1. BE FIRST TO THE BALL AND WHEN YOU GET THERE GO INTO THAT TACKLE WITH 100% OF EVERYTHING YOU GOT.
a) These 2 single ideas IS what win games.
b) Everything else is just small details.
2. DEFEND THE PLAYER NOT THE SPACE.
a) Players score goals not the grass.
b) When the ball is cleared out of the defense push up to the half line. The further you can pull their forwards away from your defending goal the better.
c) As you get older and the refs get better you can depend on having offsides called. You can still depend on the offsides rule however to drag their forwards up to the half line.
3. STICK TO THE PLAYER YOUR DEFENDING LIKE GLUE.
a) You should be close enough to grab his shirt at all times.
b) If your not get closer.
4. AS YOU DEFEND YOUR PLAYER LIKE GLUE, EVERY SINGLE TIME THAT BALL IS SPIT OUT OF THEIR DEFENSE TO THEIR FORWARDS, YOUR GOAL SHOULD BE TO ANTICIPATE THAT BALL AND GET A FASTER JUMP ON THEIR FORWARD.
a) In doing so, you can get the ball before he does 9 times out of 10 before he even has an opportunity to attempt to do something with it.
b) If their forward does get it before you then you should be right there behind him nipping at his heals in an extremely aggressive fashion. You do not let him turn around with the ball. You force him to have to pass it back where he got it from.
c) As a good defender you should seldom find yourself in a position of standing there waiting for their charging forwards to get to you.
d) If you do find yourself in the position where a man is charging at you with the ball, then “Stand Him Up”, do not, “Dive In”. In other words don’t let him get by you. Force the offender to make a play. Don’t make it easy on him by allowing him to easily run right past you.
a) Who wants to be in charge of walls?
b) You (to be named) are the ONE in charge of walls every single time.
c) Each and every time you see the ref call a free kick that is your CUE to start yelling WALL and you (boy in charge) go and stand 5 feet in front of the ball.
d) Why 5ft? Because you are forcing a pause on the play and giving your teammates an opportunity to form a wall alongside you. They won’t kick it until the ref has an opportunity to move you back 10 yards.
e) Once you’re there 5ft in front of the ball, you start YELLING at your fellow teammates (by name if you have to) to get over and stand next to you and form a wall.
f) Stand close, put your hands over your private area, and keep your eyes open.
a) On each play you guys should all be in charge of a man. Stick to him like glue and go wherever he goes.
b) If he gets by you with the ball, YOU turn into a heat seeking missile until you redeem yourself and get that ball back from who took it from you.
7. COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE.
a) A defender is like a catcher in baseball. He sees the whole field and everyone on it.
b) When you pass the ball up to your mids, tell them if they “Have Time”, or to “Turn” with the ball and go, or “Man-On”.
c) In which case go support him and give your teammate someone to pass to if he needs it. And tell him your there if he needs it.
d) If he is in a dogfight he can’t always look up to see where you are.
a) See this 18 yard box? Everything in this box is yours.
b) In this box you have magic powers basically. YOU ARE THE MAN. You’re the only one that can use his hands.
c) Call for the ball if you want it. And say it VERY loud so neither your teammates nor theirs want to get in your way.
9. AND WHEN THE BALL IS IN OR ANYWHERE NEAR THE 18 YARD BOX YOU ALL SHOULD BE GOING AT 120%.
a) And fight tooth and nail to not let them get a shot off.
b) Every second the ball is in the 18 yard box is a second too long. GET THE BALL OUT! As hard and as fast as you can.
10. HAVE FUN!
a) Remember, above all, soccer is a “game”, and it is meant to be enjoyed.
b) So enjoy every second your out there on the field.
c) These are the best soccer years of your life. Years you will look back on in envy.
d) Make the most of every moment and enjoy yourself.