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KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #21 

I've tried to stay out of this but the bollocks about being comfortable with a formation just makes me see red.  You  will never, never, never be a decent coach until you are comfortable with THE PRINCIPLES OF PLAY.  These principles remain the same whatever the starting formation.  They remain the same if you are playing two men short.  They remain the same what ever level of play or whatever age group.  Get that into your heads or you will never progress.

username0

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Reply with quote  #22 
fair point kenneth,  

but i dont think Jose Mourinho or Alex Ferguson became as good as they are without knowing  a littile about formation tactics. In fact is see Sir Alex play a different formation for a different oppisition all the time. Sure in juniors playing a simple team will be good enof if they know their plan. But in seniors ino my coach expecially goes to great detail studying oppitsition and our own tactics.

Also being players short is a huge impact physically, expecially when u have 9 or under players , it means u sacrifice a position on the field, unless u have 4 superstar marathon runners to compensate playing 2 positions at once. Getting everyone forward and back when u have less than 9 players is a huge deal. In seniors we won every game in the league exept one and we only had 9 players that day, we were absoulutely dead after the game for the hard work only lasts soo long, we ended up loosing 13 - 0 and won every other game 5 - 0 so its prooven positiions are a big key when u play wwant to play as a team.

But who knows maybe in the younger years, under 12s at the most skill development is more important, but i would say any older and positions are a huge deal in coaching.

For instance ;  playing a 4 2 4 like brazil used to, mean they would attack vigourusly but the defense was unstable against counter attacks, but their attackerrs were plentiful and put away their chances.

Or a 5 3 2 chelsea team capitalizes on containment and then brakes with their full backs through the wings,,  the kind of play wouldent work wif a 442 for instance.

KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #23 

My name isn't Kenneth but I guess you're addressing me.  The reason Mourinho and Ferguson can CHANGE to different formations is first and foremost they have bought the best players in the world who are capable of operating in different roles.  The second reason they can change formation is that they totally understand the principles of play.  The fact that they can change formations is because THE PLAYERS ARE COMFORTABLE PLAYING IN DIFFERENT ROLES NOT THE COACHES.

 

 

username0

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Reply with quote  #24 
orite sure, but do u think kids have preset ppositions placed apon them or do u think they would rather experiance diifferent roles.  Common dude they arent professionals, placing a 12 year old in the midfiled whos used to playing striker for half his life is more likely to give him a braoder aspect on the entire game rather than goal scoring as such.

Im with u when u talk about understanding the play, but i would place alot of money on any team loosing cos they play their tactics wrong  against certain teams.

But i would restrict multiple tactics to older teams as confusion can set in for younger players.
KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #25 

Don't understand your point.  I can rotate players within the same formation.

 

The reason I didn't want to get into this debate is that I said as much as I want to say on the old forum and in an article at this website http://www.down-the-line.com Go there and go to back issue no. 5 and read the article entitled 'Formation vs Shape."

username0

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Reply with quote  #26 
I read ur article...
I like alot of the ideas although i do think that style and formation are extremely simular i guess i talk in formation rather than style even though they can cross each other ...

E.g
In 4-4-2, one midfielder might be deployed more defensively as a sweeper in front of the back defenders.

<< This is a very good idea, i use it heaps against more aggressive teams, it supports our midfield when going forward..  but i call it 4-1-3-2  as Defensive Midfielder... I guess i could just say 442 and then say a different style,, but i dont ive grown up saying positions in formation form rather than just different roles in a single formation.

Same for the roving striker and the central striker,  i call that attacking mid and striker  soo i guess the point is that wot u call style i still call formation..

SO in alot of ways i believe waht u say is correct and ur ideas i use alot, i just use different terms than u. I guess my way is more confusing than just modifying the normal team. But it just depends on what u teach ur team to understand..

This week im playing a 4-1-3-1-1 or in ur language playing my team wif a defensive midfeild and attacking midfielder. Its all just literacy. As long as ur team understands where and what to do formation is just a representation in shape. For me its purely easier to work the team out on the board visually.

good article tho.
KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #27 
Cheers.  U spell differently to me 2.
santos

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Reply with quote  #28 

Excellent article KTK.  I wonder how many understand the implications of the last paragraph's emphasis on mechanics in order to be prepared to execute the principal's of the game with any consistent success?  I also wonder how many understand/apply the concept of repetitions required to get to the learning stage where you don't even think when applying a technique to solve a problem, rather it's "second nature"?  I don't see it here in the US as much as is needed.

MrMartin

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeiththeKoach

I've tried to stay out of this but the bollocks about being comfortable with a formation just makes me see red.  You  will never, never, never be a decent coach until you are comfortable with THE PRINCIPLES OF PLAY.  These principles remain the same whatever the starting formation.  They remain the same if you are playing two men short.  They remain the same what ever level of play or whatever age group.  Get that into your heads or you will never progress.

Keith, I hear what you are saying.  Focus on the principles of play and the players will learn the game and be fine in any system.  I agree.

 

Personally, I have learned that I can focus on principles (1st/2nd defender or attacker, depth, width, penetration, etc...) better if I'm not constantly thinking about formations.  I have played in and coached 4-4-2 a lot and find that I am most comfortable with that.  So, that is a starting point and I then can move on to individual skills and principles of play. 

 

It's kind of like this:  I want to spend as little time on formations as possible, so I pick a standard one I am comfortable and experienced with and then I move on to the more important stuff.  It helps me simplyfy and focus.  That helps me teach better. 

 

Other coaches may be more experienced or comfortable with other formations.  That's fine by me.  Just pick one and move on to the more important stuff you need to teach.


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CB

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Reply with quote  #30 

What is the best formation for youth soccer?  I've been in converstations on this topic with the likes of Mark Wotte and Andre Wetzel (national team coaches from the KNVB), Dana Taylor (OSU head coach), and Tim Hankinson (former Rapid's coach) where we compared the relative strengths and weaknesses of different formations and how they and different teams play "within" formations and change play "within" formations depending upon who their opponent is and what formation they are playing.  I agree in part with WillieB that formations are just numbers, but they are very important numbers!  Where players are positioned on the field relative to the ball can be very important to the outcome of the game just as how the players roles are defined within the formations can greatly effect the outcome of the game.  For example, I remember back a few years the USA Women's National Team played Finland a couple times within a short period of time.  The first game the US destroyed Finland and the score was I believe 6-0.  The second game Finland put all their numbers behind the ball, what we would call a bunker defense in youth soccer, and despite similar dominance in terms of possession the score ended 0-0.  The difference here had little to do with principles of play, but due almost entirely to a change in formation, or where the numbers were on the field.  Entire countries have formed opinions on the best formation for youth soccer.  It seems we should be able to have a discussion here without saying it doesn't mean...****

KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #31 

CB. Your example of changing to a bunker defence appears to mean a change of formation but in fact its a change in emphasis on which principle has priority and when and where to apply it.

 

Every change in formation is to exploit different aspects of the principles and the strengths and weaknesses of the players. 

 

In bunker defence I need not change from (say) 4-4-2 to another formation. Simply emphasise that we will not close the ball down high up the park but will rely on concentrated defence at the front of the 18 and apply pressure at this point.  Formation still says who will be the back four and the middle four and the front two but the change in tactics means all behind the ball and retreat until we are concentrated.  The players roles change so that they are all involved in applying a defensive tactic that is concentrated but they may well still be in a 4-4-2 formation.

JimN

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Reply with quote  #32 
Keith - thanks for hitting the point on knowing prinicples of play first.  A system (or formation for those of you who don't see the difference) is a way to organize your team to apply these principles most effectively to acheive your goals.

CB - certainly teams change their posture within their formation, or even change formations to acheive results.  However, the idea that you can make these changes to acheive a result on a particular day is quite different from answering the question as to which is the best formation/system for youth soccer.

If coaches of young teams are encouraged to spend much of their energy in trying to switch formations to get results, I'm afraid that we will have coaches lose sight of the idea of trying to teach the principles of the game, or teaching technique, and the young players will be the losers in the end.

If we are talking about HS teams or older, where the game is much more about the result (varsity), then the idea of focusing much more on these things to get results is right on the mark.  I guess it depends on what "youth soccer" means, but I take it as meaning younger than HS varsity, for helping the players learn to play the game.

Of course, I have made the assumption that we are talking about youth soccer, even though BOSS did not say so in his question!

BOSS - What ages are you talking about for your question?  What are the goals for the team and its players?

For youth teams, some say that X-X-X is the "best" formation for teaching the game.  I am not sure I buy into that, regardless of how one fills in the X's.

For older teams, a coach has to be willing and able to adjust his system to the needs of the situation.  I remember Sir Alex making a significant change when he signed van Nistelrooy, using him alone up top with a player in behind him, when he was previously using a fairly straightforward 4-4-2.  Certainly Benitez changed his formation at the half in the CL final, to great effect, then changed again to hang on to the end.

Therefore, I question the idea that there is a "best" system, in a generic sense.  I like the 4-2-3-1, also, but I just as much like 3-4-1-2, and others. Discussing systems of play is interesting, but maybe a little hard to do in a generic sense, and very much hard to do in writing with no diagrams.  Video would be even better.


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Tino

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Reply with quote  #33 

Well put CB-  If memory serves me right, Dorrance in one of his books suggested the 3-4-3 as a good formation for youth and gave his reasons, such as it doesn't allow backs to get lazy as they often can with 3 marking backs and a deep sweeper.  I don't think Anson Dorrance needed to get into all the personalities and roles of each individual player on the field to make this generalized point as several coaches on this forum seem to be suggesting.  I certainly don't consider Dorrance to be ignorant or lacking in critical thinking by making his point. 

-Tino

KeiththeKoach

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Reply with quote  #34 

Well that's a different question Tino. I also favour 3-4-3 for youth teams simply because of their natural desire to attack.  It also spreads the work load since they are playing on adult size pitches and eliminates the sweeper mentality that so many youth coaches use for fear of losing.

 

Another reason for this is that you are only using 3 players in totally defensive roles.  A plus when dealing with the young.

RickG

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Reply with quote  #35 

Ahhh, I love it when Keith starts to sound like WvH.

 

He is right, of course, to say that the most important thing in coaching any team is to teach the fundamental principles of play. Still youth players need to have a good template -- a starting point -- to work on how team shape should change in certain circumstances. Around here, I've found that the kids need the security of working out of a framework they understand well. As a coach, when you pick that framework you do it on the basis of your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your players; your plans to develop a particular 'style' for the team (e.g., direct or indirect, zonal or man-marking, all out attacking or defend and counter); and the system you think you can teach the best -- often the system you know the most throughly.

 

For example, as a coach I've always found that using 3 frontrunners seems to promote a tendency in youth teams for the 3 up front to run up and down the field in lanes. I know I can design training exercises to counter this tendency, but I have much more experience with two-frontrunner systems and, frankly, I believe playing with two up front promotes greater creativity. Based on my own limitations, and prejudices, it just seems easier and simpler to me to train creative play up front with two forwards rather than three.

 

Along a similar line, I've seen some very successful youth teams playing the goofiest systems, but having success because the coaches knew the system well and were able to communicate it effectively. A formation is just a starting shape -- a "system" is the application of fundamental principles of play within any formation. Keith may think it is bollocks -- but I still say you get the best results when you teach the system you know inside and out.

CB

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Reply with quote  #36 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimN


CB - certainly teams change their posture within their formation, or even change formations to acheive results.  However, the idea that you can make these changes to acheive a result on a particular day is quite different from answering the question as to which is the best formation/system for youth soccer.

If coaches of young teams are encouraged to spend much of their energy in trying to switch formations to get results, I'm afraid that we will have coaches lose sight of the idea of trying to teach the principles of the game, or teaching technique, and the young players will be the losers in the end.

I am not at all suggesting that coaches keep switching formations until they find one they hope will win them more games.  And I don't think anyone is suggesting here that coaches stop teaching technique or principles of the game.  I am a technical trainer, I would lose my job.  I am merely suggesting that formations, or as I prefer to call them "systems of play", are more than numbers.

EoinOC

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Reply with quote  #37 
It's whatever one lets you as a coach get the best out of your team by offering you the correct balance of attack and defence.

Well it is my personal opinion.
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