Dutch Style 4v4 Small-Sided Games

Terry Michler, author of the Dutch Total Football book is the winningest high school coach in the country. He’s been the Head Coach at Christian Brothers College in St. Louis for more than 40 years with more than 800 wins.

Michler’s coaching has been heavily influenced by the Dutch methods and philosophies. As a result, his teams play a lot of 4 v 4 and many of these games are detailed in his book, Coaching Soccer Champions.

Here are a few examples. Some you may be familiar with and others may give you ideas that you can use with your teams.

4 small line goals without keepers
The goals are positioned on the end lines spread to the width of the field.This encourages

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Interview with Remco ten Hoopen – NEC Nijmegen Coach

During the CBC Dutch Tour International Soccer Program recent spring trip to Holland (3-16 to 3-27, 2011), we paid a return visit to the professional club NEC Nijmegen, of the Dutch Eredivisie. We have met a wonderful man there named Remco ten Hoopen. This year we observed his training sessions and had a couple of very insightful talks with him. Remco has been a professional coach at NEC for the last 11 years, and he was a member of the Dutch U17 National team as a player before an injury sent him into coaching. At NEC, Remco’s duties have included: goalkeeper trainer, Youth Technical Coordinator and Youth Coach (U10).

Rob Staggenborg, a journalist who was part of our group, posed the following questions to Remco by email after we returned to the States and Remco answered in great detail.

I was the journalist who was traveling with the American group of players and coaches that trained with you at NEC Nijmegen the week of 20 March. Needless to say, we were very impressed with a few if the
things you spoke about. As I am writing a written article for American audiences, I would like to pose a few questions to you.

1. After the u8s(U10) played the game in which they scored their 100th goal, you spoke to us about one of the players – a black player (#8) – who you brought into the program despite reservations of some of the other coaches. You said with this player “only 100 percent positive with this player.” … Tell us, how difficult was it to break that player of early bad habits that limited him as a player and teammate?

I will try to answer all off your questions you asked me, and I keep doing that as long     as you need it. It’s no problem for me to answer questions and put time in it, because it’s     always for the kids. Development, fun and competition, that’s what sport is all about and if I can share my knowledge with people like you and also people who are reading your articles, it will be win, win and in the future I can learn from people how they react on articles, maybe     meet those people sometime, so we share our knowledge to be a better person, coach and trainer.

I hope you understand my English typing, so you can make a good story of it!!!

The first question I answer is about Vinay Saltani. It’s not an under 8 player but a under 10, born in 2001.

We draft (scout) him from an amateur club just 1,5 mile from NEC. HE was playing in the highest U9 league in the region. We scouted

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Proper Pacing on Passes

Today’s topic addresses the issue of proper pacing on passes.

When passing a ball too many players don’t take into consideration the pace (or weight) of their pass.  In other words, the pass the ball without much regard for how hard or soft the pass should be hit.  Frequently when they see a teammate who is far away they pass the ball but hit it so softly that when the ball finally gets there the defense has had time to adjust accordingly.

On the other hand, there are times when a pass should be hit extremely softly, usually in order to set up the next pass.  For example, a player with the ball might pass the ball to their right in order to set up the second pass to the left.  If the defense is trying to force the ball to the attackers right side (eliminating the pass to the attackers left) the passer might pass the ball softly which allows their teammate to make the second pass a through pass to the left.  See diagram below for an example:

By hitting the first pass soft, it sets up the second pass.  If the first pass was hit hard, it would make the second pass much more

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