Soccer Talk-The Fastest Way to Improve a Team

Soccer Talk-The Fastest Way to Improve a Team
By John Dingle

Teams that talk more on the field play better.  When a team communicates with each other on the field they are exuding confidence that can be contagious.  This talk can also put the opponent into an emotional shell.

What is soccer talk; the three types:

  • Information to an individual- turn, hold, force to inside, and take them on are a few examples.
  • Information to a group or team- push, shift, drop, play faster, and possess the ball are some examples.
  • Emotional talk-who  is going to win this ball, we are creating chances, you are better than that, and great stuff are some of the emotional phrases you hear on the soccer field.

Who does the soccer talk: Continue reading


Youth Soccer Coaching: Lessons from USA WC Game I

Youth Soccer Coaching: Lessons from USA WC Game I

by John Dingle

The US Men’s National team played Ghana in their first game of the 2014 world cup. Each US player possesses a soccer personality that allow them to fill roles for the team. The soccer personality is rooted deep in the player; as it is part of their overall personality, characteristics, attitude, and their physical characteristics. They developed their skill set because their soccer personality lead them in that direction. Youth coaches can help foster the move to the direction of player develop of each type of soccer personality.

Below is a chart of each starting player, the role they played, primary responsibilities, their must-have skill set, and ideas of how youth coaches can help develop these roles. Continue reading



While watching U7 and U8 games, I became very concerned with the number of coaches who planted a player in front of the goal.  I asked some of the coaches ‘How much fun is this player having?’.   Planting players in front of the goal is not only boring for this player, no development occurs.  At all ages players need to be connected to their team mates.  Lack of connection occurs at all levels of the game. Continue reading

Finishing the Half Chance

Finishing the Half Chance

The half chance is a term that is used to define a chance at goal that not all players see, and is lost quickly if not taken immediately.  Half chances occur unexpectedly and players need to be trained to be on the lookout. Continue reading

Functional Training: Holding Midfield Player

Functional Training: Roles of the Holding Midfielder

The major difference between average and above average teams is the holding midfield player. A good holding midfield player stops the opponent’s attack early and distributes the ball effectively to keep his/her team on the attack. This position is the new sweeper. Continue reading

Connecting Midfielders to Forwards

Connecting Midfielders to Forwards
Many teams observed over the past week failed to combine their forwards with midfielders in attack.  The problem can be seen in from two different perspectives.  Forwards often turn and attack in numbers down situations without looking to combine with midfield players.  On many occasions midfield players do not support the forwards once the ball has been played up the field.   Players need to understand that the team attacks as one unit. Continue reading

Channelling in Defense

Very few teams channel the ball.  Some of the teams that do use the tactic of channeling the ball use the tactic incorrectly.  Defenses should channel the ball into the middle of the field in the attacking and middle third.  Your team has help in the middle of the field and the space is compact.  When you channel the ball towards the sideline you put your player in an even numbers or numbers down situation.  The ball needs to be channeled towards the sideline in the defensive third. Continue reading