Here is how we coach and play…

Hopefully this will help you see how easy it is to play and get involved with coaching!

How To Play

Basic soccer rules are pretty simple to follow, the team that scores the most goals wins! Each team consists of 11 players of which there is one goalkeeper and 10 outfield players. With home school soccer we consider these numbers flexible. The players are allowed to kick or head the ball. The goalie is the only player to use his/her hands to pick up the ball (but only if inside the goal line). Set up the kids, throw in the ball and let it go. 
*If the ball is kicked out on the sidelines, the team that didn’t kick it out, throws in an over head pass onto the field to continue the game. 
*If the ball is last touched by the defending team and the ball leaves the field of play by crossing the goal line (either on the ground or in the air) without a goal having been scored, a corner kick is awarded to the attacking team. 
*If a goal is scored, the games continues on by restarting from the center field. The non-scoring team restarts with the ball. See Field Positions & Set Up also Coaching Tips & Drills


Field Positions

Each team consists of 11 players of which there is one goalkeeper and 10 outfield players. With home school soccer we consider these numbers flexible. Soccer teams are normally split into basic formations consisting of defense (protect the goal), goalkeeper and forwards (scoring positions).  

Forwards: When you play forward in soccer, you become a striker–part of the attacking group of players who will penetrate the defense of the opposing team and score goals. You will be responsible for maneuvering the ball from midfield into the goal of the opponent. You could either be on the wings or in the center forward position. A forward can play the entire length of the field. *Play to the needs of your position. If you are in the wings, your job is to receive the ball from midfield, move it forward along the outside edges of the field and then get it back to the center so that the player in the center forward position can take it in to score.
*Exert pressure on the defense of the opposing team. Constant pressure will wear them out and open up opportunities for your team to score. 

Midfielders or Halfbacks: As the play setter and the literal center of the game, you have the potential to make or break your team.  This player is generally positioned in the middle third of the field between the forwards and defenders. Their job is to link the defense and the offense through ball control and passing. They play both an attacking role and a defensive role. A midfielder can play the entire length of the field. 

Wingers: The outside forwards and midfielders (often the fastest players and best dribblers) who play on the sides of the field. Their primary task is to provide them with accurate crossing passes so they can shoot at the goal. Wingers play the entire length of the field. 

Defenders or Fullbacks: They are primarily focused on stopping the opposition’s attackers from scoring. This player works mainly in the defensive third of the field.  The defender can however be “pushed up” and move forward toward the opponents side but they don’t want to be caught out of position and not be able to defend their goal.  

Goalkeeper (Goalie): The player positioned directly in front of the goal who tries to prevent shots from crossing the goalline; the only player allowed to use their hands and arms, though only within the 18-yard penalty area. 

Special Positions:

Backs Refers to any defender

Striker Generally the same as a forward, though it sometimes refers to a forward that is his team’s primary scoring threat.

Sweeper Not always used. In some formations, a single defender that plays closest to their own goal behind the rest of the defenders; a team’s last line of defense in front of the goalkeeper.

Coaching Plans and Drills

Coaching Plan Example:

1st Hour of Practice:

Warm Ups (15 minutes or so) -Stretching, running laps, jumping jacks, running laps while dribbling ball

Focus on a Skill (15-30 minutes) -Demonstrate it, have kids practice the skill through different exercises *Skills you can work on: Dribbling, over head passing, passing the ball to team member, scoring *Many skill exercise ideas in the websites below.  

Play Fun Games (15-30 minutes)- Games that kids love *Sharks and Minnos, Red Light/Green Light, Lightning, World Cup, Tunnel Tag, *Many more game ideas in the links below

2nd Hour of Practice: Scrimmage (45-60 minutes)-Break up the team into 2 groups and play! On hot days it can be beneficial to have 3 teams rotating so one team is always on break for shade/water. Please feel free to put your own creativity into the practice. The kids just want to have fun and it doesn’t take much work for a coach to accomplish that. So relax, and enjoy! 🙂   

Helpful websites with fun games and drill ideas:

Tips & Ideas for Good Practices: 

*Kids love playing games & keeping score. In practice, try to use games & not drills
*Everyone should stay active & participate. Avoid lines if possible. 
*Teach proper technique and emphasize games that practice technique or simulate play or playing situations. 
*Run games by keeping time (e.g., so they last 1, 3, or 5 minutes) or by keeping score (e.g., first to 3, 12, etc.). 
*Praise hustle, improvement and a good attitude. Measure each player’s performance by his or her personal improvement and effort, and not by comparing them to someone else. Try to motivate in a positive way that builds self-esteem. 
*A good game must be easy & quick to set up and should be simple to explain and manage. If you are spending too much time on set up or instruction, simplify it. 
*If it’s not fun, it’s not a good game. 
*You must have at least one ball per player. 
*Adopt this philosophy: Keep it simple, keep them active, keep it fun.