Advice for a U14G Playing Forward 1st Time

Discussion in 'Coach' started by gwebster, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. gwebster

    gwebster New Member

    Aug 30, 2002
    Bethany, CT
    My daughter returned to her club team after playing freshman high school ball this fall. The team has a new coach. After watching her in practice, he observed that she was fast, could dribble, and could use both feet. He told her she'd be starting at forward for him. They have a game tonight.

    Now she hasn't played forward in several years, since in-house rec ball, and I think the coach is aware of this. Still, she's worried about not knowing what to do on the field. Any advice for her?

    My advice to her so far has been 1) ask the coach if he has any specific tasks for her and 2) hustle hustle hustle. Basically, just trying to keep it as simple as possible, since she's playing tonight.
  2. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah. Get used to your teammates and coaching blaming you for the loss if you miss a couple of shots. :(

    Besides that -- anticipation and aggression! My son moved from midfielder to forward this year. He found off-the-ball movement to be much more challenging for a forward. At midfield, it's a matter of shifting to maintain team shape, to maintain the angles. He found that to be quite easy and he was always open. At forward, it's about deception & timing of runs. He's still not very good at that. The other major change was the increase in physical play. At midfield, sure, good hard play is required. But at forward, much success is due to throwing your body into a fray, to winning loose balls vs. multiple defenders, to getting a head onto the cross. He's still working on his bravery, too.
  3. uniteo

    uniteo Member+

    Sep 2, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Keep moving off the ball. Not just up and down but diagonally and across the field. She wants to get in good scoring position, yeah, but she also wants defenders to lose track of her.

    And don't be afraid to make runs on her own. The girls I coach seem to be unwilling to start a run unless they get a hand-written invitationn from someone with the ball. Look, the idea is to create the action in a space and at the time YOU choose. 5 out of 10 runs your teammates won't see, 3 of the other 5, they won't pass to you. It's those 2 times out of 10 when you create havoc and have good chances (assuming your teammate can deliver a useful ball).

    Defensively, her job is now to try and force a bad pass or steal the ball in a dangerous spot. She doesn't have to be careful defensively, she wants to create chaos. So when the other team's defenders are on the ball, FLY at them, make them nervous, and panicky and make them boot the ball to your teammates, or maybe even to you.
  4. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Right. It's hard for those who have played further in the back to get into the habit of being reckless. As a forward, it doesn't matter if you get beaten, time and time and time again, when you're near the opponents goal. Gamble like hell. Terrify the opponents. Be a destructive force.
  5. gwebster

    gwebster New Member

    Aug 30, 2002
    Bethany, CT
    Great advice guys, thanks! I'll let you know how things go tonight.
  6. Benito

    Benito Red Card

    Aug 25, 2004
    I think her club teams coach did not do his job in preparing her to play the striker position. I think you #1 suggestion is a good one. if the coached prepared her she would not have to ask your number one. On your #2 yes.

    On your #2 if her team loses the ball she should stay in a dangerous area up top until the opponent makes their second completed pass up field. Don't leave until then because if a mistake is made by the opponent the ball has a way of finding her if she stays up until after the second pass is completed. You want to see her be a dangerous opportunist up top up until that time. So she should expect the ball to find her open if she stays in a dangerous position at least until the opponent makes their second completed pass.

    The coach should have 3 servers to serve balls to her 20 minutes in every practice 2 wings and a deep inside mid. She has to see everything often so no matter what happens in a game on attack she has seen it all many times before that is how she gets good.

    Can she beat the first defender? Work on that 2 or three moves that she can use to beat the first defender. Get that down then work on beating the first and the second defender.

    Striker is a hard position to play it takes a lot of experience and practice to be great.

    Another is to get off a quick shot with either foot moving to the right or to the left.

    How to two touch and shoot. Shield the defender with the first touch and shoot with the second means she has to play a skillful and phsyical game. Do what ever it takes to shoot and score. Practice that and be able to finish she will be a good looking striker. Someone I would want.
    On defense once she leaves after the opponent made that second completed pass. Take away the opponents dribblers closeset back pass option.

    Opponent has the ball on a flank play the center players blind side so if they try and play out of pressure to the center player your daughter can step up and try to intercept that pass from the center players blind side. If she does she counters if she doesn't get it she would force the center player to play the ball back to the pressure side. The side the original pass came from back to the pressured side. That is a good way to defend for a striker.

    Practice get people to keep serving the ball to her, and she finishes the chance.

    Good luck I hope she does well.
  7. gwebster

    gwebster New Member

    Aug 30, 2002
    Bethany, CT
    Thanks for the advice, Benito! She did well in her first game at striker, I was really proud of her hustle. As soon as she got in the game she carried the ball into the box, fought like a maniac for the ball, occupying 3-4 opponents. Finally, one of the defenders desperately tried to clear the ball--her clearance banged off my kids' face to the feet of an unmarked teammate in front of goal, for the game's only goal.

    The game was played at night, about 40 degrees F with a cold mist rising off the river 50 yards away. Sweet!

    I'm not worried about the coach; he's only had her for one practice. He's done a very good job with this team, particularly in team building, getting rid of cliques and getting the kids to pull for each other. I'm looking forward to the winter season.

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