What Players Must Do When They Don't Have the Ball
Playing Every Second the Ball is in Play
In FIFA's soccer games the amount of time each player has the ball varies by the number of players on the field and size of the field. FIFA ball in play statistics show that in an:
In soccer what you do, to help your team, when you don't have the ball is often just as important and sometimes more important than what you do with the ball when you do have it. For example,
When a player doesn't have the ball, they should instantly react to be in the "best position" to:
Time in Support When You Don't Have the Ball
Columns 2, 3 - Statistics from countries in table. m2 is Square Meters.
Column 4 - FIFA Grassroots Football for Everyone - SSG - Statistics.
Column 5 - Time ball is in play divided by number of players in game.
Column 6 - Time in support is time ball is in play less time player has ball.
Row 8 - Futsal Law VII requires clock be stopped when ball is out of play.
Assessments in Support
Initial player assessment games for new teams and periodic ongoing assessments for existing teams reveal each player's tendencies, game understanding, decision making ability, physical condition and ability to play at the time of the assessment; and what they and the team need to work on in training.
In team invasion sports the quickest way to instantly improve a team is to spend up to 50% of practice time over the first couple weeks of practice learning to:
Correctly simple things and making every effort to apply pressure to your opponents makes it more difficult for your opponents to play well, which takes immediate pressure off of your players. Then, with less pressure, your players can start devoting more time to learning the game and improving their skills.
Games for Pre-Teen Players
In soccer players learn and develop far faster playing games in smaller spaces which require complete focus. In many countries children learn by playing Futsal on a court or a small sided version on a small pitch.
To encourage focus, non-stop play and player development younger teams should focus on playing most games with fewer players in a smaller playing area.
Coaching Notes for Assessments
Only tell your players the basic game rules for each assessment game.
DO NOT tell players:
Play each assessment game for approximately 8 to 12 minutes a practice in 2 or 3 early season practices. Insist players focus on playing well. If players play assessment games for too long some players will lose focus and the results will be less useful.
If possible, have a volunteer video tape the assessment games so you can review the video(s) without interruption to make a better analysis of what each player and your team needs to work on to improve.
In Support Assessments
Supporting Teammate with Ball
1st Defender Assessment
2nd Defender Assessment