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hendersonshands
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Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
Hopefully looking for some good ideas from guys here. Here's the scoop:

I'm coaching a high school team. We have about 4 players that I would describe as good. I'm playing our best player at center back because it's where I find him most valuable. We don't have any amazing athletes, but some decent size and adequate athletes. Possession is not our strong suit. They can hit feet and pass well in practice, but in the games they cannot turn, switch fields, or even play to feet constantly. We resort to through balls more often than not.

I'm setting up the team as a 4-5-1 with 2 holding mids and an attacking mid. I've used the limited practice time we've gotten to mostly work on defensive positioning and movement of the back four and the two holding mids.

So far we're doing fairly well defensively, played a team that beat us 5-0 last year and we held them to 1-0 on a lucky deflection goal.

My problem:

We generate nothing offensively.

We recently lost a game 2-1 for a couple of reasons. 1) our midfielders were gassed. 2) our center mids were pressing up too high to try to force some action and we left giant gaps between our defense and our midfield. We gave up two goals in the last 20 minutes after playing a great defensive game for the most part.

How do we create an attack while also not abandoning our defensive shape?

I have a couple of center mids returning from injury soon, and I think they'll help. I'm just not willing to give up a midfielder to add another forward.


TheWalrus
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)


hendersonshands
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
I've actually worked on some things like that with my better center back, but not a true libero. I have one center mid who drops in very deep when we win possession to give one of my center backs the room to create something. It's still a work in progress, but it has given us some opportunities.


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McCaigBro69
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
Trequarista = GOAT


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crazy4lsu
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
Have you worked on set pieces at all? Is that even a possibility?

If their positioning is good, then giving them some simple passing rules in certain situations can maybe help.

Have you gone over how you want them positioned offensively? That can give them an offensive framework so they can develop their own patterns of movement.

Think of how Brazil in 2010 went to a three man back line with Melo dropping into a CB role, giving the team a defined offensive and defensive shape.
This post was edited on 11/14 at 8:34 pm


hendersonshands
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
quote:

crazy4lsu


The guy I was hoping would show up.


quote:

Have you worked on set pieces at all? Is that even a possibility?



Not as much as I would like. It took me a lot of practice time getting defensive shape down. I'm just now moving on to other stuff.

quote:

Have you gone over how you want them positioned offensively?


We've worked on what it looks like to support the man with the ball, creating triangles, when outside mids should make a run and when they check to and check back, etc. --- we need to do all of this more than we have, but we're getting there.


quote:

Think of how Brazil in 2010 went to a three man back line with Melo dropping into a CB role, giving the team a defined offensive and defensive shape.



Can't really say that I remember it too well.


Girth Donor
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Member since Apr 2011
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
If you are playing a 4-5-1 with 2 holding mids your fullbacks need to push up when getting possession to support the attack. When losing possession the 2 holding mids should be able to hold the fort down until they get back into position. If you are playing a team that is using 2 attacking wing players high up the pitch they can counterattack you playing very direct so you have to be careful.


AU_RX
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Member since May 2005
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
I would second working a lot on set pieces. Watching high school soccer the last few years has shown me how important they are. Even long throw ins are a great opportunity if you have one kid that can wing it. Ask St Amant about that. Scoring off set pieces and defending them is extremely vital in high school from my vantage point.

Off topic, but I much prefer watching club soccer over high school. It’s a “prettier” game and more posssession-based with a build up of attack. I watched my sons high school team scrimmage the state champs in a rematch of last years title game, and it devolved into a game of kickball at one point.


hendersonshands
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
quote:

If you are playing a 4-5-1 with 2 holding mids your fullbacks need to push up when getting possession to support the attack. When losing possession the 2 holding mids should be able to hold the fort down until they get back into position. If you are playing a team that is using 2 attacking wing players high up the pitch they can counterattack you playing very direct so you have to be careful.




Yeah, we've begun introducing the fullbacks into the offense. The guys are still not fully grasping it and it scares the shite out of me most of the time, but it's one of the ideas I have for getting extra guys into the attack.


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hendersonshands
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
quote:

I would second working a lot on set pieces. Watching high school soccer the last few years has shown me how important they are. Even long throw ins are a great opportunity if you have one kid that can wing it. Ask St Amant about that. Scoring off set pieces and defending them is extremely vital in high school from my vantage point.



My only problem is my guys are terrible at attacking crosses. I don't know if it's all kids now, or just mine, but they are terrified to head the ball.

quote:

Off topic, but I much prefer watching club soccer over high school. It’s a “prettier” game and more posssession-based with a build up of attack. I watched my sons high school team scrimmage the state champs in a rematch of last years title game, and it devolved into a game of kickball at one point.



Yeah, club teams get way more practice times than high schools. It's like watching a professional club versus watching national teams. The clubs are playing at a much higher level than the national squads. Also why countries like Germany and Spain do well, because the majority of their players come from two clubs.
This post was edited on 11/14 at 9:24 pm


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crazy4lsu
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
The Brazil system itself is unimportant. The point I was trying to make was that Brazil had a system where the offensive and defensive positioning fed into one another.

If there was any way to see a quick turnaround, it might be giving them specific instructions when they win the ball back. If it is high up the field, ask them to do one thing, if it is lower ask them to do another, etc. If they win the ball high, asking them to move upfield as quickly as possible would facilitate the counter-attack, but the hard part of the offensive game is that you can't make the passes for them. That part is left up to them. Since the defensive positioning is getting there, maybe teaching some counter-attacking, something like getting goalside of your nearest man as soon as soon as the ball is won, and having runners support the man on the ball with both dummy runs and attacking runs can help you transition. It sounds like you just need more time to implement these ideas. I don't know if it is against the rules, but having the players come together informally to play "pick up" games might also be a way of circumventing the time constraints.

I think the easiest thing would be to teach the counter attacking game. That also might be frustrating because you can lose possession very quickly.

How wide are your wide players?


saderade
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
Does the school typically make it into the playoffs? And how is the competition in their district/area?


hendersonshands
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
We've become a de facto counter attacking team, just because we can't possess the ball. I don't really give a shite about the possession soccer a lot of coaches teach nowadays, I call it pointless possession. I'd much rather try to control the game with our defensive shape, win the ball, switch the field, and then try a probing pass than passing it around our back four for a couple of minutes while the other team gets set.

quote:

How wide are your wide players?


On the ball side, our wide midfielder is as wide as possible, opposite side wide midfielder pinches in.


hendersonshands
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
quote:

Does the school typically make it into the playoffs?


No. Fairly new school, still figuring out athletics.

quote:

And how is the competition in their district/area?


One team is clearly ahead of the rest in our district, but I think we can match up with every other team.


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crazy4lsu
USA Fan
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
Asking that wide midfielder who pinches to create an overload by drifting slightly more centrally when the ball is won (assuming the ball is won on his opposite side) while the AM and striker move upfield as quickly as possible would give the man on the ball 3 forward pass options immediately. Against most teams that's a 3 v 2 opportunity.

The other option I could think of is creating overloads in wide areas. When you finally get your fullbacks into the game, using the ball to create 2 v 1 overloads is a good way to work the channel and create cutback opportunities. High school teams and especially wide players won't be prepared for any 2 v 1 opportunity.


hendersonshands
LA-Lafayette Fan
Univ. of Louisiana Ragin Cajuns
Member since Oct 2007
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
quote:

Asking that wide midfielder who pinches to create an overload by drifting slightly more centrally when the ball is won (assuming the ball is won on his opposite side) while the AM and striker move upfield as quickly as possible would give the man on the ball 3 forward pass options immediately.


Ahh great idea. I can have the opposite side midfielder to slide into the middle and have the full back fill the wide space. Or have the fullback step into the midfield (a la Pep Guardiola) and keep my midfield wider.



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S
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
Breh what school?


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lsugorilla
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
sounds like you don't have a lot of practice time. I 2nd what someone else said about long throw-ins and also add corner kicks. try to win them and use them as goal opportunities. keep a physical man up top that can physically hold position while your outside backs can move up field to help in attack. have anyone in a position to recover defensively recover if needed when your attack loses position.


Sheep
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
Remind your team (and especially your goalkeeper) that the best place to start a counter attack is wherever the opponent's last attack came from.


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GeorgeTheGreek
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re: Creating offense while remaining defensively organized (high school level)
I'd create a defensive restraining line your forwards cant go past. (You're letting their back 4 possess all they want) .... That keeps your defense compact.

Once offense wins they have only so much time to get a shot off. Say 30 seconds. That'll create some urgency in the attack. (Hopefully you've developed some movement off the ball already through pattern play or possession exercises)

I'd draw it out if I had more time. Hopefully that's a solid start for you.

These doesn't need to be 11v11. Your forwards and mids start defending vs their gk, backs and mids. Play starts with your service into goalkeeper. They are simply trying to play the ball into your feet, on the ground.
This post was edited on 11/15 at 10:04 am


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