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Change of position, change of fortune

DCDuring a victory for my Under-10s side, one of my defenders got injured. This was not too much of a problem as I had another player who could move from midfield to fill that role. The solution worked fine for a while until he too limped out of the action, leaving me struggling to solve the problem.
We got to half-time without too much trouble and were winning 1-0, and at that point I managed to persuade another lad to change positions and slot back into defence. He halfheartedly accepted the offer, even creeping forward into his regular attacking role at times, thus leaving holes and gaps behind him.
I was therefore relieved when my left winger came across and said to me that he would play in defence because he’d operated there for his previous team. I was surprised because I had never considered him to be a natural defender – he is, after all, a strong attacking winger, and it had never even crossed my mind to use him in defence.
But he was an absolute revelation, with excellent positioning, plus strong support and marking skills. At one point he took the ball off the toes of the opposition attacker and ran the whole length of the pitch, unleashing a brilliant shot at the end of it. I am still reluctant to play him at the back because we have some good defenders, and he is a valuable left winger, but I know now he makes a great back-up if we ever need someone to fill the role.
It got me thinking about players and how they generally begin to ‘find’ their positions around nine or 10 years of age. And yet many will play for another few years before actually discovering where they are best. What we should be doing as coaches is constantly experimenting with their roles – maybe hiding inside a player who has been labeled a ‘defender’ is a strong attacking force just waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting opponent. It’s rare when it happens, but on the occasions that it does, it’s always a pleasant and useful surprise.

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[…] = 'wpp-261'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_508_compliant":true}; Change of position, change of fortune October 26, 2011, 5:21 pm Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, […]

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[…] = 'wpp-261'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_508_compliant":true}; Change of position, change of fortune October 26, 2011, 5:21 pm Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, […]

Pingback by stevehallsfootball.com » Blog Archive » Change of position, change of fortune

I just read your post and thought that wouldn’t it be better for the development of these players if you play them in different position for the sake of learning. I feel that youre branding players at 9 and 10 years of age when you could actually create versatility.

Comment by Daniel




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