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7v7 for 6/7 yr olds

Discussion in 'Coach' started by Soccertes, Apr 23, 2012.

Moderators: elessar78
  1. Soccertes

    Soccertes Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
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    Boston, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
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    United States
    In our club for our U7 boys division (comprised of 6 &7 yr olds) we play 7v7 (6 field +1 goalie). I would like them to play a 3-3 formation. flat 3 defenders flat 3 forwards just to keep it simple. I am having the hardest time teaching these kids to stay spread out, not bunch up around the ball, and pass the ball to each other. To try and keep their positions and just move up and down the field while still keeping their basic 1 line 3 person shape. Does anyone have any practices or drills that help kids understand how to move together as a line and team? How to keep their shape without crashing in around the ball and pass the ball to one another? Or is that just something you have to keep repeating and playing over and over until eventually, when they turn 9, they'll get it?
     


  2. Rebaño_Sagrado

    Rebaño_Sagrado Member+

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    May 21, 2006
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    Since no one replied I will suggest checking the u8 thread on ideas on how to work with this.

    Other than that the only suggestion I have is try setting treats for the kids in your desired locations.

    Kidding.
     
  3. JoseP

    JoseP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    My suggested formation would be a 6. At this age there should no work whatsoever on formations. 3 years of trying to get them to understand shape would be a lost exercise. Teach them how to dribble and shoot.
     
  4. Rebaño_Sagrado

    Rebaño_Sagrado Member+

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    Forgot a keyword, age. This age.
     


  5. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Moving together as a line/unit/team is something that happens a few years down the road. As Jose mentioned, it's way too early. I have a team of pretty decent U11s and they are just beginning to grasp the concept of working as a unit. It's just the way their brains think about the world.

    As a U-little coach, you need to accept that at this age soccer is an individual sport played in a team setting.

    Work on their individual skills and let the chips fall where they may in the team setting. I still remember, vividly, one of my first "soccer thoughts": I stood apart from the swarm one day, the ball squirted out and I scored a goal. I was 16. Just kidding about the age.

    You'll drive yourself crazy trying to get them to spread out at this age. Then you'll drive coaches like me crazy a few years down the road when I need them to defend and attack in 2s and 3s and all they want to do is spread out.

    Looking a few years down the road and it's just a modified swarm and a modified "squirt out" of the ball. You pressure the ball with multiple players in an organized manner or you give the teammate with the ball passing options from 5-10 yards away and then they eventually learn to move the ball AWAY from the swarm to areas of low pressure.

    Throw them out there as you planned as a "back line" and a "front line". I wouldn't get too heavy into the details of Left/Center/Right back and Left/Center/Right forward—you want to apply as few constraints as possible. At this age, their biggest obstacle is the ball. The more focus they can put on the ball, the better off they will be.
     
  6. The Friendly Ghost

    The Friendly Ghost Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    This is a tough situation that your league has put you in. The USYSA recommendation for this age is 4v4 and no GK. You're playing at numbers that are appropriate for 9's and 10's.

    I'd agree with what others have said, which is I think you're wasting your time at this age trying to teach a formation (you'd make better use of your resources by convincing your league to change the format). That time would be better spent working on individual technique and, at this age, I think you can start to introduce paired activities.

    But again, you're in a tough position, because with that many kids on the field, you need some sort of organization. For U8's I think it is appropriate to begin introducing the concept of shape, and the shapes you're looking for are triangles and diamonds. So perhaps rather than teaching kids a 3-3, consider reinforcing shape, e.g., diamonds and triangles. Set the kids up in a diamond, and throw the extra two players in the middle of the diamond (it sort of becomes interlocking diamonds, then). Functionally, that kind of looks like a 1-4-1, which is not a formation you'd probably want to play with 9's and 10's, but at this age group it has the virtue of creating some width and depth and organizing the kids in an attacking and defending shape that will translate to whatever they play when they get older.

    As for teaching shape, I think you'll want to introduce it by explaining what a triangle looks like and putting kids in "position" so they can get a visual (note that I'm not advocating giving players this young actual positions--I'd tell them we attack as a team and defend as a team, but when we attack or defend, this is a good shape to be in) but beyond that brief introduction, I think you'll just want to play lots of short sided games (3v3 and 4v4). Stop play every once in a while when things get bunched and reorient the kids. A couple games I like for this: 3v3 or 4v4 in a field maybe 35x25, with 5 goals (two cones) set up in the field (not on the goal lines--in the field of play). Teams score points by successfully completing a pass through one of the goals to a teammate. Another game is the six-goal game. 3v3 or 4v4 on an appropriately sized field, with three goals on one goal line and three goals on the other goal line. You can manipulate the game by making some goals bigger than others, or awarding more points for a goal scored in the middle, for example, than the side. You could also play "sideways," so that the goal lines are the longer lines that are normally the touchlines (good for working on width).
     
  7. Monkey Boy

    Monkey Boy Member

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    I've got a U8 team and only introduced a shape/formation to them this year. They really weren't ready for it last year. Fortunately we're in a more logical situation with kids playing 4v4, no keepers.

    Playing 7v7 at U7 must be a huge swarm. I agree with the others above, don't rush things. You will serve the players best by teaching them to control the ball in such tight situations. Don't waste your time with formation or shape, their skills will be pushed in such a huge group which will be a huge asset in a couple of years.
     
  8. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    [​IMG]

    So this is one of the most basic, but also most effective training games. Learning the game isn't in the complexity of the drill, it's just exposure to soccer problems and explaining the solutions to them.

    4v4 to goals. Instead of "lines" ask them to set up in a the shape of a diamond (or a kite). This is the most basic, and proper way of "spreading out". You don't want a skinny kite, or else it won't fly.

    Set up the playing area, probably around 20 long by 10 wide (yards). For a 5'8" adult, ten yards is about 11-12 steps. The idea is you want them in an area that is big enough to let them have space to play but not big enough that they're out of reach for each other. A "true" soccer field is a big area and it should feel like you have a lot of ground to cover.

    Now that you're set up, let them play. Only coach the team WITH the ball so it stays simple for you, the coach. All you're watching for is if that kite gets too small or too narrow. When you see it, don't stop play but give them a verbal reminder. Keep the game flowing.

    After about 2-4 minutes, stop play. If you have extra players rotate them in and let the kids who were playing get water. Here is where assistants/parents are helpful.

    Coaching is really about answering two questions: Why aren't my players scoring? and Why are we giving up goals? Everything kinda falls under these two questions. In this scenario you're coaching the attack, so why are we not scoring goals? Again, the answer falls under two basic headings 1.) we lost the ball or 2.) Shot missed or was blocked.

    So you have to observe why we are losing the ball and give them pointers on how fix it. This is where the coaching individual skills I was talking about earlier.

    You can modify this simple set up many ways, here are two. Rotate the orientation and now, as someone mentioned, you are working with a wider field that requires them to play differently.
    [​IMG]

    Or you can keep the orientation and make it narrower.
    [​IMG]

    Basically, let the set-up teach the game. To succeed they need to respond to the demands of the space you create. You, the coach, teach the skills they need in the contexts you present.

    This is essentially the "Dutch Method", at least my take of it. They want to teach soccer in a contextual method. There are other methods, like Coerver training, that focuses mainly on the technical. But the Dutch feel that great players are more than just their technical ability (high soccer IQ, fighting spirit, speed, etc.).
     
  9. equus

    equus Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    This is in my wheelhouse... :)

    For games I start them in a rough 3-3. "Forwards" indicate you start at the midfield line, "Backs" start at the top of the PA. Instead of left, right, middle I use Parents' Side, Middle and Coach's side in case they're not familiar with left and right just yet.

    PF------MF------CF


    PB------MB------CB


    --------GK---------

    From there, they go where they need to go. Everyone attacks when we have the ball, and everyone defends when we don't. Rotate positions (up and back). You'll have some that naturally attack the goal, some who float around the middle, defending high and some who stay deeper. I instruct any backs who haven't already moved up to do so some to support and not leave the gap open for counters.

    The main teaching as far as games go is to track back and cover for each other. Practice is ball control, dribbling, shooting and some passing but I don't expect a lot in games because they all want the ball. We go over space in practice with games and instruction but with that many on the field it morphs into its own version of U8 "shape". Have fun!
     
  10. rca2

    rca2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Viewers should keep in mind elessar is just showing snapshots of the team's shape in a dynamic game.

    You like to see passing, but you probably are going to see a lot more dribbling. And remember they have to run by each other to do a takeover.
     
  11. rca2

    rca2 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Me too. My SSG's are usually based on groups of 3 and 4.
     
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