Kicking and Shooting.

Posted by John on Dec 12, 2019

To send the ball where you want it to goal, whether to another player or into the goal, you need to strike the ball with just the right amount of force and with the correct part of your foot.

Pass and Shoot by using this part of your foot

To kick the ball with force, plant your non-kicking foot next to the ball and swing your foot through the ball.  This follow through is critical to getting the full force of you foot transferred to the ball.  Kicking the ball above the center will keep the ball moving on the ground.  To get the ball to move off of the ground, kick it below the centerline of the ball.

 how to kick the ball on the ground or in the air
The point of contact for a long, lofted pass or a shot on goal should be the laces of your shoe.

When shooting:
     -keep your eye on the ball
     -lean into the kick
     -put your arms out for balance
     -plant your foot next to the ball
     -bring your kicking foot all the way back
     -snap your knee at contact with the ball
     -follow through with your toes going through the ball towards the palm of your opposite hand.
Plant your foot 

For shots on goal, follow every shot and quickly move in after it.  Assume that you are going to miss and be there to kick in the rebound.  The ball might go in the goal or it might rebound from the posts, other players, the goalie, or even the referee.  Follow through on every shot.  Do not stand still and watch the ball – chase after it!

follow your shot - get the rebound - score

If the Goalkeeper is standing in the center of the goal, shoot for one of the corners.  If the Goalkeeper is gaurding one side of the goal, shoot for the other side of the goal.

shoot at the goal - not the goalie

Basic Field Strategy

Posted by John on Dec 9, 2019

What do you do when your team has the ball?

When your team has the ball near your goal you should first safe guard your goal.  If there is any risk that the other team could score, you should use a clearing kick to move the ball out of the back zone and into the middle zone.  If you have the ball in control, pass the ball up the field.

When your team has the ball in the middle zone you should maintain possession of the ball and move it into the forward zone.

In the forward zone you should shoot at every opportunity.

what to do when and where on the field

What do you do when their team has the ball?

When their team has the ball near your goal you need to stop them from taking shots.  Use a clearing kick to move the ball out of the back zone and into the middle zone.  You may even need to kick the ball out of bounds to prevent a shot on goal.

When their team has the ball in the middle zone you should try to slow down their forward progress as you look for an opportunity to steal the ball.

In the forward zone you should attack the ball as quickly as you can.  Do not hesitate, do not give them time to think, force them to pass the ball to another player or steal the ball from them.  Keep the pressure on.

Attack! Force the play!

 the flow of the ball on the field

Where do you send the ball?

When the ball is near your goal, the ball needs to be moved to the side of the field, away from the goal.

When the ball is in the center of the field, the ball needs to be moved into the forward zone to create scoring opportunities.

When the ball is in the forward zone, it needs to be passed in front of the goal to a player positioned to shoot on the goal.


Posted by John on Dec 8, 2019

Shielding means to protect or “shield” the ball from your opponents.  To shield the ball from the other team you need to keep your body and feet between the ball and the other teams players.  Keep the ball and your feet moving to protect the ball from the other team’s kicks, pokes, and prods.

basic shielding 

As you advance in skill, you can continue to shield the ball while dribbling by keeping the ball on the side opposite your opponent.

shielding while dribbling

Traffic Lanes – Positions for the Very Young

Posted by Coach John on Dec 6, 2019

For the very young or first time players learning where to go and what to do in soccer is not always clear. The soccer field is large. You know where their goal is and you know where your goal is, but where should you be?

Having a defined position on the field and being able to locate that position are fundemental skills that need to be learned. What seems simple from the sidelines becomes a complex task for the youngest of soccer players. Without this direction what you usually find is this:

Soccer Dust Cloud

One possible solution to managing traffic on the field is the traffic lane concept.

Traffic Lanes

The playing field can be divided into three traffic lanes. Each player is assigned to a lane and is responsible for what happens in that lane.  He is allowed to leave his lane if there is a need to, but he should get back to his lane quickly and spend most of his time there.

The three lanes are labeled belowas the left lane (facing the target goal), the goal lane, and the right lane. No matter which lane you are assigned to, you will need to play offense (attacking) and defense (protecting) as you move up and down the field. By staying in your lane, you can cover a greater amount of the field. If you are not in your lane, you will be leaving a hole for the other team to go through! So, stay in your lane.

Traffic Lanes


Posted by John on Dec 5, 2019

Tackling is when you block the ball with your foot to stop or take it away from the other team. You need to attack the ball and not the other players foot.

winning possesion by tackling

The idea is to seperate the ball from the other player and thus win the possesion of the ball for your team.  Care must be taken not to hit the other player as this will result in a penalty (if you are playing with referees). It is especially important not to injure the other player!


Posted by John on Dec 4, 2019

Trapping the ball means to stop the ball and holding it with the top of your foot.  The reason that you might want to trap the ball is to hold it for a short pause while you decide whether you need to dribble the ball, shoot at the goal, or shield the ball.


Dribble, Trap, Pass or Shoot?

Posted by John on Dec 3, 2019

A player needs to constantly think about what to do.  You should be thinking “do I dribble, trap, pass or shoot?”

When passing, a player needs to choose between forward left, forward right, straight forward or back.

which way to pass.

When do you dribble? You should avoid dribbling in front of your own goal.  In front of your own goal you should only be thinking “clear, clear, clear!” You should consider dribbling down the sideline in the mid section of the field. You should definitely dribble in front of their goal.

The decision to dribble will depend on whether you are being challenged for the ball or not.

when to dribble

When do you pass?

You should avoid passing in front of your own goal. Around or near your goal you should not make any risky passes. If you find the ball in front of your goal you should give it a good, hard, clearing kick and send it towards the side of the field and up field our of the “Clearing Zone” and into the midfield and shooting zones.

When you are in the center zone on the sideline you should make low risk passes to move the ball up the field.

When you are in front of or near the other teams goal you should shoot or pass the ball in front of their goal.

pass no pass zones

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Posted by John on Nov 18, 2019

Dribbling is what we call moving the ball with our feet.  The purpose of dribbling is to move the ball from one spot on the field to another.

A dribbler needs to:

1. Keep the ball under control.

2. Keep the ball close to his feet.

3. Be able to quickly change directions.

4. Be able to quickly change the pace (or speed) the ball is moving.

A good dribbler can:

1. Keep the ball until a team mate is in a clear position to receive a pass.

2. Get past a defender to assist in an attack.

3. Clear himself for a shot on goal.

The ball should be touched on the side of the toe using either the top, inside, or outside of the shoe.

touch the ball here

Dribbling Slow.  Dribbling slow allows for a greater amount of control over the ball on each step.

Slow Dribbling 

Dribbling Fast.  Dribbling fast allows the player to move quickly across the field.  The player will touch the ball on every two or three steps.

Fast Dribbling

Don’t hit the ball hard.  Hit it sharp and quick.  Work on having a light touch to keep the ball moving.  Remember to stay not more than one step away from the ball at all times.

When dribbling, it is important tokeep the ball close to the player to prevent the other team from stealing the ball.

dribbling awareness 

Be aware of your surroundings.  While dribbling, watch the ball and watch the field.

Remember to keep the ball moving.

Don’t forget to practice, practice, practice!

Basic Passing

Posted by John on Nov 16, 2019

For the youngest players, basic passing is done by hitting the ball with the inside of your foot using your leg like a hockey stick. 

hockey stick pass

As skills improve, the player will gain confidence to pass while dribbling and occasionally pass while using the outside of his foot.

 touch the ball here

Welcome to Start-Run-Win Soccer!

Posted by admin on Nov 14, 2019

Start, Learn, Coach, Play, Run, Shoot, Score, Win! Play Soccer!

See me juggle the ball here!

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