It is important for our players to learn different formations, apply changes during a game and understand defensive and attacking shapes. That said, we tend to get too tactical with our youngest players (U11’s) when the focus should be on technical skills acquisition. Last year I coached a U12 mid-level team and enjoyed switching between a 4:3:3 and a 3:4:3 where players just move up and down the spine depending on ball possession. We also adjusted to a 4:5:1 formation once or twice but all in a playful way where the players discovered benefits and challenges with those changes.
Midfield in Attack
The goal is to create width. With a center back pushing forward into a holding position, the three midfielders can take up more positive roles in a diamond shape. The attacking midfielder can push on to support the center forward and run into the gaps created ahead.
Midfield in Defense
Our goal is to be compact across the field and to stay connected. Midfielders shift towards the ball and give up the weakside channel. The two holding midfielders protect the space in front of the back four.
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