This is the last week before our club starts training for the fall season. The weather in the midwest has been incredibly hot and humid. Fortunately, the heatwave is going break over the weekend and next week won’t be as hot.
The first few weeks of training are always inconsistent because families are taking the opportunity to travel before the summer is over. That means that I won’t have everyone at training for the first week or so. Because of this, I usually plan to have a relaxed start to the season.
The first few training sessions will include some basic technical work to knock the rust off and play a lot of small-sided games. This helps move the players back into the flow of training and playing again after the summer break.
It’ll be a couple of weeks before we have our first games so I won’t really know what my teams look like until we get a couple of games under our belt. Then I’ll know what we need to work on to help continue the player’s development.
This week’s question is from Nick
He’s asking about training to play against a back four.
Nick explained that he will be playing with a back three this year and then asked,
“My question is, since the other teams in our division all play with a back four, should I use that formation in offense v defense drills when I want to focus on forward or attacking play since that is the defense they will most likely be facing? Or do I run the risk of confusing my defenders by having them run too many formations?
I want to give my forwards an authentic look at what they will face in a game, but I also don’t want my defense to play a sloppy back four because it’s not a formation they are used to playing, or because they know it’s a ‘practice formation’ rather than one that will likely be used in a game. But I’m not sure I want to spend valuable coaching minutes explaining the principles and tactics of a formation I’m unlikely to play.”
Thanks for the question Nick.
The key to using attack v defense games is to focus your coaching on only one side of the ball at a time. If you want to work on attacking a back four then you shouldn’t worry about what the defending team is doing. Focus on coaching the attacking team to take advantage of opportunities to successfully attack and score.
In This Episode
Today I want to discuss the assumption that just because someone was a good player that they would be a good coach. I think this is something that happens at every level of the game. I share my opinion and some examples of when a playing background can be both helpful and harmful to a coach.
I’ve been working on a number of different topics for future episodes but I haven’t settled on one for next week. Check the World Class Coaching Twitter account early next week to see what I decided.