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thoughtsoc

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Reply with quote  #21 

I do think you should channel your moral fury at CoachKev, though.  He's using cuss words and calling me thoughtsucks.  And AFB called me a complete failure and detriment to the soccer world .  And I've been trying to kiss up to Scotsoc a bit, but I think he's preparing his next insult. Can't you beat them up or something? I even got my Canadien cities confused, and said I was going to Montreal when I'm going to Quebec.  I just know that's going to reinforce AFB's diagnosis, but I made a preemptive strike and labeled myself stupid.  Just another weekend at the forum.

CB

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoughtsoc

I do think you should channel your moral fury at CoachKev, though.  He's using cuss words and calling me thoughtsucks.  And AFB called me a complete failure and detriment to the soccer world .  And I've been trying to kiss up to Scotsoc a bit, but I think he's preparing his next insult. Can't you beat them up or something? I even got my Canadien cities confused, and said I was going to Montreal when I'm going to Quebec.  I just know that's going to reinforce AFB's diagnosis, but I made a preemptive strike and labeled myself stupid.  Just another weekend at the forum.

  I don't have any hope of rehabilitating them... but with you I still have a shot!

AFB

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Reply with quote  #23 

Russ,

 

You are a hoot.

 

Quebec is a marvelous city as well.  Be sure to see the old city.  It is more French than Montreal, so be sure to work on that 4th grade French.  Take a tour of the citadel and learn how General Wolfe took Quebec City.

 

Bon temps, mon ami.

 

EDIT - RUSS WHERE ARE YOU GOING?????

HERE YOU SAY QUEBEC AND IN THE THREAD YOU STARTED ON GOING TO MONTREAL YOU SAID, OOPS GOING TO TORONTO.  TORONTO IS IN ONTARIO.

 

YOU MAKE THIS TOO EASY.


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Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
AFB

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Reply with quote  #24 

Tom,

 

Back to your question.

 

I think many coaches teach a sweeper/stopper system for a number of reasons.  The three main ones often coincide.  They are:

 

1.  It is easiest to teach and to learn;

2.  It is what most other teams teach, so a new coach feels safe in following the norm; and,

3.  It is what most coaches know from their playing days.

 

Teaching something different from what you know requires an investment in time while you learn the new system.  Then there is the learning curve for the coach. For most teams this is more of an investment than the coach is willing to make.

 

As players who now play or have played in zonal systems age and become coaches new ideas will push old ones aside.  Success will then drive more change.

  


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Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
MikeS

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Reply with quote  #25 
After a couple of weeks with the FB4 the team looks marvelous. Possessing and passing with ease, the off side calls against the opposition are way up. Everything is looking rosie,except we are getting creamed weaker teams. The DOC's inbox will be an interesting read this week.
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rileysd

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Reply with quote  #26 
I have tried a few formations with U11 Girls. We started with 3-4-3 as I believed this would teach them most about how to defend 1v1, we then switched to a FB4 then sweeper/stopper.

At this age, having moved up two divisions it is obvious we had to reach a balance. We were getting easily beaten by teams that got a breakaway in the 3-4-3. In the FB4 it was a similar case. The sweeper is a safety blanket, and at this age I think it is not a bad thing as they are still learning the game. We alternate about four of our girls at the sweeper position, maybe six or so at stopper. So, they are learning various defending roles, and we do review them in practice and do 1v1, 2v1, 2v2 defending.

Until you can explain and get the midfield to understand their roles both going forward and back it puts a lot of emphasis on the defenders. We still rotate all of the team through defense, offense and midfield as well as at least four goalies per game.

It is still fun watching them learn and progress and we are ever hopeful that we will progress to other formations.

Cheers

Big Steve


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TJBrown

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Reply with quote  #27 

KeiththeKoach wrote:

 

I believe the answer lies in the inability of youth coaches to put the amount of time into DRILLING THE UNITY required to play a system (FB3/4) that must at all times observe the need to maintain defensive shape.  Teaching zonal positioning to one player (the sweeper) is much easier than teaching it to three or four.  UNITY is the major difficulty. 

 

Brianm wrote

 

I think it is a time thing. You not only have to teach the back 4 you also have to teach the mid field how to interact with the back 4.

 

I agree with these two responses.

 

Teaching zonal defense is a time consuming undertaking on many levels.

 

1) The coach must really understand zonal defending and how to build a system of play around it.

 

2) A team would be best served to have multiple coaches when employing a zonal system... a defensive coordinator / specialist, if you will, can be a huge asset.

 

3) The goalkeeper must also learn to interact with the back line and mids. I drill my GK's endlessly on our zonal system until I am confident they understand it as well as I do.

 

4) Effective communication between a large number of players to make this system work. Everyone has to be alert and stay on the same page to make this system work effectively.... The strength of the zone is in the player while the strength of the player is in his teammates playing the system with him. (apologies for mangling a well worn Kipling quote)

 

The coordinated effort that must exist between the defenders takes time to develop. Many teams employ a zonal system without really working on its various components... then are seemingly mystified why the defense doesn't work as well as it promoted as working for others. When you factor in the time needed to integrate goalkeepers then midfielders and then forwards to develop a complete zonal system of play... well, not many coaches / teams feel they have the time to devote to teaching this system properly.

 

What I am seeing more and more of in youth soccer / high school soccer is back lines that align themselves "flat" but employ man marking techniques... kind of a hybrid system of play whose relative effectiveness often lies in presenting an unintentionally... confusing... look to opponents in that it is neither true man marking nor true zonal defending.... it amounts to a match-up / switching zonal defending scheme that is probably easier to institute but in actuality more demanding to play.


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MikeS

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Reply with quote  #28 

Quote:
3)originally posted by TJ

 The goalkeeper must also learn to interact with the back line and mids. I drill my GK's endlessly on our zonal system until I am confident they understand it as well as I do.

 

TJ,

 

What specifically do you work with the keeper on?


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CoachRuss

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Reply with quote  #29 

What is the weakness of a FB4?  How is it best attacked?

 

What is the weakness of the St/Sw diamond back?  How is it best attacked?


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JimN

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Reply with quote  #30 
Either of these questions can often come down to a simple question of personnel matchups, but I can give you a couple of generics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachRuss

What is the weakness of a FB4? How is it best attacked?


Zonal defending is ball oriented defending - it reacts to where the ball is played.  There are many postures a team can take - very aggressive, high restraining line, offside trap when possible, low line of confrontation, etc...  Regardless, though, the zonal system reacts to the ball, trying to put numbers around the ball and take away space.

Since the system is ball oriented, can you move the ball faster than they can react?  Since they want numbers around the ball, can you move the ball fast enough to areas that you have numbers even or maybe numbers up? 


Can you dupe them into moving in a certain way so you can exploit the spaces that are left (up back through is a simple version - good with two players, better with three or more in the combo)?  Are they organized enough to keep you out of the spaces you would like to get to?  How do they react to balls played over the top - do they drop off at the right time, is their keeper linked with their back four?


Can your players arrive with the ball in seams before the opponents react to defend - between the center backs is a great spot to start looking, the toughest place to get the system organized and working well, as well as the most dangerous area on the field.  Are you able to flood a zone that the opponents struggle to react to?  If you draw them out by flooding a zone, can you play into the area that you drew them out of quickly enough to take advantage?



Quote:
What is the weakness of the St/Sw diamond back? How is it best attacked?



I will assume man marking, though this may not be the case.  If it is zonal, then see above - though you will likely want to try to pull the sweeper out of the middle, if they have determined that this one player is their best defensive asset.

Can you move their players around with player movement and ball movement?  Is there a matchup that you can isolate and exploit?  What is their reaction if you mark their sweeper?  Is their sweeper deep, flat, in front, or does he move up and back?

Against straight up man marking teams, I like my players to develop the habit of moving the opposing player one way, then ask for the ball with their next movement.  They can vary off of that, but it is a good habit, and they will learn to read what they need to do to open up space on an opposing player.

Matchups are especially important vs a man marking system.  If your F can beat their right back, then pound him into the ground - keep playing into that matchup.  If the opponents adjust, look for the advantage you have from their adjustment - have they shifted an extra player, or did they move/replace the weak link?  Anyway, isolate that matchup for as long as it is working for you, and get your chances.

I could probably ramble on all night, but won't.  Hope this helps.

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coachmarino

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Reply with quote  #31 

I used to rant and rave about this, but I'm not going to anymore.

 

I disagree that teaching the flat back four, or three, takes any more teaching...I've been at this now for ten years, never used a sweeper, and I haven't run a back four session for my teams in about a year (been dealing with mostly younger teams, so working mostly technical, simple concepts, U11/U12). I also coached a U15 girls team last spring, didn't cover the flat back at all, but we played it anyway (no time to prepare, took over the team mid-year, they'd never played without a sweeper).

 

I think playing with a sweeper does a disservice to your players. It does a disservice to the sweeper, because he or she is not engaged in difficult decision making, and it does a disservice to the other backs because they grow reliant on the safety blanket.

 

I don't know that I'll ever agree with the motto 'the system has to fit the players' for younger players. You need to develop younger players so that they can play in any situation without your system.

 

I can give you a short example of this thinking...

 

Rather than allowing my players at U10 play a kick the ball out of the back game, we pass the ball along the back line, we pass back to our keeper, etc.

 

They can't do it yet, they make mistakes.  If we subscribed to 'system fits the players' their lack of skills would dictate that I play a more direct system, get the ball out of the back safer, and let my faster players run onto longer balls. 

 

We don't play that way because we are DEVELOPING good habits.

 

So fit the system to the players for UYoung is a crock.

 

Get the players into a system that forces them to develop good habits.

 

Flat back is far better than sweeper in this light.

AFB

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Reply with quote  #32 

CM,

Good to hear from you.

 

I think a flat four is an easy system to teach, if you teach the fundamentals at a young age.  If you start at age 7 or 8 and teach players concepts such as pressure and cover, and then teach them how to vary their spacing  when the offensive numbers increase, it is easy to build on. 

 

But, it is dependent on this early teaching. 

 

Many coaches have never played and many who played grew up in an era where everyone played a sweeper/stopper or a pure man marking system with no cover to speak of.  The preeminent player of that time was der Kaiser.  These players did not evolve and often lost contact with the sport until they had children.

 

So they teach only what they understand.  This is one reason why it is easiest.

 

It is also easiest because you need to teach all players how to man mark, but with a sweeper stopper you only need to pick one player to play cover.  Rather than teach all players how to move relative to the ball, you need to teach only one. 

 

If you plan to teach players how to play the game, you need to teach them the fundamentals of each system, if nothing else so they learn to recognize how to beat it.  The fundamentals are more than simply man marking, but I see many teams whose players know only this.  If you pick up such a player when they are older it takes a few months to get them on the same page.  If you pick up a whole team it will take many months for you are having to erase bad habits, often without any good examples for them to follow.

 

It is much easier to teach one or two players at older ages than to teach 16 how to play a zone, how to switch, how to cover.  If they have been programed to watch only one opponent and the ball, it takes time to get them to begin to function as a unit.

 

Then again, maybe you are better at it then I am, I am just getting too old. 


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Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
RealMad1

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Reply with quote  #33 
I am sure this has been stated ad nausem, BUT, the FB4 should not have players flat across the back when defending. The principles of defending still apply, so that there is pressure, cover, and balance. Teams that are getting beat on break aways are most often taking the term flat back four literally. There is no cover, or players are too far apart when defending. Your defenders should not be spread all across the width of the field, when defending. Typically, if the ball is on the left wing, the four defenders are in place such that the outside left back is pressuring, the center left back is covering, and the center right and right outside full back are stpically in line with the covering back,. Additionally, the right outside full back is pushed inside close to the center of the field. Also, the positioning of the goalie is important too, and they should be able to come off their line and win balls that might get  played through.

X                                                            X
 O

         O           O            O



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Scotsoc

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Reply with quote  #34 

I've never understood the difference between a stopper and a DM.  I also don't understand why anyone would want to play a diamond defence.  I've never played a sweeper system prefering to go FB3/4 however my understanding of the sweeper is that the sweeper is always the cover player and my understanding of a defensive system that plays with a sweeper is that the other three defenders play more of a man-marking role than zonal and as I said the sweeper always provides cover. 

 

You need a special type of player to play sweeper, one who can read the game very well, one with good decision making as to how close to cover, when to cover etc. good pace, not your average player's cup of tea.

 

As for the FB4, I agree with RM1 up to a point however the cover and balance should be slightly offset with a bigger offset between the pressure and cover player, the far side player should be slightly furthest back as part of his role is to cover the area in behind the others.

 


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Scotsoc

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Reply with quote  #35 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFB

 

EDIT - RUSS WHERE ARE YOU GOING?????

HERE YOU SAY QUEBEC AND IN THE THREAD YOU STARTED ON GOING TO MONTREAL YOU SAID, OOPS GOING TO TORONTO.  TORONTO IS IN ONTARIO.

 

YOU MAKE THIS TOO EASY.

Ah AFB, you fall into his trap.  Join all three places up with a continuous line where the start and finish point are one and the same and what do you have?

 

Aaaaaaarrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

 


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AFB

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Reply with quote  #36 

A tilted flat three? 


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Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
Scotsoc

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFB

A tilted flat three? 

 

Ah AFB, you fail again.  This is only the case when drawn on a flat surface however remeber the Earth is actually shaped like a soccer ball and if you draw the lines using the shortest possible route then what do you have?

 

 


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AFB

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Reply with quote  #38 

A skewed flat three?

 

Remember - this is Canada and it is along the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Sea Way.  Over the distances we are discussing it is still pretty much a straight line tilting down.


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Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
Glenn

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Reply with quote  #39 

I haven't read the whole post so maybe I've missed something.

 

I hate these sweeping generalities.  Sometimes man marking with a sweeper is better sometimes a zone works better.  Didn't Greece teach us anything?

 

The best pro teams I watch switch back and forth all the time.  They may say they are running a zone but as soon as the outside back takes off the same two backs mark up and the same player goes cover every time.  Same on a corner or a free kick.

 

My high school team has improved using a zone.  The travel team I had was a great sweeper team and I agree with the stopper DM being the same or similar.  For several years we faced all these 4-4-2 teams and my stopper was the number two scorer on the team.

RealMad1

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Reply with quote  #40 

Scotsoc,

 

Obviously it's much better if you can show this on the field. In general, you don't want the covering defender further offset much more, otherwise, they would not be able to cover properly. The other backs would be in line with the covering back to use the offside law as an advantage. Remember the midfielders are dropping in to space so that the players are concentrated. The goalkeeper covers the space behind back four..


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