"Best" Formation for 7v7

Discussion in 'Coach' started by The Friendly Ghost, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. The Friendly Ghost

    The Friendly Ghost Member

    Jul 24, 2007
    A new U10 travel coach playing 7v7 (including keepers) asked me and another coach what the best formation for his team was. He was playing a 3-1-2; another coach suggested a 3-3; I thought a 2-3-1 might work. Putting aside for now questions about personnel (since that will no doubt influence answers) and the usefullness at this age of teaching positional play, anyone have thoughts on this topic? PUt another way, how would you play?

  2. ranova

    ranova Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    I would use a dynamic 33 with the keeper playing as a sweeper. By dynamic I mean interchange within and between lines on attack is expected. To the extent that circumstances allow, I would use a low pressure 33 block zonal defense. In practice I would use a lot of 3v3. My theory is that its easier for the kids to translate what they learn from 3v3 to a 33 system. Low pressure defense allows more opportunity for dribbling and possession play after a transition to attack. Conceptually I would describe it as a sweeper, 3 CB and 3 CM.
  3. ranova

    ranova Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    I wanted to add two points. First I don't coach "formations" for any age. I coach systems of play. That may just be sematics, but it makes my point. Second when I was actually coaching this age group (ten years ago!) I used a compact high pressure defense. While it was very successful at getting results, at the time I did not appreciate that there was more development potential for my team in a low pressure defense. By midway through the season my players had picked up enough skill that they dominated the matches. If I had it to do over again, I would have switched to a low pressure defense for the last half of the season to get more possession in the defensive and middle thirds of the field.
  4. Twenty26Six

    Twenty26Six Feeling Sheepish...

    Jan 2, 2004
    Liverpool FC
    United States
    I agree with Ranova. but, I do like the 3-1-2 or 2-3-1 at times to teach different things.

    3-3 is the best way, IMO. You can teach "pure" concepts with it, b/c there isn't the crutch of "positional roles" for the kids to rely on. They need to think about where to go and why. This leads to many "real time" soccer decisions.

    However, I'd want to know the size of the pitch. Some U10 teams that play on a longer pitch might have trouble with the 3-3.

  5. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Arsenal FC
    Starting out with a new team, I used to use the 2-3-1, but last season I went to the 3-2-1. I coached girls, and the only way I could my defenders to stop thinking get the ball and boot it and start thinking possess the ball and move forward as the attack moves forward, was if I had two defenders back.

    I, personally, don't mind the "crutch" of positional roles as it helps players reset, and as a coach, I can get girls to buy into the notion leaving their assigned positions if they know they can get back into them at a later point in time.

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