feedback@pyslsoccer.org PO Box 9248 San Diego, CA 92169

Welcome PYSL Coaches and thank you for choosing to volunteer your time and effort to teaching the beautiful game of soccer to the youth in our community! Here you will find resources and links to help prepare you for coaching youth soccer as well as tools and information to support you as a coach.

 PACIFIC YOUTH SOCCER LEAGUE

Here you will find links to all the requirements needed to become a volunteer coach at PYSL. These our not just our standards but also required by our governing leagues as well as State and Federal Laws. Please note that you can access and check the status of each of these requirements through your GotSport Dashboard

Background Check
The background check can be accessed through your GotSport Dashboard. A promo code can be obtained through our club registrar.

Safe Sport 
Please click on Safe Sport in your GotSport Dashboard to start the SafeSport training courses. If you are having trouble finding the link, please click the following link to access your SafeSport account. https://safesporttrained.org/#/public-dashboard

US Soccer Coaching License
Please click the following link to access the US Soccer Coaches Education page to get started on your required licensing.
https://learning.ussoccer.com/coach

Sudden Cardiac Arrest 
https://nfhslearn.com/courses/sudden-cardiac-arrest#crsOutline

Heads Up Concussion Training
https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/training/index.html

Disqualification-Suspension Review

This is merely a form to be reviewed and submitted and can be done directly from your GotSport Dashboard.

Below you will find the PYSL Coaching Manual. It has all the information you will need to get started a youth soccer team. If you have questions or have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at feedback@pyslsoccer.org

View or print the full PYSL Coaching Manual here, or view portions of the manual below.

Thank You For Coaching at PYSL

Coaching youth soccer is one of the most rewarding ways to spend time with your child and children from your community. You are joining a well established and one of the few remaining community soccer programs. PYSL has been providing quality youth soccer programs to Pacific Beach and Clairemont for over 50 years and it continues every year because of volunteer coaches, managers and parents putting in their time and effort to keep it going. Thank you!

 

Guidelines for Successful Coaching

When coaching the kids at practice or in a game always try to:

Encourage good decision making and maximum effort. 

Praise them for making good decisions with a simple “Yes, good idea”

Remember the kids want to have fun. Kids have fun learning new skills, improving and emulating heroes. 

Your goal is to grow players into decisive and intuitive competitors. This happens when they are allowed to make decisions, make mistakes and learn from them.

Encourage and train your entire team. Showing bias or favor towards certain players breaks down team chemistry and will affect their performance and self-esteem.

 

Goals for Your Season

                3v3: The kids learn to go to the ball, find and move towards the correct goal and learn some basic techniques. They should learn basic dribbling techniques. Emphasize which part of the foot is used for each dribble. Dribbling forward with the outside of their feet (pinky toe) and laces. Dribbling left to right with the inside and then outside of the foot. They should learn to stop the ball by putting the sole of their foot on it. Have them start in a triangle shape at every kickoff, to introduce the concept of shape. Anything beyond that is a bonus but the focus should be on having FUN!

 

                4v4: The players will learn that they have teammates on the field and they shouldn’t take the ball from them. They should learn some basic rules and gameplay. They should learn a starting shape like a diamond. They should learn to move the ball forward together and to get back to defend together. Simple concepts can be taught like offensive shape and defensive shape, finding space, and movement (shift,slide). Individual skills will improve also as coordination develops in each player.

 

               6v6/7v7: In these age groups (U8 & U10) you can start to work on simple tactics like using a set formation, learning the role of each position, moving as a team up and down the field to attack and defend. Really focus on first touch and receiving across your body in order to pass again quickly. 

 

                9v9: In this age group (U12) They can start practicing concepts like offensive and defensive shape, formation and spacing on the field. Learning some specific tactics will be possible, like what to do during a kickoff, goal kick, corner kick, and throw-ins. They need to learn what their body position should be when attacking with and without the ball, when defending an opponent and who they should cover. This is a critical time to think about playing competitively and trying out for PYSL BLAST SC.

 

  11v11: If you are coaching this age group (U14) you will be playing with a complete squad of 11 players on the largest field they will have ever played on. Developmentally the players will be able to understand more abstract concepts and start to build them into their effective gameplay. It will be important to focus on transitioning from offensive to defensive shape, moving without the ball and taking on players 1v1, both attacking and defending. Formations will become relevant to what types of players you have. Most players this age will have moved onto a competitive club but still suggest trying out for BLAST if they want to continue to play in high school.

 

Coaching Practices

The key to holding good practices is preparation. Have a plan, show up early to set-up and think through the next set-ups. Minimize downtime for the players by having 30 second water breaks. Try to transition into the next activity quickly. This helps build fitness in the players as well as minimizes time for the kids to get distracted. Have the kids jog off and on the field together every time to build team unity.

Select from the Practice Warm-ups, Drills and Games section at the end of this manual.

Select 2-3 “Warm-up” activities, 2-3 Small Sided Games, 1-2 Expanded Small Sided Games and then move into a scrimmage time of 30-40 minutes. Practices should run between 60 and 90 minutes. No more than 60 minutes for kids under 8.

 

Coaching the Game

Make sure your parents know that you are the only one that should be coaching the players. The parents’ role is to cheer the kids on with things like, “Yes! Go! Great Job! Nice Ball! Good Try, Great Goal!” etc.

Give productive and clear instruction rather than expressing disappointment or frustration. 

Be specific. Instead of saying, “Spread out!” say, “Jane, Drop left to cover #9” or “James, slide wide right”

Avoid over-coaching and allow the players to make decisions and learn from their mistakes. 

Ask questions to help them figure out how to make better decisions..

 

Let the Referee Judge the Game

Always show respect to the Refs, the opposing players, coaches and the parents.

Make sure that your parents do not address the Refs. The coach is the only one who should address the Ref, and only for clarification or to ask to substitute players.

Soccer referees control the game the moment they enter the field.

They respect fair play, sportsmanship, skill, and the spirit of the game. 

Most are young and are still learning to referee, just as the players are learning to play. 

They have a difficult job that is crucial for having games.

Referee calls are final. Arguing will not get a call reversed but it will irritate the ref, waste time, and reflect badly on your team and the league.

 

Learn the Game and the Laws

Soccer is simple in some ways and complex in others. You will enjoy the game more and your players will develop more quickly if you understand the fundamental concepts, tactics and skills needed.Teach your players the laws of the game through play rather than just explaining it. Don’t worry if you or your players don’t understand all the rules. The refs will guide you and many will explain a call if you are respectful.

Quick Guide to PYSL Divisions and Rules

Division

Age Group

Number of Players

Game Time

Build Out Line

Offside

Headers

Ball Size

Referees

Goalie

          

D3

2008-2009 (U14)

11

Parent League Rules

No

Yes

Parent League Rules

5

Yes

Yes

D4

2010-2012 (U12)

9

25 min halves

No

Yes

No

4

Yes

Yes

D5

2012-2014 (U10)

7

25 min halves

Yes

Yes

No

4

Yes

Yes

D6

2015 (U8)

6

25 min halves

Yes

Yes (Modified)

No

3

Yes

Yes

D6

2016

(U7)

4

4, 10 minute periods

Restriction line

No

No

3

Yes

No

D7**

2017-2018

(U6)

3

4, 10 minute periods

Restriction line

No

No

3

No

No

**D7 games play 2 concurrent games of 3v3 on adjacent fields. 

 

Basic Game Play  

Kick-off — At each kick-off, the ball is placed in the center of the “Center Mark” (on the half-way line) & both teams must be on their own half of the field and the receiving team must stay outside the Center Circle until the ball is “kicked”. Moving the ball at all constitutes a “kick-off”, even if it only goes an inch. However, the ball must move forward on the “kick-off”. The “kicker” may not touch the ball again until someone else (on either team) has touched it (if he/she does, the opponent gets the ball and an “indirect kick”). 

Corner kick –– a direct free kick that is awarded when the defending team puts the ball over the goal line. A corner kick is taken by the offensive team from next to the corner flag. 

Goal Kick –– a type of restart that is awarded when the attacking team puts the ball over the goal line. The ball is kicked from anywhere inside the goal area away from the goal to restart play. After the kick is taken, the ball cannot be touched again by any player until it is outside of the penalty area. 

Throw-in –– a way to restart play when the ball goes out over the sidelines. The team that did not touch the ball last is allowed an overhead throw. For a throw-in to be legal: (a) the ball must be thrown from behind & over the head (b) it must be thrown using both hands (c) the thrower must face the field (d) at the instant the ball leaves the thrower’s hands, some part of both feet must be on the ground, either on or outside the side line (e) the ball must be throw-in from the place where it went out of bounds 

Mark Up — Means to guard a player one-on-one. 

Push Pass — The most important and most frequently used pass. Made with the inside- of-foot & called a push pass because of the long follow-through which sometimes looks like pushing the ball. The ball is struck with the part of the foot under the anklebone. 

Push-Up — Refers to fullbacks or midfielders moving forward toward the halfway line rather than staying in defending third. 

Clear –– The first priority of defenders is to “clear the ball” (i.e., kick the ball) out of the “Danger Zone” (i.e., out of scoring range). If the ball is in front of your goal and in scoring range, the Defenders should “clear it” because a turnover would give the opponent a scoring opportunity. 

Distribute –– Goalkeepers “distribute” the ball by kicking, punting or throwing it. Once they pick up the ball, they have six seconds to punt it or release it. They can pick it up, run with it and then punt it, throw it or drop it and dribble it or kick it. 

Drop Kick —- When a player is injured but there is no foul on the play, the referee may stop play to give time for the injured player to recover or be substituted. The referee will then drop the ball at the feet of the team who had possession and signal the start of play.

Halftime —- A short break given to both teams halfway through the match. For example if you are playing 25 minute halves, the referee will signal halftime after approximately 25 minutes of play. The teams switch sides before the start of the second half to negate any advantage the other team might have had in the first half. For example the wind direction, the slope of the field, or the angle of the sun.

 

 

 

Offside Rule

In soccer, one of the most confusing rules that results in the ball going to the other team is when a player is determined to be “offside”.  The infraction is very common. It should also be noted that this rule is difficult to see in real time and should be left to the referee’s interpretation of the play at hand.

 

According to the FIFA rulebook, a player is in an offside position if:

  • He/she is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.

  • A violation will occur when he is in an offside position (previous bullet point) at the same time the ball is being passed forward to him/her.

A player is NOT in an offside position if:

  • He/she is in his own half of the field of play.

  • No part of the attacking player (head, body, or feet) is closer to the opponents goal than the final defender (not including the goalkeeper) .

  • He/she is receiving the ball from a throw-in.

 

Advantage Rule

Another confusing rule that is up to referee interpretation is “advantage”. Advantage is given when the attacking team is fouled, but to stop play for the penalty would be less advantageous than allowing play to continue. The referee will signal with two hands, palms up and pointed towards the ground, and likely say “Play on.” Before getting upset that a foul wasn’t called, consider that Advantage was given to the team with possession.

 

Parts of the Soccer Field or Pitch

 

Halfway Line — Also called Midfield. Where kickoff starts play at the beginning of each half and after each goal. 

Corner Flag — Where corner kicks are taken from.

Penalty Area — Penalties awarded “in the box” result in a Penalty Kick. This is also the area in which the Goalkeeper can touch the ball with their hands.

Penalty Mark — Where a Penalty Kick or PK is taken from. One player from the fouled team shoots on the goalie with any defenders in the way. Once it’s kicked, the ball is live.

Touch Line — If the ball travels completely over the touch line, the ball is out of bounds. The last team to touch it before going out gives up possession to the opposing team. A throw in is taken by that team.

Penalty area –– The larger rectangle in front of the goal that includes the goal area.    Purpose: Marks both where the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with his hands AND the area where harsh fouls committed by the defending team result in penalty kicks. 

Attacking Third — Closest to opponent’s goal. This is where the forwards and often midfielders are playing. We want to keep the ball in the attacking third of the field as much as possible. Fullbacks are never supposed to be in this zone (at least at this level). 

Middle Third — Middle third of the field includes the halfway line and the center circle. Midfielders are the primary players in this area although forwards may also “push up” to help win balls or provide defensive help. Usually whichever team can control the ball in this section of the field can set up lots of chances for getting the ball into the attacking third. 

Defensive Third — This is the section closest to our own goal. This is where the fullbacks will primarily play. Sometimes the midfielders will help defensively. Forwards should not be in this area because if the ball is taken away from the other team, there will not be anyone back to get the ball and break away for a goal in the other direction before the opposing team recovers. 

Far Post –– Refers to the part of the goal farthest from the ball (e.g., “run to the far post” or “cover the far post” or “set up off the far post”). 

Near Post –– Refers to the part of the goal nearest the ball.

 

Principles of Attack

  1. Support:  Help offered by a teammate(s) to player with ball with the objective of receiving the ball. Player without the ball moves into an open space too so that player with the ball can pass it to her.

  1. Width:  Movement of attacking players to wide areas to create space and attacking options. Players move to the wide areas of the field to create space and make it more difficult to defend the attack.

  1. Depth:  Movement of players into forward positions to generate attacking options. Player moves forward (towards the goal) to receive the ball closer to the goal.

  1. Diagonal Runs:  An attacking diagonal movement forward into space, generally in front of the ball, to create a passing option. A wide player makes a diagonal movement forward with the purpose of creating a passing option.

  1. Overlap:  Movement of a teammate from behind a player with the ball to a forward position to create a passing opportunity or advantage for the attacking team. A central midfielder runs forward from behind the left midfielder to create a passing option. 

  1.  Speed of Play:  Quick ball movement which creates an advantage for the attacking team over the defenders. Players from the same team pass the ball with 1-3 touch passes to keep the ball away from opponents.

 

Principles of Defending

  1. Mark:  A defender staying close to an attacking player (without the ball) to reduce their chances of participating in the attack.  Always stay goalside of attacking player. Defenders mark the attacking players without the ball to prevent attacker from passing the ball to them.

  1. Pressure:  The individual action of a defensive player who defends an attacker with the ball with intensity. A defender puts pressure on attacking player to prevent them from playing forward or passing the ball and tries to regain possession of the ball.

  1. Cover:  A player creates a second defensive line to give defensive support to  teammate providing pressure.The center defender provides cover for the center midfielder in case the attacker evades the pressure.

  1. Balance:  The movement of the team as a unit to reorganize the defense as the ball transfers from one part of the field to the other. Defensive players shift at the same time to stay in front of the ball as it is passed from the center of the field to the wing area.  New defender is now providing pressure while defender 1 now drops and provides cover.  

  1. Tracking:  Defender follows an attacking player who is making a forward or diagonal run. The defender tracks the attacker to prevent a passing option.  

  1. Recovery:  Movement of defenders back towards defending goal to reorganize defensive shape. As attacker penetrates forward, the right and left defenders run back to reinforce the defending line closer to the goal.  

 

Coaches Code of Conduct

 

PYSL recognizes the time, effort and dedication that our volunteer coaches provide to the league, players and parents. Even though we are a volunteer-coached organization we believe it vitally important that our coaches abide by a code of conduct that reflects professionalism in everything we do. Please review the PYSL Coaches Code of Conduct below, sign and return to the Director of Coaching.

 

  • Coaches must respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and treat each equally within the context of the sport, regardless of gender, place of origin, color, sexual orientation, political belief, or economic status.

 
  • Coaches must place the well-being and safety of each player above all other considerations. Coaches must never place the value of winning over the safety and welfare of the players.

 
  • Coaches must adhere to all guidelines laid down by governing bodies, including the club, league, region and USSF.

 
  • Coaches must direct comments or criticism at a players’ performance rather than the athlete him or herself.

 
  • Coaches must encourage and guide players to accept responsibility for their own behavior and performance.

 
  • Coaches must ensure that the activities they institute are appropriate for the age, maturity, experience and ability of the players.

 
  • Coaches must abstain from the use of tobacco products, vape products and alcohol while in the presence of athletes.

 
  • Coaches will seek to avoid conflicts of interest and will report them if they arise.

 
  • Coaches must always promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) and never condone violations of the Laws of the Game, behavior contrary to the spirit of the Laws of the Game, or relevant rules and regulations.

 
  • Coaches must consistently display high standards of behavior and appearance.

 
  • Coaches must not berate, belittle, or argue with referees, players, opponents, spectators or opposing coaches.

 
  • Coaches must not use or tolerate inappropriate language.

 
  • It is the Coaches responsibility to maintain the highest standards of conduct for themselves, their players, and their supporters in all games. 

 
  • Abusive language, violent play, fighting and other behavior detrimental to the sport will not be tolerated.

 
  • When a coach is aware of any violations of this Code of Conduct by another PYSL coach they must report it to the PYSL DOC or a PYSL Board Member.

 

 

 

  • SIDELINE BEHAVIOR  – All Parents, Coaches, Spectators should be warned that unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated on any level. Consider this email your team’s first warning. Referee abuse which includes verbal abuse will absolutely under no circumstance be tolerated. We have a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for verbal abuse to any Youth Referee. Season long bans may be placed on parents, coaches or spectators that choose to verbally or physically assault or abuse any referee.

 

Coaches are responsible for their sideline and all actions thereon. Coaches are expected to coach their teams in a positive and respectful manner. Referees are instructed to take disciplinary action if the coach, player, parent or spectator uses derogatory words or actions aimed at their players, the opposing team’s players, coach, sideline or any of the referees.

Penalties for violations are as follows:

 

  • First violation: A verbal warning from the PYSL DOC or Board of Directors.

  • Second Violation: Coach suspended for next scheduled game.

  • Third Violation: The coach will be suspended for the remainder of the season.

 
* PYSL reserves the right to temporarily or permanently suspend a coach at any time for actions deemed significant enough to do so. Examples of such behavior would be extreme foul or derogatory language, any act of physical violence, or any sexually inappropriate behavior.

Warm-ups, Skills Activities and Games

Warm-up

Blob Tag

Blob games are fun warm up drills that teach game concepts, grow agility and awareness.

The four rules of "Blob Games"

  1. Attack open space.
  2. See every other player at all times.
  3. Change Speed and direction.
  4. Stay as far away from others players as possible.

 Players run about the grid until the coach says "Jane is it". Jane then tags another player and they become the first "blob". Then they work together using game calls like, "slide left, slide right, press, drop" etc. until they tag a third person. Once a forth person is tagged, the blob splits into two two-person blobs. This continues until their is one player left, who is the winner of that round. Repeat 2-3 times.

Warm-Up

Blob Dribble

Always explain the four rules of "Blob Games".

In Blob Dribble, players dribble around the grid. The coach calls out which dribbles to do such as: right foot only, left foot only, inside feet, outside feet and laces, toe-taps. See if your team can make it for 1 minute without anyone or any balls colliding.

For an added challenge you can add a "thief" or two. They go and steal a ball from a player, then that player has to go steal someone else's ball. Do 2 minute rounds.

Skills Activity

Dribble Gates

Set up a 10'x10' grid with several gates placed randomly around the grid. (adjust based on number of players) The gates are two cones about 2 feet apart. Have the players pair up.

The first partner will dribble through as many gates as possible in 1 minute, while the other partner counts for them. Then they switch for the next round. At the end they both add their score for a total. Do several rounds with a goal of improving on their numbers each time. Cheer them on as their numbers go up!

Skills Activity

Passing Gates

Passing gates is a great activity for developing your team's ability to play small space soccer. 

The rules of Blob Games apply here as well. Scan to see every player. Stay away from every player. Attack open space. Change Speed and direction.

Have the players pair up. See how many passes each team can complete through the gates in 1 minute. They must pass through a different gate each time. Do several rounds and see if they can improve their numbers each time. 

Skills Activity

Rondo

The Rondo is an essential activity for every soccer team and is an excellent teaching tool for learning the game of soccer. Focus on quality touches, off-ball movement, communication and speed of play. Have the players receive across their bodies on their back foot and play the ball with their front foot. Catch and release in two quick touches.

The setup is simple. Players gather in a circle with 1 player in the middle for up to 4 on the outside. Then got to 2 players for 6 or more on the outside.

The object of the game is for the players on the outside to maintain possession and keep it away from the defenders in the middle. This is done by making lateral passes or "splitting" the defenders. If a player loses possession by making a bad pass or getting it touched by a defender, that player trades with the defender that's been in the longest.

A Rondo is when every outside player has touched the ball without losing possession. How many can you get?

Games

1v1's

Set up a 15'x15' grid with two gates at opposing corners as shown. Two teams line up behind opposite cones. The far line recieves passes from the coach and attempt to dribble through one of the two gates while maintaining possession all the way through.

Once all players go through twice, they tally their points and switch lines. Both teams play as the attackers and defenders, then total their points for that round. The losing team does as many push-ups or jumping jacks as the number of points they lost by. (If blue has 6 and red has 4, red does 2 push-ups)

Games

2v2's

Similar to 1v1's, setup the grid about 20'x20' with small goals on both sides as shown.

Two teams are divided into two lines on adjacent sides of the grid. The coach alternates playing the ball to both the lines of players, opposite the goals. (See diagram)

Round 1: Each player goes through twice then teams tally their points. 

Round 2: The lines switch with their own team (red line 1 switches with red line 2 so that all players get to receive the first ball)

Round 3: The teams switch sides. Both red lines switch with both blue lines and score on the opposite goals as they did previously.

Soccer Formations at a Glance

There are numerous formations for each team size. The formations are generally broken into four lines.

Goalkeeper: Your last line of defense. The Goalkeeper protects the goal by deflecting or collecting the ball and is the only player that is allowed to use their hands on the ball, but only inside the penalty area (or 18 yard box).

Defenders: Sometimes called Fullbacks or Halfbacks depending on their role. Defenders are primary responsibility is to win or clear the ball in your defensive third of the field. They should also be involved in attacking but not at the expense of getting back to defend.

Midfielders: Midfielders play both offensively and defensively depending on where the ball is. They distribute the ball as needed and can take shots on goal. When the opposing team wins the ball, midfielders transition to defend and try to win the ball back.

Forwards: Forwards primarily attack and look for opportunities to finish. Like all other positions, forwards must also move up and down the field to support the attack as well as the defense.

See formation diagrams and descriptions below.

3v3 Formations

The 3v3 formation is very simple. You can start in a 1-2, meaning one player back and two forward. Conceptually this is a more offensive shape as you have more players forward. Conversely, you could start in a 2-1, which is more defensive with two players back. In this Under 6 division the idea of formation is developmentally too complex  but introducing “shape” will help lay a foundation for the concept.

4v4 Formations

The two most used 4v4 formations are the Diamond and the Square. The Square is primarily used in Futsal (indoor, hard surface futbol) but can be used in a 4v4 situation. Both the Diamond and Square are balanced formations. The key difference is the Diamond introduces the concept of a three line formation, where you have a defender (full back), two midfielders (half backs) and a forward (striker).  Again, in this U7 division, these concepts will confuse the little ones, but starting in a Diamond or Square shape can be fun!

7v7 Formations

As you add numbers you start to have more formation options to choose from. Some coaches base this on their coaching philosophy of being more offensive or conservative. You could also choose your formation based on your players and their strengths and weaknesses. Just remember that recreational soccer is for fun and development. Play every kid in every position for the sake of their their own growth and understanding.

The 1-3-2-1 formation is a more defensive formation as you have a goalkeeper, three defenders, two midfielders and one forward. You might choose to play this formation only against a stronger team.

The 1-2-3-1 is a balanced formation as you have three midfielders and only two defenders. This gives you more numbers to attack and defend as long as your midfielders can get up and down the field quickly.

You will notice that there are numbers associated with each position. These are based on a 4-4-2 formation which we will cover in 11v11 formations. Feel free to stick with position names until you are comfortable coaching numbered positions.

9v9 Formations

9v9 formations really give you space to experiment with different types of play. For example the 1-3-3-2 is a bit more conservative with three defenders in the back. So when you defend you do so with 6 players, provided your midfielders transition quickly to defend. However you will attack with five.

In a 1-2-3-3, you have more numbers up front which strengthens your attack. So you attack with six and defend with a five player set.

In either case the team needs to move up and down the field together and stay connected. The spacing between players is critical in maintaining possession. If they get spread too far it leaves gaps to be exploited by your opponent. If they crowd in too much it becomes difficult to distribute the ball in possession and tough to clear the ball when defending in your back third.

11v11 Formations

The 11v11 formation is what every soccer team uses once they reach U14 or above. With 11 players your formation options are many. The most common starting formation for 11 players is the 1-4-4-2, often just called the 4-4-2. Each of the positions have a number as well. They seem sort of random because they have evolved over many years since soccer was created. 

The 1-4-4-2 consists of the goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards. This is a great starting formation for any new team or coach. It provides good balance while keeping a strong defense and midfield.

Another very popular formation is the 1-4-3-3. It provides more balance between the midfield and attacking third. In this formation the 6 or holding mid can be behind the left and right mids (shown here) or in front of them, depending on your personnel and your opposing team. In this formation the 2 and 3 move up and down the side channels to support the attack. The 6,8 and 10 maintain a central position to control the middle of the field and create scoring opportunities by playing the ball in behind the opposing defenders. The 11 and 7 stay wide to draw defenders out and to look for opportunities to cross the ball in from the outside. The 9, or striker, looks to time their attack run in to score off of the through balls or crosses.

There are endless philosophies and concepts to research, study and experiment with. If you have questions regarding formations, soccer play, laws of the game or anything else related to your soccer season, please reach out to PYSL staff by emailing us at: feedback@pyslsoccer.org