Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


England-Germany: the first two goals were classic schoolboy errors

The final third of the pitch should the hardest part for a team to work in because it will be defended with tigerish effort. Even in youth games the attackers, outnumbered by defenders will have to work hard to create goals – unless England are defending it, in which case they make it as easy for the opposition to score.

This was the case in the World Cup 2010 round of 16 game between England and Germany. But it is worth examining the goals because they hightlight errors made by defenders in youth soccer.

German attacker Miroslav Klose’s goal was one you often see on in youth matches – a big punt up field from the goal kick, over the stationary centre-half’s head and bang, 1-0. Matthew upson was outmanouvered and outfought for the ball.

The second was not much better, the England right back Glenn Johnson was forced to cover the central defenders position because again they had gone missing. This left a vacant right-back spot which attacker Lukas Podolski exploited, he even had time to take a touch before sending the ball past David James in England’s goal.

Two classic examples of how to create goals – the long ball and dragging defenders out of position.

Click here to watch the goals



The best players can swerve a ball

With all the talk of uncontrollable balls at the World Cup its been nice to see a few free kicks going in. Certainly Japan’s Keisuke Honda can kick the ball and add a bit of excitement. It seems this ball is hard to dip and swerve, but players were beginning to make the most of it by the end of the tournament.

Swerving the ball needs a certain amount of flair but players must have the right technique to do it. The ball will swerve depending on how you kick it. The best thing to do is to read the technique in the July 13 issue of Better Soccer Coaching.

In there West Ham Academy Director Tony Carr explains the technique and how to practice. Get down to the training pitch early and practice yourself – if you can do it show your players the technique and get them all swerving the ball. They can use the technique for passing and crossing the ball as well.

In the video below watch how Joe Cole hits at the World Cup in 2006 the ball and makes it dip and swerve.



When do you chip the goalkeeper?

Players that make decisions to try something different with the ball instead of head down just kicking it, are often the ones that score the best goals. What makes a player decide to chip a goalkeeper rather than just kick it as hard as they can at the goal?

In the World Cup game between England and USA the forward Emile Heskey had a great chance to score for England and give them a much needed win. Faced with the goalkeeper Heskey simply put his head over the ball and kicked it as hard as he could. It hit the goalkeeper smack band in his midriff and the chance was gone.

Had Heskey decided to chip the ball just a tiny bit it would probably have gone over the goalkeeper and into the net. This is what makes a goalscorer great – the ability to make the decision about the best type of shot to use.

If the goalkeeper comes of their line and leaves enough space that’s the time to try a chip and make your players look like the professionals.

Watch Clint Dempsey score his amazing chip for Fulham against Juventus in the second leg of the Europa League last 16 game:



Why teamwork can progress your team

In most team sports the player with the ball controls the match. Think of the quarterback in American football or the point guard in basketball. They control how the play will develop – in cricket the bowler controls the batter until the ball connects with the bat.

The problem in youth soccer is that the player with the ball is the slowest player on the pitch – not counting players like Christiano Ronaldo who runs just as fast with the ball as without. So the time that the player with the ball is the controlling player is short because they will quickly be caught.

This is because dribbling with the ball is much slower than running without it due to the technical pressure of keeping control.Therefore because the player will be stopped the quickest and often the only way for the team to progress up the field is by passing the ball to a team-mate.



1959 video of Pele scoring for Santos FC aged 18

I stumbled across this amazing video from 1959 of Pele aged 18 scoring his first ever goal scored for Santos FC against rivals Atletico Juventus.

It’s incredible it exists, and although a bit grainy you can make out the goal as he heads it into the net.

Watch it:



Where’s Carlos Alberto when you need him?
June 26, 2010, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Skills | Tags: , , , , ,

Watching Brazil play Portugal I turned off and watched this clip of Carlos Alberto talking about his goal at the 1970 World Cup against Italy.

There was some fantastic football from Brazil and this wonderful goal:



Good luck North Caulfield Maccabi
June 21, 2010, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer News | Tags: ,


It’s great to see subscribers to my Soccer Coach Weekly publication doing so well.

North Caulfield Maccabi senior women football team have been hard at training to ensure they put up a good showing following their promotion to State League 2. My congratulations go to the team and the coaches for getting themselves promoted. Good luck in the new season.

A strong squad of 21 players augurs well for the season given the depth of talent and the relatively young average age of the team.

They have also been presented with new kits from sponsor, LJ Hooker (Elsternwick/Caulfield) and a generous sponsorship package which was unvailed at the recent pre-season Sponsor’s Jumper Presentation evening which was held at the new Caulfield Park pavilion.

The new playing strips, kit bags and tracksuit tops were greeted with great excitement and all sponsors spoke warmly about the importance of team work, commitment to healthy sporting activities and local community support.

Well done, girls!




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