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Team Panthers
Laurence Pan
186 Windermere Road S.W.
Calgary, Canada
T3C 3K8

Basic on Defending

The most important single team issue in soccer has to be the ability of the team to play to given shape and as far as skills are concerned there should be no difference in that sense between all the players. What should be recognized , however, is that each position on the field of play has specific requirements.
The first team topic deals with defensive plays, because no team can be successful without a well-organized defence. Every player should be confident in her role in the team, which gives her the base to use her skills.


Want to Play Better Soccer

Tactcial knowledge to my players
To play better you have to train harder. From what you eat to how you play, training covers all aspects of the game. So if you want to make it to the top, understand it, learn it, imagine it, plus you'd better put the hours in on the pitch. Always have a positive attitude.

* The shooting opportunity
Good strikers will take as many shooting opportunities as they can and are always looking for an opening. Once you are near the penalty area, always look for the chance to shoot on your first or second touch. The more touches you take the more chance there is to get tackled
* The diagonal run
If you are being marked tightly in a wide position, make a quick diagonal run infield towards the center of the pitch. This will present the defender with a problem do they choose to go with you and leave a big space for your team mates to run into or do they hold position but loose their marking on you.
* The quick free-kick.
If you gain a free kick during an attack in the opposition's half, look for opportunities to take the kick as quickly as possible. Very often the defending team will relax when the whistle is blown, giving you those vital few seconds it needs to set up a quick shooting opportunity with your players
* Losing the defender
The best way to lose your defender and receive a ball is through a double run maneuver into open space. Make two decisive runs, the first, away from run of play, to draw the defender away from the space you want, and the second a quick sprint back into the space to pick up the pass.
* Practicing corner kicks
Practice your corner kicks so that you can deliver both to the near and the far posts, from both sides of the pitch. If you also work on delivering both outs winging and ins winging corners you'll become a very useful player, keeping the opposition on their toes during a corner.
* Shielding the ball
When a defender is marking you closely, make sure you shield the ball as best you can from a tackle or push. Get your body facing sideways and push your arms out to protect your space. Make sure you also keep the ball on the foot furthest from the defender to stop him from stealing it from you.
* Playing to strikers
If you have good possession, look up to see if the opposition’s defenders are marking your strikers closely or if they have dropped back. This will help you to decide whether to play the ball to your attackers, or to pass the ball further forward, into the space behind the defenders
* Shooting away from keepers
If you have a shooting opportunity close to goal, concentrate on placing the ball into the empty corner of the net. The keeper is less likely to reach a ball that is being placed away from him than if you simply hit the ball with maximum power, which could hit the keeper and rebound out of the goal.
* Near post headers
When you are looking to make a near post header it is important to get across the line of the goalkeeper before the ball reaches you. Time your run to reach a spot between the edge of the 6 yard area and the near post, making sure you complete the run even if you think you will not reach the ball
* The last defender
If you are up against the last defender it is vital that you make space in order to create a shooting opportunity. Move the ball inside to force the defender to adjust his position, and then accelerate into the space created on his outside by putting your next touch beyond him.
* Playing the one-two
When you are just outside the penalty area, look for opportunities to play a one-two off another oncoming striker. A short pass and a quick move away from the defenders will open up more space in the area and offer you the chance to get into position for the returning ball
* Receiving and passing
Improve your ability to receive and pass quickly by playing lots of one and two touch balls during the game. Very often the ball will come to your chest or thigh, so practice controlling it down to your feet, and then follow it up with an accurate pass on the volley or half volley
* Dribbling skill development
Make sure you practice and develop dribbling moves that take you inside and outside the defending player. By doing this you open up both the left and right sides of play and you make it more difficult for the defender to predict your next move. Also practice moves with your weaker foot
* Curving the ball
If you want to bend your shot, you will need to strike the ball slightly off-center in order to give the ball spin. Using the inside of your foot, take a wide approach to the ball and drive your foot around it, striking it first just to the right of the center. Follow the foot through to ensure maximum rotation.
* Turning and shooting
When on the pitch, practice turning on the ball and shooting using both the inside and outside of both feet. You will become unpredictable, making yourself difficult to mark by the opposition, which will give you the chance to set up far more shooting
* Looking for space
As the ball is travelling towards you from a pass have a quick look up and behind to see where space is available. By doing this you’ll get a better idea of where the other players are on the pitch, helping you decide where to take your first touch
* Placing the ball
When you are making an early cross, try to play the ball into the space between the defenders and the 6-yard area. Your strikers are most likely to get to the ball in this area before the keeper can react or the defenders can get back into position
* First time passes
At the beginning of a game, if you are being marked tightly, play lots of first time passes and then move quickly to a new position. The opposition will assume that you’ll do this throughout the game and mark you less, giving you more space to play.
* Observing play
In order to get the best chance of getting to rebounds first, observe the play carefully as soon as a teammate gets into a shooting position. Stand level with the last defender, until you hear the shot being taken, and then sprint in to the far post area to receive the rebounded ball.
* Shaking off defenders
If you are being marked from behind, come off sideways to receive the ball so that you can see the defender. This will give you the essential space you need to decide if you can turn on the ball before the opposition pounce
* Shooting at goal
If you get a shooting opportunity in a wide position try to hit a low shot towards the far corner of the goal. This will be the hardest for the keeper to save and well also offer the best chance of a rebound.

* Tactical Aspects of Forward and Mid-fielder
Did I did the below items in the game
1- When to take on; when to pass
2- What type of run to make
3- When to come to the ball; when to go away from the ball
4- When to face up with the defender; when to play back
5- Back to goal decisions
6- When to pressure the ball on defense; when to force the ball

* Defending a short corner
If you are defending the near post during a corner be alert in case your opponents go for a short corner. If this happens, it is important to get two players out to defend the situation. As the closest defender, it will be up to you to run for the ball and to call to the nearest midfield player for support
* Passing to the keeper
When you pass back to your goalkeeper, look for opportunities to run into a space in the wide full-back position. That way you'll be free for a simple return pass from your keeper, ensuring that your team keeps good possession, and opening the opportunity for the next attack
* Reacting to the free-kick
If you have just conceded a free kick, make sure you get back into position in time to prepare for the kick or set piece. Good defenders always watch the game and will, therefore, be able to react much quicker to an `on the ball' incident by getting into position, but never turning their back on the ball.
* Clearing the ball
When you have little time to clear the ball from the danger area your only real option is to volley the ball clear. Remember to keep your balance and don't hit the ball too hard. Also ensure that you keep your eyes on the ball until you have made contact to ensure a good strike.
* Joining a corner
If you normally go up the pitch for a corner, try waiting until the ball is placed on the spot before you join your fellow attacking players. If you leave it to the last minute you'll give the opposition less time to organize themselves and mark you, which could result in a scoring opportunity for you.
* Running out of defense
If you find you have open space in front of you, look for opportunities to run the ball out of defense and into an attacking position. Keep running forward at pace with your head up, looking for both the opposition and your forwards, and finish with a decisive pass, cross or shot
* The defensive header
You can help your fellow defenders by calling loudly and early when you challenge for a defensive header. Remember to call out your name to let your team members know that you are going for the ball and ensure that you complete the move, even if you don’t make contact with the ball
* Losing the ball
The key moment to defending is when your team has just lost the ball, as the opposition are likely to launch a counter attack. You’ll probably be out of position, so make every effort to get back and defend your area. Keep reminding yourself, LOSE POSSESSION GET INTO POSITION.
* Starting a counter attack
When the goalkeeper makes a clean catch from a cross, try to run out wide to the touchline as soon as possible. Get your body in an open position so that you can see the field of play and prepare for a quick throw from the keeper that could provide the opportunity to start a counter attack
* Making the header
Learning how to gain maximum height and distance in a header is vital in your soccer skill development. Strike the middle underside of the ball with the middle of your forehead, driving up with your legs and arching your back, before projecting the top half of your body towards the ball
* Anticipating the pass
The key to good defending is to anticipate when a pass is going to be made and then move quickly to intercept. Interceptions can be made with any part of the body, except of course, the hand and arm, so focus on getting your body between your opponent and the ball.
* Tracking an attacker
When tracking an attacker who makes a forward run without the ball, always try to keep your eye on both opponent and ball. Keep your body facing the run of play to give yourself a better idea of where the ball is likely to go and where the attacker is looking to collect the pass
* Using the overlap
If your team has good possession and the player on the ball has space, look for opportunities to go into forward positions. Use your wide midfield player to set up an overlap run, widening the run of play to the edges of the pitch, and push forward to strengthen the attack.
* Making a challenge
If you are making a challenge, stay on your feet, keep low and, once you have won the ball, retain possession with a good pass. Try to avoid challenges where you end up on the ground, as this means you are temporarily out of the game and can no longer help defend
* Marking strong players
If you are marking a player who is particularly strong on one foot try to force her to play on her weaker side. She’ll be easier to mark because she won’t be used to leading play with her weaker side and, more importantly, she’ll become less likely to hit a dangerous cross.
* Passing to attackers
When you are playing forward passes into the front players observe the position of the defenders in relation to your team. Try to pass the ball accurately to the side furthest away from the defender, giving your attacker the space he needs to turn and play the ball.
* Striking a free-kick
If you are looking to strike a high, weighted free kick into the opponents area, concentrate on coming onto the ball at an angle. Strike the bottom of the ball, along the center line. For maximum accuracy, use the instep of your foot and keep your head still.
* Watching the ball
When you are defending against a good dribbler, make sure you focus on watching the ball. Only adjust your position if the attacker moves the ball, ignore any clever tricks and movements made by the dribbler to get you off balance
* Reacting to a move
When you’re pressurizing an attacker make sure you stay low and bend your knees. That way you can react quickly to any moves. If you keep one foot ahead of the other you’ll be able to move forwards to win the ball or turn quickly if the ball is passed behind you
* Passing back to goal
When passing back to the goalkeeper try to play the ball outside the line of the goal just in case there’s a problem. In this way there’s less chance of giving away a goal-scoring opportunity and the worst that can happen is you concede a corner
* Marking an attacker
When you are marking an attacker who is making a forward run to receive a pass, try to keep between him and the goal. You’ll also need to get into a position where you can watch the ball as well as your opponent, so keep moving all the time

* Catching the ball
Most shots will travel towards goal at waist height or below. With that in mind, it's imperative that you can stop this type of shot. Keep your hands in front of you, with your elbows tucked in and your weight forward. Then point your fingers towards the ground and spread them to make a basket, ensuring a good catch
* Side skip technique
If the ball is not coming straight to you, you must move, in order to get your body behind the ball - by using a side skip technique. Keep the top half of your body and your head steady as you brush your feet across the turf, keeping them shoulder width apart. Once you are in place, move into your starting position
* Communicating with defense
If you want to maintain a strong defense you must communicate effectively between yourself and your ‘on the field’ players. Always let teammates know what you are doing, where you are and what your intentions are going to be. The best way to achieve this is simple - SHOUT
* The one-on-one
When faced with a one on one situation with an attacker, try not to go down to the ground and commit yourself too early. Remain on your feet for as long as you can, making yourself as wide as possible, as this will cut down the angle and make it difficult for the attacker to get the ball past you
* The starting position
In order to be best prepared for a ball, make sure you are in a ‘starting position’ whenever play reaches your area. Feet should be shoulder width apart and knees bent, with your hands at waist height in front of your feet and your head steady and eyes fixed firmly on the ball
* Palming the ball
If a shot is taken that has too much power for you to stop and keep hold of, opt instead to push or palm the ball away. Direct the ball to the left or right of the goal, or over the crossbar. That way you reduce the chance for an attacker to move in and shoot from a rebounded ball.
* Covering from center
If an attacker is shooting from a central position, make sure you place yourself in the center of the goal, 6 to 7 yards off the line. By doing this you will cut down the possible shooting angles, making the target area smaller for the attacker and giving you more chance of making the save
* Striking the ball
When the ball has been passed back to you it is vital that you make good contact on your clearance back up the pitch. Keep your eyes focused on the ball and strike right through it. That way you’ll reduce the chance of slicing the ball and sending it off the pitch.
* Covering the angles
Make sure you always position yourself in the correct area of the goal. It is important you get your angles right in relation to the play. Whatever side the attacker is shooting from, left or right, you have to be sure that you’ve got the goalpost on that side covered.

* Slowly dribble the ball close to the foot (touch the ball with every step) in tight spaces or to protect it
* Dribble fast and “loose” (touch it ahead) in open spaces or to get past an opponent
* Don’t dribble toward your opponent; dribble into the open space next to him/her
* Always dribble with the foot farther away from your opponent (keep your body between your opponent and the ball
* Look away from the ball in order to keep track of your surroundings (keep your head up”
* Fake while running (not while standing still) and not too close to the opponent (speed it up)
* Speed up even more after the fake
* Always pass to whichever on open side of your receiver’s feet is farther away from the opponent (space)
* It’s safest and most accurate to pass with the side of the foot
* However, you can pass almost effortlessly with the outside the foot as well
* Pass as accurately as possible to your receiver’s foot, so that he can control the ball more easily
* On combination plays, use as much of the field as possible; it makes it that much harder for the opposition to get close to the ball
* Combination play should be fast but not too risky; it’s the easiest way to outplay the opposition
* The receiver determines the timing, direction and type of pass
* As soon as you’ve played one pass, get open for another one (pass and move)
* Aim directly into the corners at close range, or at the empty half of the goal from farther away (shoot for the corners, not the goalkeeper)
* Low shots to the corner are much harder for the goalkeeper to reach
* Always shoot carefully and calmly (aim it, don’t boot it)
* Be pare to take advantage of every chance at the goal you get
* If you have a good shot, take it. An extra pass gives the opposition another chance to win the ball
* Don’t wait for the ball before shooting, run into the shot. This gives opponents much less time to interfere or block your shots
* Remember to look up one last time before shooting (not during the shooting)
* The first step is to meet the ball
* Position your body between the ball and your opponent, then push the away from the opponent and into space
* Combine ball control with a body fake, and you’ll shake off your opponent right away
* Don’t let high balls bounces; not only does it waste time, you also run the risk that the ball will bounce away from you
* Slightly raise the toe of the foot you’re using to receive the ball; this prevents the ball from rolling or bouncing over your foot
* On the first touch, let your foot (give) a little; this keeps the ball from bouncing too far away
* 1 V.1
* Don’t just charge the blindly at the ball! Be patient; wait for a good chance to attack and win it:
1. While your opponent is receiving a pass
2. While your opponent is trying to control the ball
3. Whenever your opponent is dribbling and releases the ball for a second
* Attack your opponent from the side; this lets you recover more quickly if you over run the ball
* Always be ready to act
* Never attack your opponent from the front; block the path to the goal and drop back slowly toward it
* Offer your opponent the chance to break through to the outside; it’s safer
* Force your opponent away from the goal so that he/she can’t get into position to shoot
* Pay attention only to the ball; don’t watch your opponent’s body and fall for his/her fakes!

Tips-        Remember defense starts from the front. When you lose possession of the ball after an attack it is important all team members work hard to regain possession. Plus, they must communicate with each other
Tips:-        Remember to concentrate on the game at all times don't switch off.
Tips:-        Team spirit is vital to a team's performance. Make sure that you always encourage your team mates.
Tips:-        Always try to work as a unit on the field of play. Focus on the instructions from your coach.
Tips:- You have to be strong because there are eleven opposition players trying to get between you and the goal.

Tips:- Principles of Passing
Accuracy: The passer must decide when to play to feet or into space in front of a teammate. Often this is dictated by the open player asking for the ball and not by the passer. The passer needs to be able to read and anticipate teammate runs in order to make the right decision.
Weight: Playing a pass too strongly can cause the ball to be missed or uncontrollable; a pass without enough pace can result in an interception.
Timing: The passer must release the ball at the appropriate time. This can be helped by working with your players on three simple concepts: "head up," where the head of the player in possession comes up, indicating she is ready to pass the ball, and "show," where the player inviting the pass shows she is ready for a possible pass, and "pass," where the pass is made and completed.
Disguise: The passer must try to conceal her intention from the opponent. Avoid being obvious when passing the ball.
* Common Faults:
* Choosing the wrong part of foot to pass the ball
* Incorrect approach angle
* Failure to keep eyes on ball
* Non-kicking foot too far from ball
* Incorrect follow-through
* Ankle unlocked
* Head comes up too early
* Conditioning for soccer proves important, not only for top performance, but to avoid possible injury, "Fitness is one part of your game that you have complete control over," "Dedication to being in top shape can significantly improve all parts of your game and perhaps most important, help avoid injury." When a player is in shape, the state of physical fitness where the first sprint is as fast and hard as the last, you can take advantage of an opponent who may be wilting. This is especially when your speed will be even more productive,". So many games are decided in the last fifteen minutes because mental and physical fatigue lead to mistakes.

* Increasing your speed is an important aspect to training, and speed itself is a crucial endpoint for game time skills, especifically is work on speed, agility, and quickness. I would suggest that you add strength with as little mass as possible, jump-squats and plyometric drills would be especially helpful. "Heading has a lot to do with timing and your ability to jump."


Handout One - Accountable

During practices, keep in mind that you are trying to improve all four soccer components        
Technical - The player and the ball        
Tactical - The player's decision making skills        
Physical - The player's athletic ability        
Psychological - The player's mind and intangibles        

How to get better        
1. Hard Work        
        On your own for your love of soccer, for your own development, for your team's success
2. Treat Team Practice Like You Do Matches        
        Must get the match-like intensity in training
3. Study / Appreciate the Sport        
        Watch and read about the better players - learn from their example - they were once at your level
The Complete Player        
        Superior 1 vs. 1 opponent
        Tactical Awareness - plays smart and quickly under pressure
        Physically string (quickness with & without the ball, Strength on the ball
        Doesn't back down from physical or emotional challenges
        Understands Team Concept - each player is a piece of the puzzle
        Coachable - takes criticism well, learns quickly
        Work Well With Teammates - always there to support teammates
        Has Solid Character - honest, confident, courageous
Let's work hard and take soccer seriously. You will be good as you want to be.        
The Motivation must come from you, not from a coach or parent        
Want to play at the next level?        
You Can - but you must have good grades, above average talent, solid work ethic and a lot of heart        
What can the coach help you with?        

What do you want from this season or what is you goal for this season?

What are you accountable for to the team?


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