Possession soccer vs long ball soccer.

                I coach U13 girls soccer. My daughter joined her school team and they are not good. They are athletic and  have some good ball handlers. But they play big kick soccer as opposed to possession soccer. There is also a disconnect between the kids and the coach. I am not tryingvyo belittle the coach, he played soccer for 15 years and definitely knows how to play the game better than me. But he seems to be stuck in an older style of soccer that doesn’t work anymore.

Their first 3 games they lost; 12-2, 8-1 and 9-1. They were getting blown out from the get go. One huge problem I see is the long kicks downfield. In yesterday’s game there were at least 15 long kicks, not one time did we retain possession. That is 15 lost possessions, 15 chances to score a goal and keep the ball out of the other teams hands. They are also lacking serious fundamentals. He has them everyday for an hour and half, his plan should be taking shape.

Fundamentally they are lacking, always trying for flashy instead of just making the play. Instead of getting their body in front of the ball, they throw legs up. Instead of controlling the ball and looking where they are passing, they just kick it with not regard to who it is going to. Defensively they play with the ball near the box. They will be in a crowd and kick up the middle. They consistently do this and consistently lose the ball in the scoring zone. I don’t know why they don’t just kick it out of bounds, it gives you the opportunity to reset and winning throw ins is about a 50/50 chance.

I don’t pretend to be the best coach in the world, but if you see something that works, USE IT. Each team they played against used the short to medium passing game and kicked it out on defense, not everytime, but were coached how and when to do it. They worked the ball up the field, instead of using the big kick/fast break style. One of our teams goals was scored that way, the rest on penalty kicks. He also pushes his defense up across the half line, even though it consistently gets beat back, even though they have a defender that stays behind the rest.

I preach the shorter passing game and possession soccer. I also preach having your defenders kick it out, unless they have open field in front of them. I believe in body position on defense and not making a play on the ball until you ride them where you want them. It has worked for a team that won 3 or 4 games over 4 years. I watched Chelsea vs Everton last week and there were not many big kicks down the field. Even the goalie would roll it to the defenders. One touch passing and short to medium passes make the defense move more, causing them to be out of position. Spain won a World Cup with this method.

I hope this coach can find the right mix between his method and the newer way of soccer, but I don’t see it. Even warmups he has them doing sharks and minnows while the other team has the offense working against their defense. No one works with the goalie who is brand new to goalie and soccer. I know I sound like an unhappy parent, I am a coach who sees where they can improve, and I am not seeing it. I have not said anything to the coach and never will, it is his team despite my unhappiness with the system. Could they win with possession soccer, probably not at first, it is hard to sell kids on, but they will competetive. Which will then grow confidence, which will then lead to wins. I hope I get a high school job next year. I want to see if my ideas work therd as well

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