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Technical & Tactical Player Growth Options

Ball Mastery/Skill Work

Individual commitment to be technically sound changes a player’s experience with the soccer ball and in turn the game of soccer truly opens up to them.  Hours and hours must be spent with just a player and a ball.  When players play in games (training, scrimmages, competitive matches) they then can use their comfort on the ball and start to solve the problems posed to them in the game – time/space/opponent – and as they work out the best solutions, genuine technical skill development takes place as well as a development of tactical acumen.  This is what makes soccer (football) The Beautiful Game.

The following links are great options to guide a player at the High School age as to what they need to be working on.  Even when you are good at them, you can always get better...

Ball Mastery:

Next Level Ball Mastery:

Moves to Beat an Opponent:

“Other” Step Overs:

Advanced Step Overs:

Turns / Getting Out of “Trouble”:

Passing & Receiving:

First Touch / Receiving Aerial Balls:

Long Passing / “Pinging” a Ball:

Shooting / Ball Striking:

Scoring Free Kicks:

Position Specific Information / Functional Training

As soccer players develop their skills and work on the big picture of how the team connects, creating the overall formation, and begin to fully understand the style being aimed for and the principles of play to be used, each player must truly look to fully understand and master the position(s) they will be playing in our program.  The following videos are a mix of key concepts and also key techniques and tactics to employ, and “why”.  A team relies on many pieces coming together, each doing their work effectively and efficiently.  Each player must do their job!  This combined team collective where everyone gives that extra effort truly allows for, “The whole is greater than the sum of its’ parts” (-Aristotle), and in turn the T.E.A.M. Concept is in full effect...”Together Everyone Achieves More”!!

To do your job, you must know your job, and practices the skills of your job.  Training in your position, that has a focus on both the Technical Application of Technique and the Tactical Application of Technique, that allows for a player to experience multiple looks at, and reps of, situations and skills needed to deal with taking care of your job in that position, is known as Functional Training.

Goalkeepers: In-Game Positioning Positioning Footwork More Footwork Angles (I know this is not a “soccer” video, but the diagrams are excellent) Handling Shot Stopping Shot Blocking (ladies) One on Ones More One on Ones Dealing With Crosses Positioning at Corners Setting Up a Defensive Wall against Free Kicks Distribution Goal Kicks Petr Cech Joe Hart Hope Solo Hope Solo Training Petr Cech Peter Schmeichel Peter Schmeichel vs. Oliver Khan Buffon Manuel Neuer Manuel Neuer Training David DeGea Saves, Saves, Saves!


Center Backs:

Outside Backs:

Defending 1 vs 1:

Defending fast players:

How to build out of the back:

Three at the Back:


Center Midfielders: Debruyne

Holding / Defensive: Busquets Busquets 2 N’golo Kante


Attacking Center Mids (#10’s) / Link-Up Forwards (“False 9’s): Messi, highlights Messi, key elements of his game Cantona Ronaldinho Zidane & Bergkamp Bergkamp Hazard Lieke Martens (female)


Wingers: Ronaldo – multiple videos


Forwards / Strikers: Henry

Getting In-Behind:

Creating Space / Losing Your Marker in the Box:

Scoring More Goals:

Goals, Goals, Goals:

Tactical/Decision Making & Reasons for Formations/Style

The more a player watches the game, reads about the game, thinks about the game, engaging in “problems”/challenges/situations the game and the opponents present, the better the soccer player they will become.  So much of this Beautiful Game is played in the head and speed of thought is right up there with speed of action, and in fact, is probably even more important.  “Everything is for a reason!”, or at least it should be for a soccer player.  The more a player learns about soccer the more they want to learn, it is infectious!


A website that is spot on with it’s breakdown of tactics/styles of play/ideas/principles of the game – “Spielverlagerung”. 

Working on this site is Adin Osmanbasic who is an analyst I am a big fan of.  You can find his work on YouTube as well  (search his name):

Two more great tactical websites:

Positional Play – this article with pictures/diagrams and short annotated videos is a fantastic look/feel of many of the principles of play we will look to employ on a regular basis:

USWNT Team Set-Up info (this was a year after reclaiming the World Cup title where the coaching staff revitalised the team when they were struggling/going a bit stale):

FIFA 2018 Men’s World Cup Technical Report – this is a great write up with some nice videos embedded in it: