Simplified)” for the definition. For example, Anson Dorrance plays an aggressive style of attack and has said that when his opponent has the soccer ball, he likes to have his Forwards play on the edge of the restraining line.


    Soccer Push Up


    Read “Should You Push Up When You Attack’ Or Should You Defend Deep’” The term “push up” refers to fullbacks or midfielders moving forward toward the halfway line. In certain formations and if your soccer team has speed and stamina, you should “push up” when you attack or any time the soccer ball is near the other team’s Penalty Box, even if the other team has the soccer ball, so you can support your attack or put pressure on the soccer ball. To build an attack (especially on a large field) it is an advantage to have everyone, including the defenders, shift with the soccer ball. This allows your soccer team to keep “shape” so there is “support”. Moving the fullbacks up also has the advantage of keeping the other soccer team away from your goal because they will be “offside” if they go past the last defender before the soccer ball passes him. This keeps the attackers out of scoring range, but defenders must be quick to fall back if the soccer ball gets past them. This is why some soccer teams use a “Sweeper”. A Sweeper is a very fast soccer player with good endurance who is not afraid to make contact to stop the soccer ball & clear it. The Sweeper will play slightly behind the fullbacks or as a Center Fullback with a “Stopper’ in front of him. (The Stopper doesn’t have to be as fast, but must be tough and able to stop the ball). The Sweeper will run down any through balls or breakaways and kick the soccer ball out of bounds over the side line to slow down the other soccer team’s attack so your soccer team will have time to recover. If your fullbacks are slow and you want to push them up when you attack, consider using a Sweeper. Another alternative is a 3-2-2-3 formation, as described in “Formations” and “Attacking Plan”.

    Once a soccer team is “pushed up”, the FB’s won’t automatically fall back when they lose the soccer ball but may stay pushed up to apply pressure & try to steal the soccer ball back. This is kind of like a defensive “press” in basketball & it is hard to dribble thru these FB’s when they are pushed up. The way to break thru & beat the “press” is by playing “through balls“, “give & go’s” & “passing to yourself“. If your opponent’s FB’s are pushed up, it creates the opportunity for a fastbreak counterattack. In recreational soccer it is best to not push up if you play on a long field and the other soccer teams Forwards are faster than your Fullbacks. An alternative is to use a formation that creates more depth, such as a 3-2-3-2 and to “defend deep”. This is described in detail in “Formations” and “Attacking Plan”. (See “Attacking Plan“, “High Line“, “Last Defender“, “Through Ball” “Pass To Yourself“, “Give & Go“, “Formations“, “Defending Deep“, “Styles of Play“, “Sweeper“, “Stopper” & “Defending to Win“).


    Soccer Press


    When a soccer team “Pushes Up”, it is similar to a “press” in basketball & there are special tactics for “beating the press”. (See “Push Up“).


    Soccer Offside Rule (Simplified)


    If “offside” is called in your age bracket, you can teach this simple version: You are not offside if you are doing any of the following:

    1. Are in your own half of the soccer field (your half is the half your goalkeeper is on). Or,
  • Are even with or behind the soccer ball. Or,
  • Don’t go past the “Second Last Defender” (The goalkeeper is usually, but not always, the last defender; this might be the case if the goalkeeper is out of goal). Or,
  • Receive the soccer ball direct from a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in. (But you can be offside if you receive it direct on a “free kick”). Or,
  • Are the ballhandler (the ballhandler can be closer to the goal than the soccer ball if he has his back to the goal).
  • The penalty for Offside is that an Indirect Free Kick is awarded to the opposing soccer team to be taken from the place where the offside occurred.

    When my forwards “push up” without the soccer ball, I tell them to stay 2 steps behind the Last Defender (not counting the goalkeeper) so they are less likely to be caught offside or to be accidentally called offside. (See “Played” & “Offside Rule, Detailed“).


    Soccer Long Ball


    A soccer ball that is kicked “long”. This usually refers to a long ball from the FB’s to open space or to an air ball that is sent between the FB’s & the goalkeeper. (e.g., “send a long ball”). (See “Through Ball“, “Sweeper“, “Over The Top“, & “Push Up“).


    Soccer Last Defender


    The defender (not counting the goalkeeper) who is closest to the goal you are attacking. (The goalkeeper is usually the actual last defender, but it is easier to teach this concept by referring to the last field player as the “Last Defender”).This is an important concept to teach because you may want your center forward to play within 2 steps of the Last Defender. The “Last Defender” is usually as far as a forward can “push up” without the ball & still be “onside”. You want your forwards to stay 2 steps behind the last Defender so they won’t be as likely to be called offside. It is hard to dribble past the Last Defenders. The best way to break through them is by “through balls”, “give & go’s” or “passing to yourself”. (See “Offside Rule“, “Push Up“, “Through Ball“, “Pass To Yourself” & “Pass To Space“).


    Soccer High Line


    (aka “Pushed Up”). A “high line” is when the Fullbacks push up toward the halfway line. They may do this to support their team’s attack, in which case they are vulnerable to a fast “counterattack” by their opponent. Fullbacks may also push up and play a “high line” when they are on defense in order to create an “offside trap”, but they are vulnerable to “through balls” played into the open space between them and their Goalkeeper that the opposing fast forwards can run onto. In the 2006 World Cup, Ghana played a “high line” and lost to Brazil 3:0 by giving up 2 goals on “breakaways” to Ronaldo and Ze Roberto. Brazil left their great forwards pushed up so they were even with the high line and passed balls through the Fullbacks that the forwards ran onto. (See “Push Up“)


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