Team Success depends on Building a Solid Team

A Youth Soccer Team - (Photo: Flickr.com)

At the youth level of soccer, the spirit of the players is more important than the actual results.  Sure, everyone loves to score goals and feel victorious, but for many children and parents the primary goal of joining a soccer team is to have fun and make friends.  Therefore, here are some tips to keep the game fun and build relationships that will grow throughout the season.

Make sure the team has relationship building exercises during practices.  Everyone knows the passing in a circle drill on the first day of practice where the team learns each other’s names by passing and receiving while calling out the names of the players.  Well, make sure that the practice of communication continues on the pitch during scrimmages and actual games beyond simply day one.

Talking to one another on the pitch is a crucial aspect of the game.  Not only will the vocal communication lead to success as players can alert each other of smart passes or an impending defender, but it also helps to foster the relationships between players and friends that raises team morale.  When a soccer team becomes closer, they will have fun and ultimately play better.

Another way to boost players’ spirit is to encourage passing with drills in practice.  Have the players make runs and feed the ball to one another to instill a full team effort.  A team never succeeds when each player tries to do it all by himself.  They must learn to work with each other.  Professional soccer matches use eleven players to a side for a reason.

Also, use drills that pair the players off into small teams, such as two or three.  Playing small-sided games, the team will learn from their partners and feed off each other.  This way, they will better understand each other’s game and can use that knowledge during matches.  Just be sure to consistently mix up the groups so that they become accustomed with the whole team and not just a few members of the squad.

The idea here is to make sure that everyone knows each other very well.  This way your team will be able to play more as a single unit and work to the common goals of progressing up the field and scoring goals.  Building unity is crucial to any team’s success and will make the entire experience of the season much more fun.  Additionally, you will be sure to find that the season-ending party will be a blast!


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