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Youth Soccer Coaching, Drills, Positions, Formations, Practices and Motivational Patches
Youth Soccer Coaching, Drills, Positions, Formations, Practices and Motivational Patches


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The 4 Most Important Things for Youth Soccer Coaches.

Focus on the 4 things below and your team will improve at a fast rate and have a great season >

1. Fun - If practice isn't fun, kids won't come. That's why the SoccerHelp No Lines Drills and patches help. Give praise for improvement and effort. Have an encouraging, positive attitude. Avoid lines - standing in line wastes time and is boring. No one ever said "I want to stand in line at soccer practice."

2. Teach Fundamental Skills that can be performed fast while under pressure - Use the SoccerHelp No Lines Soccer Drills that are Practice Games and your players will improve twice as fast and develop skills they can use successfully in matches. Our Practice Games involve competition which causes players to give a 100% effort.

3. Basic tactics that give your team a chance to be successful and don't doom them to failure. (Keep it simple and not complicated). There are 500 tips at

4. Motivation to > Hustle, give a 100% effort, be Brave (win the ball and not afraid of contact), and continuing individual improvement. The motivational iron-on soccer patches are a visual symbol that when combined with praise get great results and create Positive Peer Pressure. You can see them at

If you are a U6 soccer coach, start with

Proof our program works are the 1,000 Testimonials.

Check out the No Lines Soccer Drills at

Good luck this season.

David at SoccerHelp
Soccer Drills
Soccer Drills
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Soccer Drills without lines produce better results and are more fun for young soccer players.

No Lines Soccer Drills are much better than drills that make players stand in line. The reason is because standing in line wastes a lot of time and is boring.

If you use No Lines Drills, your players will improve twice as fast because at each practice your players will get 2 or 3 times more actual practice.

Try the No Lines Soccer Drills at and you will immediately see the difference and your players will improve faster.
Below is what coaches say -

"At every practice we do Dribble Across a Square, etc. - the poise my boys have on the ball is leaps and bounds above other teams now. Before, we were 4 wins 5 losses. Last season our record was 9 Wins 1 Tie." Coach T, U12 travel, MA

"I'm 41 and have played and coached soccer for many years. I didn't think you could teach me anything new, but boy was I wrong!!! I've used your Practice Games in my last 2 practices and the results were truly phenomenal." Jon

"I have learned more in the two weeks since subscribing to Premium than I learned in seven years of coaching." Coach Rion, SC

"Your website was a revelation to me. I've just started my fourth season coaching, mostly at the U10 level. I recently earned the National E license. I learned more about soccer very quickly from your website than I have from anything else." Rob, GA

"My daughter is averaging 2-3 goals per game. It's been awesome watching her turn into a great player just by religiously doing SoccerHelp drills." Derik, KS
"I want to thank you. Your website has truly changed my coaching philosophy for the better." Brian, VA, Middle School Coach

No Lines Soccer Drills are at
Soccer Drills
Soccer Drills
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Soccer Drills that Teach Skills Fast

There are 4 No Lines Soccer Drills that really work and can teach players fast.

These drills are great because they don’t have lines and are Practice Games. So, players learn faster because they aren’t standing in line and they have more fun and learn to play fast because the drills are games. Three are for U8 and older and one is for U4 and U6.

You can read the instructions and watch videos of them at . The 4 No Lines Drills are -

1. Dribble Across a Square - U8 and up. This teaches fantastic dribbling skills.

2. Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race - U8 and up. Play this a LOT. Use it to teach Aggressive Receiving, how to pass while running, to pass ASAP, and "one-touch play".

3. Hit the Coach – U4 and U6. Kids love this. Every kid has a ball. Teaches dribbling while looking up and kicking the ball while running.

4. Aggressive Play and Not Getting Pushed Around - Kids can’t be good players if they are afraid of contact or get easily pushed around. This works.

These 4 Soccer Drills are at
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Soccer Formations, Styles of Play, and Assigning Positions Tips

I've just posted a new article about "How to Choose the Soccer Formation and Style of Play that is Best for Your Team and Assigning Positions Tips".

The article has tips that can help most Rec Teams and lots of young Select Teams.

You can see it at

Topics are -

How to Choose a Formation
What the Numbers Mean
How to Teach a Formation
Depth versus Width
Why the Center is Critical
Tips for Assigning Positions
6v6, 7v7, 8v8, 9v9, 11v11

The link is

I hope you are having a great summer.

David at SoccerHelp
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Soccer Practice ideas - 7 tips from the winningest college men's soccer coach

Seven Ideas about How to Get Better Results at Soccer Practice >
1. Success in training increases confidence, which increases motivation.
2. Praise performance
3. Set Realistic Goals – Goals that are unattainable cause frustration.
4. Give positive and informative feedback
5. Practice should be pleasant, exciting, and filled with learning opportunities.
6. Give players recognition whenever possible for effort or achievements
7. Make it fun – Don’t make soccer “work”. Players will come to practice and keep playing soccer if it is fun.

The above tips are from an article by Dr. Jay Martin in the May 2017 issue of NSCAA Soccer Journal. Jay is a great guy, a great coach, and Editor of Soccer Journal - he is the winningest coach in college men's soccer history with a total of 680 wins. I encourage all youth coaches to join the NSCAA.

For 29 Soccer Practice Tips visit
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Is Your Child Learning Much at Soccer Practice? How to Know and What to Do. Even if you have never coached, you can have one of the best teams by the end of the season if the other coaches are like the one described below –

Below is a recent post on this page by a parent and my reply >

“I sit at my kids practice just biting my tongue as they are in line drills. I timed it last week and with the line drill he touched the ball twice within ten minutes, and some kids got disciplined for starting to goof off in their down time waiting.”

My reply >

“Your story reminds me of 24 years ago when I was an assistant to a guy who was supposed to be a good coach. My job was to keep the kids from fighting while they stood in line to dribble around cones one at a time. I thought there had to be a better way, and that is how the SoccerHelp training program got started.

It is too bad about your son - he is in a very tough situation that could cause him to quit soccer. I would first see if his coach is open to suggestions. But if he isn’t, then I would try to move your son to a team that has better practices or think about becoming his coach. As you know, your son isn't getting enough time on the ball in practice. If you coached and used the SoccerHelp Practice Games at , at every practice your son would get about 10 times more touches on the ball, and over a season that makes a huge difference. Think about it. If you have time, just use the SoccerHelp Practice Games and read the tips on this page. And if you need more, subscribe to SoccerHelp Premium - here is a coupon to save $5 on a one year subscription 5offpremium

If you coach and the other coaches are as bad as your son's coach, by the end of a season you would have one of the best teams, and the following season you would have the best team or at least one of the top 2 teams. The reason is simple math – your players will be learning 3 or 4 times faster and will get better at every practice. Also, your players will have Fun and keep playing soccer – kids quit if it isn’t fun.

If you decide to coach, please email me here or at let me know how it goes.

David at SoccerHelp

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21 Tips About Soccer Positions that Can Immediately Help Your Team – How to Keep Shape, Support Distance and Relative Positions, First Attacker/Second Attacker/Third Attacker, First Defender/Second Defender/Third Defender (This is for U8 and older. If you have a Developmental or Academy team, focus on skills, not tactics, and rotate positions).

For 21 practical tips that can immediately help your team, see . For example –

1. You SHOULD NOT put timid players in front of your goal because you will give up lots of goals if you do.

2. Keep your best players in the "Center" positions (Center Fullback, Stopper, Center Midfield, Center Forward). The team that controls the Center usually wins. Let your opponent have the "wings" (sidelines) - in fact, encourage it. They can't score from there and your team will always have time to "recover" and the opponents will run a lot more.

19. When your opponent is attacking your goal, your Forwards should NEVER come closer than a long kick from the ball because if they do you won't be able to clear the ball from your Defensive Third. Leaving a Forward Pushed Up will keep at least 2 of the opposing Fullbacks off your half of the field.

Players should be constantly moving with the ball to support each other, and not Bunch Up. That is what "keeping shape" means. Your players should ideally move as a "Team" and not just have players spread all over the field standing still - a simple way to think about this is that your players should move with the ball, even if they stay within an assigned area. But a lot of decisions involve Trade-Offs. For example, if your Fullbacks are fast enough to "recover" to defensive positions, then it makes sense to "Push Up" your Fullbacks when your team attacks because they can provide support to your attackers. BUT if your Fullbacks are slower than the opposing Forwards, you risk giving up goals on fast counterattacks if you Push them Up - so there is a trade-off.

Links to topics relating to Positions >
Soccer Positions Basics ( ), Soccer Formations Overview ( ),
Support ( ), "Shift and Sag" ( ), Support Distance & Relative Positions ( ), First Attacker/ Second Attacker/Third Attacker ( ), First Defender/Second Defender/Third Defender (read about this at ), on defense, you ideally want Multiple Layers of Defenders between the ball and your goal ( ).

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Soccer Coaches - 10 Ways to Stop Bunching Up, Train Players to Stay in Position, & Get Players to Spread Out on Offense - Coupon for Premium -

If you like this, please share it with other coaches.

10 ideas are below that work -

1. "Stop Holding Hands" - A great tip from Coach Mark - When his players bunch up, he tells them to "Stop holding hands". Coaches say this works for both boys and girls.
2. On Offense - Tell your players to stay a short pass away from the player with the ball. See for more.
3. On Offense - Teach your players that when a teammate with the ball is dribbling toward them, they MUST move away from the ball in order to create space for the ballhandler and to create a passing option. See
4. "Stay at Home" Idea to Teach Young Players to Stay in Position – “I told them where their 'Home' was, and showed them the big circle they could play in while in that position. They played SOOOO much better! The only thing I focused on during the game was to remind them where their 'Home' was, and to stay in their 'circle.' It was great - I'd call out 'go Home, Alexandra!' and she'd immediately drop back to where she was supposed to be.” Thanks to Coach Kim. See for more about how to teach positions.
5. "Stay Away, Stay Away, Stay Away" idea from Coach Troy - a Team Chant… The Coach says "When your teammate has the ball what do you do?" And the team replies: "Stay Away, Stay Away, Stay Away" - again and again. See more at
6. “Bunching Penalty” idea to get players to Spread Out on Offense - "I show the kids what 5 big steps looks like (or how many steps you choose). Then I tell them if they are on attack and get any closer than 5 steps to the player with the ball they are hurting and not helping their team, and I will call the Bunching Penalty, and the other team gets the ball. Generally, I only have to call it once. (from Ken who is a great coach). More about this is at
7. “Bunching Up, Spread Out To Attack, Create Space Practice Game”. Coach Bob said "We ran it in practice on Thursday and we saw immediate results. It is a winner!" - This is too long to post but if you are a Premium subscriber, check it out at
8. For Players U10 & Up - Use the Premium “Handball Soccer” Drill to teach spacing & movement off the ball. It is at - it is faster than normal scrimmaging and will let you focus on spacing and movement.
9. To Stop Bunching Up on Defense teach “First Defender/Second Defender”
10. “Support” means different things on Offense and Defense. See

#stopsoccerbunching #howtogetsoccerplayerstospreadout  
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8 Easy Ways to Have Fun Soccer Practices so Your Players Will Learn Faster, Play Better, and Not Get Burned Out –

The legendary college coach Jay Martin said in the May 2013 issue of the NSCAA Soccer Journal - "In the early years of youth soccer (ages 5-12) coaches should emphasize fun in every training session." and "The training sessions for these young soccer players should keep kids busy (no lines) and active…. Fun is the coach creating an environment where the kids will have fun learning.” (Coach Martin's college soccer teams have won 657 games).

Below are 8 easy things every youth soccer coach can do –

1. At Practice, think of yourself as a Teacher and Motivator.

2. Have a Positive Attitude and be encouraging.

3. Have a Practice Plan – You will achieve a lot more if you have a Practice Plan than if you don’t. Free Practice Plans are at

4. Use No Lines Practice Games that teach soccer skills, instead of line drills or games that are fun but don’t teach skills. There are free No Lines Practice Games for players U4 to adult at Every player is active in our Practice Games. You will see an immediate difference and fast improvement. Coach Hal said: "The concept of playing soccer games for drills at practice is brilliant because the girls now perceive practice as fun and not work."

5. Avoid “MVP” Awards – Soccer is a team sport. If every player improves, your team will improve. MVP Awards can be counterproductive and are often won by the best athletes.

6. Praise, Motivate, and Reward Individual Improvement in Skills, Effort, Attitude, Hustle, and Bravery (winning 50/50 balls, tough and aggressive play, and not being afraid of contact) – Praise, Motivate and Reward every player’s improvement – if every player improves, your team will get better. You want continuing improvement, week after week. Skills are important, but so are Effort, Attitude, Hustle, and Bravery. Our motivational iron-on patches are inexpensive and really work - you can read what 500 coaches say at

7. Ask yourself – “Is there a better way?” Check out what 500 coaches have said about the SoccerHelp Training Program at

8. Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do.” If your players get hundreds of quality touches on the ball in practice and Hustle and are Brave, that is how they will play. If your team is U8 or older, check out the “Win the 50/50 Ball or Be the First Defender 1v1 Attacking and Defending Practice Game” at Eric, a U8 coach, said "The 50/50 Win the Ball drill really taught aggressive smart play." and Corey, a U-12 coach, said: "The girls loved this game and I found this game brought out their competitive side more than any other"
#soccerpractice #soccertraining
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The 3 Most Important Things You Can Teach Young Soccer Players and When to NOT Teach Passing –

If your players have good basic Skills, Hustle and are Brave (meaning tough, aggressive play such as winning 50/50 balls and not being afraid of the ball or of contact), you will see good results and give your players a foundation to play at any level. Hustle and Brave Play are “Ways of Playing” and very important at all levels of play.

If you like this, please share it with other coaches.

To get the BEST RESULTS, keep in mind that you need to do 2 things – TEACH your players WHAT TO DO and also MOTIVATE them to do what you teach.

1. Teach Soccer Skills – Everything you need to know about teaching the most important soccer skills is at . The most important skill is dribbling and the second most important is passing (see no. 4 below about why you shouldn’t teach passing to U6). The best way to teach core skills is by playing the SoccerHelp Practice Games. These are NO LINES Practice Games that are exclusive to SoccerHelp and have been tested by thousands of coaches. Because there aren’t lines, players get more touches on the ball, learn faster, can play faster, have more confidence, and have more fun. You can try them free at and is a great warm-up – you will see improvement within 2 practices. There are many testimonials from coaches, such as - “We played Dribble Across a Square and Dribble Around the Cone and Pass Relay Race at every practice, and the results were phenomenal.”

2. Motivate Your Players to Hustle – Make Hustle a priority at BOTH practice and games, and Praise and Reward Hustle. Teach them “This is how we play”. Our motivational iron-on patches are an effective way to motivate hustle and are visible rewards of Hustle. They are as little as 34 cents each. You can see them at Use the Coupon Code fiveoff5 to save 5%.

3. Motivate Bravery – “Brave” is a more motivating word than Aggressive or Tough. Motivate your players to win 50/50 balls, to fight thru defenders, to not get pushed around, and to not be afraid of contact. There are Practice Games on SoccerHelp that teach these things. A free one is at and the “Win the 50/50 Ball or Be the First Defender, 1v1 Attacking & Defending” is at

4. When to Teach Passing - An article in US Youth Soccer says “One of the biggest mistakes youth coaches can make is to force a passing game on children too early.” When is the right time to teach passing? Coach Doug says “The age to teach passing should not be based on foot skills, it should be based on mental readiness to understand the complex decision-making that is required.” Most U6 players aren’t mentally ready to determine "when to pass and when NOT to pass" - trying to teach passing to U6 players can be counterproductive and can confuse them. If you coach U6, see a Soccer Journal article titled “18 Tips for U4 and U6 Soccer Coaches” at

#soccerskills #soccerdrills #soccerpassing #soccerdribbling
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