Academy Coach Course

Why Do Players All Go To The Ball

Watch the video and pay attention to how many times there are two or more players from the same team are within 10 feet of the ball. Watch and see if you can identify the problems it creates and what the outcomes are in the game.

Top 10 Reasons Why Players Converge On The Ball

Instructions yelled at them from the sideline from adults “Go Get The Ball”: Young players often follow the directives of adults on the sideline, whether they are coaches or parents. These well-intentioned but often misguided instructions can lead to players swarming around the ball, as they are simply trying to follow the guidance they receive.

“Go Get The Ball”

There is only 1 ball, and young players want the ball; that’s where the game is to them: For many young players, being close to the ball is equated with being involved in the game. They may not yet understand the importance of positioning, spacing, and team dynamics, so they are naturally drawn to the ball, as it represents the centre of the action.

Only 1 Ball

Mirrored play

If I do what the player with the ball is doing close to them, then I am playing too: In their eagerness to participate and contribute, young players may unconsciously mimic the actions of their teammates who have the ball. This can result in clustering around the ball as they try to emulate successful behaviour.

Too many players

Too many players on a team at young ages: This makes the concept of 1 player to the ball more difficult, as they don’t know who is the closest player. With a larger number of players on the field, it can be challenging for young children to understand and apply the principles of spacing, positioning, and determining who should go for the ball.

Low Confidence In Team Mates

No confidence in the player on the ball. They want to take over; they think they can do better: In some cases, players may swarm the ball because they lack trust in their teammate’s ability to handle the situation effectively. They may believe they can contribute more positively to the play, leading them to close in on the ball.

Want To Help

They want to help their teammate out: Young players may also be drawn to the ball out of a genuine desire to support and help their teammate who has possession. They might not yet understand that crowding the ball can actually hinder their teammate’s options and ability to make effective decisions.

Low involvement

Low involvement in the game; they don’t see the ball enough, so they want to get the ball: Players who feel they have not been sufficiently involved in the game may be more inclined to swarm the ball in an attempt to increase their engagement and participation. They may be seeking opportunities to touch the ball and showcase their skills.

Lack of understanding

Lack of tactical understanding: At a young age, players may not have fully grasped the tactical aspects of soccer, such as maintaining proper positioning and playing within a specific formation. This lack of understanding can lead to players instinctively chasing after the ball instead of maintaining their designated position on the field.

Don’t Want To Be Left Out

Fear of being left out or feeling unimportant: Young players may gravitate towards the ball to feel included in the game and avoid the feeling of being left out or perceived as not contributing to the team’s effort. This desire for inclusion can override any understanding of proper positioning and spacing.

No Spatial Awareness

Limited field or spatial awareness: Young players may have difficulty visualizing and understanding the concept of spacing on the field. This can lead to them instinctively moving toward the ball without considering the consequences for their team’s overall play and positioning.

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