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Player Philosophy

  1. Fast Footwork and Coordination 

• Balance; agility, timing; fast feet; changing direction 

• Messi and Ronaldo are the 2 players with the best foot skills in the world. 

• Both are always in control of the ball and have the ability to pass defenders using their skills (moves). 

• Fast Footwork is based on being in control of the ball and using skills (moves) to pass the defender. 


  1. Dribbling and Developing Touch on the Ball (different types of dribbles and 1 v 1’s): no pressure, all in a no pressured environment during drill exercises: ball manipulation (dribbles, turns) 

  2. Objectives: 

• Perfect with all parts of the feet and parts of the body 

• Move the ball to develop and exploit space. 

• Ability to protect the ball when challenged

• Coordinated with agility to disguise the movement with the balls 

• To create space in the attacking third exploiting space in front and behind positive attitude to go past opponents 


4. Defending 

• Defend the feints and directional changes 

• Defending and recovering when off balance 

• 1 v1 dominance in all defending skills (press, interception, spoil, heading etc) 

• Defend the counter-attack as an individual 

• Defend against fast shifts and turns in tight areas 

• Calculate ball speed and flight quickly 

• All ball playing requirements


  1. Receiving and Turning 

• Away from players to create space and time 

• Variety of turns to change the direction and momentum of passages of play 

• Tight and soft 1st touch in tight areas 

• Assured and accurate 1st touch on the move at speed 

• Receive and accurately re-direct fast passes (1 touch) 

• Clever receiving skills – 1 touch - 0 touch 

• Late, fast 1st touch (no clues) 

• Dummy before and on contact where appropriate 

• Unexpected, unorthodox touch – any surface 

• Turns, turns, turns! (Late and fast – fast and early) 

• Any surface, anytime, any speed, anywhere 5. Running with the ball 

• Running with the ball to produce an end product 

• Look to exploit spaces between players 

• Control and composure (few touches on the ball for speed) 

• Head up to see options (VERY IMPORTANT) 

• Into space to make ground – past and across opponents 

• Into space to move or attract opponents 

• At an opponent to confront him 

• Counter-attack mentality 

• Feints on the run 

• Release with sensitivity on the run at speed (outside of the front door) 

• Evade, avoid and eliminate an opponent with a dribble 

• Increased foot and lower limb speed required 


  1. Control: 1st and 2nd Touch 

• Use all parts of the feet and body to receive the ball 

• Use of the first touch to create a new angle with the ball 

• Understanding of space and how to create it 

• Perform in tight areas under pressure 

• Shield and protect the ball when closely marked


  1.    Awareness (Beginner Level) 

• Assessing options before receiving the ball 

• Teaching “looking before receiving” 

• Learning through the important Concept of “THINK and LOOK” in ADVANCE of the ball • Learning to play ONE touch 

• Learning to think more quickly 

• Learning to make faster and more accurate decisions 

• Learning when and where to speed up and slow the game down through EARLY observation • Developing a THIRD EYE 


8.     Passing (Basics) 

• Two footed passing ability (inside / outside) 

• Selection of long and short passing 

• Ability to pass with tempo on the floor 

• Lofted / chipped passes in the air with both feet 

• One touch passes and volleyed passes 

• Passing off the front foot 

• Long diagonal passes 

• Types of pass: lofted, swerving, driven; chipped; with backspin for control. 

• Fast passes: Pass, inter pass and exchange passes at speed 

• Passes on the move at speed 

• Ability to operate at varied passing speed 

• Delivered with spin and drag (vertical and horizontal) 

• 1 touch excellence 

• Disguise, subtlety and sensitivity 

• Unorthodox, unusual and unexpected (fast and efficient to be seen as the norm?). 

• Release from unorthodox body positions and shape 


9. Shooting / Finishing 

• Accuracy v power (composure) 

• Introduction of power shooting with both feet 

• One touch finishing in the penalty area 

• Volleys, half volleys 

• Improvisation: first time or following first touch


10. Goalkeeping (determined by the keeper coach) 

11. Heading (attacking and defending) 

• Height and distance defensively 

• Downward headers at goal offensively 

• Timing of contact 

• Emphasis in competitive situations 


12. Support Play and Positioning (basic ideas) - Movement off the ball that involves about 90% of the game 

13. Combination Plays (give and go, overlaps, wall passes etc) - Small sided 2 v 1, 3 v 2, 3 v 3 and 4 v 3 

14. Team Shape 

• We want to develop 9v9 for Attacking and Defensive positioning. 

• Learning a particular system of play 

• Teaching other systems to call upon if needed 

• Learning their role within the team 

• Working on units within the team structure 15. Small-Sided Game Development 

• Starting with a 2 v 2 plus 1 leading to a 3 v 3 and 4 v 4 

• Very important due to much increased number of touches on the ball. 

• The fewer players on the field, the more possible times a player will come in contact with the ball. In fact, players will find they have no choice; the ball will quickly find them! 

• Simpler to understand at younger ages with fewer options available to confuse the mind 

• Because we want our young soccer players to make more, less complicated decisions during the game! 

• The small-sided game allows coaches a perfect opportunity to observe and analyze the individual and collective responses of players under quick game-like conditions in a simpler environment.

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