Academy Coach Course

Coaching Support

When you are working with younger and beginner soccer players, introducing the attacking principle of Support can be done in a fun and engaging way. Here’s how you can simplify, explain and teach the principle of support to your players:

What is it?

  1. The Attacking Principle of Support is a soccer strategy where players position themselves in a way to help their teammates with the ball. They might move closer to the player with the ball to receive a pass or distract opponents, or they might spread out to open up space and create passing options.
  2. Imagine you’re a midfielder, and your teammate, a striker, has the ball. The Attacking Principle of Support would be you moving into a position where you can receive a pass from the striker, should they get into trouble or need an option to keep the ball moving.
  3. Support in attacking refers to providing help to the player in possession of the ball by positioning yourself to receive a pass, draw away a defender, or provide a decoy to confuse the opponents. Think of it as providing backup to your teammate who’s carrying the ball forward.

Why is it important?

  1. Support is essential because it offers options to the player with the ball, preventing them from losing possession when under pressure from opponents. By providing support, we maintain control of the ball, keep the game moving, and increase our chances of scoring.
  2. When players support each other, they create multiple attack options. It makes our team unpredictable and hard to defend against. This increases the chance to break down the opponent’s defence and score.
  3. Support is vital because it helps to outnumber the opponents around the ball, giving us a numerical advantage. This way, we can keep the ball more easily and create more opportunities to attack the goal.

When do we use it?

  1. We need to use support whenever a teammate has the ball. By providing options for passing, we can maintain possession and build up our attack.
  2. Support is crucial when we’re transitioning from defence to attack. This shift can leave the player with the ball vulnerable, so we need to offer them options and ensure a smooth transition.
  3. When the ball carrier is under pressure from the opposition, immediate support is requ

Where do we use it?

  1. We utilize support all over the field. Whether we’re in our own half trying to build an attack, or in the opponent’s half looking for a scoring opportunity, support is crucial.
  2. We use support particularly in crowded areas where the ball carrier might struggle to keep possession. This includes areas like the midfield or near the opponent’s penalty box.
  3. On the wings, support is also important. A player out wide with the ball can benefit from a teammate coming close for a pass, or another making a run into the box for a cross.

Who does it?

  1. Every player on the team needs to provide support. Whether you’re a defender, midfielder, forward, or even the goalkeeper, there are times in the game where you will need to offer support to your teammates.
  2. The closest players to the ball carrier should immediately react to provide support. This can mean offering a safe passing option, or drawing away defenders to create space.
  3. Even players not immediately involved in the play should be looking to offer support. This could mean making a forward run to offer a long passing option, or moving into a defensive position in case the ball is lost.

How do we do it?

  1. We provide support by positioning ourselves to receive a pass from the ball carrier. This could mean moving closer to them, or spreading out to create space.
  2. We also provide support by drawing defenders away from the ball carrier. By making a run or acting as a decoy, we can create more space and time for the player with the ball.
  3. Another way to provide support is to move into positions that allow us to maintain possession if the ball is lost. This could mean dropping back into a defensive position, or moving into an area where a loose ball is likely to end up.
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