Youth Soccer Set Plays

The science of youth soccer is both simple and complex when designing set plays. Every player on the field must know their role in any given situation. Soccer players must be quick on their feet as well as quick in their reactions to the play. Some plays are described below, but you can also find more free youth soccer set plays online at sites like

One of the keys to being a great soccer player is reading the field correctly and knowing the position you should be in to take advantage of the situation. Set plays for soccer offense should involve opening the field up to create lanes for fast breaks into the offensive zone. Set plays for soccer defense should be designed to force the play to the outside edges of the field to limit space for the attackers.

Set Plays for Youth Soccer

Soccer Offense

When designing set plays for attacking in soccer, you’ll want to focus on ball possession while spreading the defensive coverage throughout the soccer pitch. The idea is to create enough room for your forwards to break into the open and receive a pass. In many cases, the defense will try to force the offense into a tight box and long cross passes are required to spread the defenders out again.

The “Decoy” – Involves the attacking forward making a break to get in behind the defense. You have to time this attack perfectly to avoid going offside. If a pass is available for your teammate, he should make it. Otherwise, he should watch for another forward to break for the open space you created when you dragged the defender away to cover you.

The “Corner Kick” – When delivered properly, can create a number of scoring opportunities for your team. Practice having the designated kicker place the ball high in the air in front of the goal giving the offense the chance to run in and get a header or free kick at the goal.

The “Double Exchange” – Similar to a double reverse in football. This is where one teammate dribbles the ball towards another and exchanges the ball. As most defensive units are on to this exchange, add a third teammate into the mix and exchange the ball again. The confusion among the defenders should create some open space to move the ball further up field.

Soccer Defense

As a defensive unit, you want to push the attackers to the outside and squeeze them into a tight pack. The first defender should not only protect the ball carrier from moving up field, they should position themselves to protect the middle of the field as well. The second line of defense should then work on covering the lanes or open spaces and force the play to the outside. If the attacking player makes a successful pass, the process should begin all over again.

A good way to practice youth soccer defense is to have scrimmages with smaller numbers of players to increase the speed and create numerous types of situations between the defenders and the attackers. You can run 3v3, 4v4, or 5v5 Scrimmage Drills to maximize your soccer practice.

By Trevor A. Sumner who works for, a youth soccer community dedicated to providing parents, coaches and athletes the tools and information to celebrate the love of the game. has one of the most comprehensive, free soccer drill libraries in its active soccer community.

Basketball Fundamentals For Beginners

by Mr ATM

The work of the basketball coach will be made more effective if he keeps charts of each game. This is one of the basketball fundamentals. Rebound charts and miscellaneous charts are discussed in this article.

Rebound Charts
Rebound charts provide the following information:

1. Number of offensive and defensive rebounds by each team.
2. Number of offensive and defensive rebounds by each individual.

Insufficient offensive or defensive rebounds can suggest areas of rebounding work in practice. If the number of defensive rebounds is not in close proximity to the number of missed shots by the opponents, stress should be placed on block-outs and other defensive rebounding techniques.

The reverse would be true if a team is falling down on the offensive boards. The knowledge of which players on a team are getting the most rebounds can suggest individuals who need additional work in this area and can act as an incentive to future rebounding performances by allowing competition among individuals on the team.

An accurate knowledge of the leading rebounders on the opposing team may suggest play direction. For example, if the left forward on the opponents is their best rebounder, initiating plays in his defensive area may result in shots being taken while he is out on the floor and away from the board.

Keeping the Rebound Chart
Rebounds may be recorded on the same composite chart with shots and mistakes. Simply writing the number of the rebounder in the appropriate offensive or defensive rebounding column is sufficient.

Miscellaneous Charts
One of the important basketball fundamentals is to make sure you have all essential charts.A number of other types of charts are used by many coaches. Among them are:

1. Player Combination Charts. This chart records each combination of players throughout the game, the time played by each player and combination, and gives a view as to the combination of players achieving the best results. When a player enters the game, his initial is placed on the line under the name of the player he is replacing along with the score and time remaining.

2. Officiating Charts. Recording the type o£ officiating calls made by each official can suggest the type o£ game to be played. If blocking calls are excessive, players can be instructed to drive a great deal. On the other hand, if charging calls predominate, defensive players can be instructed to jump freely in front of drivers. Few fouls called under the basket may indicate a rougher type of rebounding play.

3. Jump-ball Charts. An accurate record of jump-ball situations may be obtained by the use of this chart. The chart records the players involved in the jump situation, who controls the tap, and who gains ball possession. The numbers of the players jumping are recorded. If your player gets control of the tap at the height of the ball toss, a plus is recorded. If he does not get the tap, a minus is recorded. A plus or minus is again used to chart the team that gains ball possession.

4. Offensive Options. Many teams keep charts that indicate play options that result in shots and scoring and evaluate the effectiveness of their offensive plays on these results.

5. Defensive Mistakes. A record of mistakes made both by the team defense and by individual defensive players is useful and can aid in determining areas needed for work in practice. The type of mistakes to be charted will depend on the type of team defense played and must be ascertained by the individual coach.

6. Center-line Advancement. These charts record the number of times ball possession is gained in backcourt but the ball is lost before crossing the center-line. Added information may be provided by charting the number of times the offense advances the ball into front-court and fails to obtain a shot.

General Suggestions
1. Make a thorough study of the information desired and arrive at a sound program of charting to obtain this information.
2. Obtain interested personnel and train them in accurate charting techniques.
3. Study the charts diligently after each game and make the results available to the entire squad.
4. Keep cumulative statistics on all charts and file charts for future reference.

Good basketball fundamentals means effective charting will improve the performance of the team.

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