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Best Formation for 6v6 U10?

Discussion in 'Coach' started by KevTheGooner, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Arsenal FC
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    Andorra
    Hey folks. We'll be playing outdoors soon, thank goodness, and our league plays 6v6. I'm looking for advice on the best formation for this age. I'm almost inclined to play a 3-2 because I've found that kids this age have a very hard time understanding the role of a midfielder. In particular, if we play a 2-1-2 we're often left exposed at the back. Thoughts?
     


  2. ranova

    ranova Member

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    Aug 30, 2006
    32 is good but the system depends on what you are trying to accomplish, what the field is like, and what rule modifications have been made. The off-side rule or lack of one is particularly important.

    Implicit in your post is that there is a keeper. I would use the keeper as a sweeper/centerback while in possession. Assuming there is enough field and goal width for three attackers across one of the back three can move up to make the first line of three. The keeper providing the third man for the supporting line.

    If your defensive shape is (keeper)32, then 32 is simple to understand and implement assuming that your field and goal has enough width to justify three accross in the back.

    I think that I would use a "delayed high pressure" zonal defense assuming that it would promote dribbling on the attack after a turnover (due to space opening up in the attacking third), and more likely involve the whole team in defending and attacking (more time for us to organize the team shape). It would also allow the opponent some possession in their own third, so you don't just steamroller weaker teams. Upon a turnover in your attacking third your nearest player to the ball puts immediate pressure on the ball while the teamates recover to defend the middle third. The first defender's job is just to slow progress until the attack reaches the middle third where the team presses hard defending as a unit (keeper-32)trying to win the ball back.

    If the defensive shape is a compact 32 then everyone should be in supporting distance on a turnover. On the attack penetration through dribbling, running into space off-the-ball and diagonal passes should all be effective in setting up a shot.

    If the supporting line is not getting involved enough in the attack you could have the team pass back to the supporting line on a transistion instead of playing directly immediately. More risk but it gives the back line a chance to contribute.
     
  3. Kevin8833

    Kevin8833 Member

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    Play a 3-2 and don't worry about it much, let them play. Teach them how to play through small sided games for like support, cover, pressure, combinations, etc. but don't harp to much on systems of play.
     
  4. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Yeah, at this age I avoid team tactics as much as possible, although I do to emphasize support and ball movement. All three defenders will need to learn to play as midfielders when the ball is in the opponent's half.

    I do like ranova's suggestion of having the keeper play the role of a sweeper. Some of them are starting to do that naturally in our indoor games and it makes a huge difference in the scoreline, let me tell you, especially when there's no offside rule.

    BTW, we are playing with the offside rule in outdoors, so that should be interesting.
     


  5. man_in_the_middle

    man_in_the_middle Member

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    It really just depends on your personel. We had an increadably rangy sweeper and stopper. So we played a 1-1-3! I know it sounds off the wall, but we won everything there is to win at that level.

    What are your players like?
     
  6. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Well, they're soft, as I've posted in other threads. Their skills are quite nice, but they are generally not aggressive except for maybe a couple of the 11 girls.

    But I see what you're saying. With a fast aggressive sweeper, and a keeper who's willing to even back her up that could work nicely. I'd rather have them play a 2-3 as I've found that anything more than "forward/defender" is tough for this age (mostly U9 players)...but your point is taken.

    Would anyone see anything wrong with switching between a 2-3 and a 3-2 during the game depending on who was on the field?
     
  7. chelsea33

    chelsea33 New Member

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    6v6 is so tough. I just finished coaching u9 boys and made the mistake of starting off with a 2-1-2 to try to teach positions. We switched to 3-2 after 2 games. I think the biggest thing we were able to teach in this format was spacing and positions. We tried to teach them that they should be staying in a triangle for support while creating space. It worked well but you have to communicate to the parents and kids that winning is not everything. Other teams we played bunch ball so we got over-run in some games; however, it there were moments of brilliance for this age in terms of passing, spreading out and even times when they used a drop back to create time as space. We preached playing the right way so next year when they move to 8v8 there will be a base understanding of using a larger field. Most of all though I would have to agree with the above posts...have fun while learning. Great topic for a forum.
     
  8. Blitzz

    Blitzz New Member

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    Stay with a 3-2, but don't give it too much thought. Focus on the principles of play on both sides of the ball and technique (overwhelmingly focus of technique!). Winning games at this young of an age doesn't matter. Give them the tools necessary to compete well at a later stage in life.

    What's more important to you as a coach? Winning a title at U10, or having a hand in the development of several players who could some day get a scholarship?
     
  9. Twenty26Six

    Twenty26Six Feeling Sheepish...

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    I don't think so. If anything, it might actually help them be more mentally cognizant of their team shape w/o forcing them to learn a position and shape.
     
  10. Twenty26Six

    Twenty26Six Feeling Sheepish...

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    Well, what percentage of athletes get scholarships? 1-5%? Don't get too caught up in that objective.
     
  11. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

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    Yes. I already coach that way and have for a few years now.
     
  12. Blitzz

    Blitzz New Member

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    What percentage of games won at the U10 level matter in the long run? Don't get caught up in that objective.

    I'm not saying that everyone will get a college scholarship. I'm saying that we need to best prepare the younger players with the technique necessary to go as far as they want/can in the sport. Children at this age have the steepest learning curve, so the focus as a coach needs to be proper technique with an eye on personal player development, rather than team development.
     
  13. ranova

    ranova Member

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    Blitzz you are preaching to the choir. We don't disagree with you just because we are discussing what system to use for ULittles. It is not said but we all assume that the original poster wants a system that will be intuitive to the kids so that he spends minimal time teaching it.
     
  14. ranova

    ranova Member

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    Shape and system are two different concepts. I am not sure which you are referring to so the response covers both. To my thinking shape depends on the circumstances (in possession, out of possession, location of ball, third of the field, etc.) not on who has been substituted. That is too confusing. If you meant to play a more aggressive 23 system against weaker teams, I am not in favor of that. As I explained I prefer a delayed high pressure defense to allow the opponent a chance to reach midfield.

    Regarding defense if the goal is wide and the field wide then the defensive shape is better as 32. Think how it is shaped like a semi-circle similar to the danger area in front of the goal. In basketball with small goals a 23 works, but not defending soccer-sized goals. If you are running a high-pressure defense, which I advise against for reasons explained eariler, a 23 shape with the keeper acting as sweeper would be advantageous.

    Regarding attack I think the 32 system's shape on attack should be a (keeper sweeper) 23 as explained above. But again this depends on circumstances not substitutions.
     
  15. Monkey Boy

    Monkey Boy Member

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    I've never coached this number of players at this age, but my indoor team (6v6) plays essentially 1-3-1, with either of the 1's rotating as needed. The 3 mids support defense, with 1 player ready for a break-away opportunity. On the flip side, the 3 mids play offense with the ball with 1 player back to break-up and break away opportunities (slow the ball down until support comes). Everyone's responsible for reading space and determining whether to run in support for either offense or defense, so sometimes the offensive 1 ends up playing some defense while a mid will rotate up to some space in the offense for a break away chance.

    It's basically a fluid set-up focused on everyone reading space and supporting each other. If someone's getting tired, than that player will stay on one side.

    I can see the benefits to this for a U10 team because it's not about a formation, but rather reading the space and taking advantage or covering. No one gets pigeon-holed as a striker or defender, offense and defense are everyone's responsibility.

    The disadvantage -- you'll likely have to suffer through a learning curve. Young players are rarely given such freedom to read the game themselves, and therefore, they're likely going to make mistakes. Explain this to the parents and allow them to make some mistakes, point out some things during substitutions and breaks where they missed opportunities or didn't cover for each other. In the end, the players should be better for it, and that's what it's really about - their development, not winning games.
     
  16. Twenty26Six

    Twenty26Six Feeling Sheepish...

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    Actually, I don't care about either scholarships or winning games. :D
     
  17. cyphilbrick

    cyphilbrick New Member

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    I agree, but would even go as far as to advise that you let kids try different formations, even play any way they want to. At this age, formation and system of play are so much less important than learning basic spacing, forming triangles, support, and problem solving. Have kids try playing all over the field. You might be surprised by the result.

    coach-smart.com
     
  18. Keane_Fan

    Keane_Fan New Member

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    Mar 22, 2005
    I feel that it really doesn't matter what formation you run. I coach 9's and 10's and play with a 2-1-2. The kids will understand whatever you throw at them with time, and if your looking for the kids long term success, and not wins or losses then formations and many tactics really don't matter. Its all about the kids getting as many touches as possible and building their confidence. I just try to make sure that the kids know when they have the ball that they have a green light to dribble/beat somebody even if they screw it up. A couple games into the season you'll have an entire team of little Ronaldo's.
     
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