Where do you play a weak player?

Every team has them. Players who for whatever reason are a little behind their peers. The question becomes, where do you play these players? Conventional wisdom says you play them where they hurt you the least. What do you do?  Please comment

Scott C Scott C (180 Posts)

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Posted by Scott C
Category: Coaching Tips | Comments (7)

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7 Comments in Where do you play a weak player?

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Tom

/ Sep 16, 2009

As song as i can keep the interest in my girls…wherever (exc goalie) they want …alternating positions..show confidence…i’m sure i am in the minority

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Brad Simmons

/ Sep 16, 2009

Your weakest player should still play every postion. It is our job as coaches to surround
them with your better players. I try not to pigeon hole the kids into one spot for fear
of not allowing them to improve as an over all better soccer player. IF you move them
around maybe the kid will find a spot they realy like and excel. I even try to put kids in
key positions at key times (small pep talk before they enter the field). My 2 weakest
players in our first game this year have made an assist and score 2 goals.
Your hope is to build the kids confidence and create a positive playing time for the kid.

I am not saying this works every time and I do coach kids U13.

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Fred Dolan

/ Sep 16, 2009

I had 3-4 players on the team this summer which were behind the other girls in skill level. I didn’t change any of the practice drills to suit them but did start out at a lower level to assess the initial starting point for all.

I played every girl during the season. I made sure that the weaker players were distibuted evenly by positions. Here is my philosophy. I matched up the weaker players with stronger players but gave everyone an equal shot at playing time. It gave them the chance to develop and gain confidence while playing and not feeling like they are the weaker on the team.

I definitely saw improvement in everyone by doing this. The stronger players helped coach the weaker ones on the field and aided them in playing better position.

I am new to coaching, but saw a winless winter team go to finish the year with a Silver Medal in the Conference Finals this summer. After their first league win, I thought I was looking at 18 rays of sunshine. The smile never left their faces all summer.

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coach chris

/ Sep 16, 2009

I place weaker players as my top forward and best players as midfield and wings in order to counterbalance. This has worked very well to date. Many coaches play their weakest players on D or in goal and that I feel is one of the worst soccer mistakes a coach can make. Regardless however of where exactly I place a weak player, I surround that player with very solid players in order to compensate.

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mike

/ Oct 4, 2009

I know this is all to often the case. Even in practice you have strong players and weaker players. I like to run a 3×2 defense. With 2 fulllbacks and 1 sweeper I can use the weaker players as stoppers who have a level in front and behind them.

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Iain

/ Oct 20, 2009

I try not to play them. My team is picked on merit. The weaker players get much less game time and play maybe 1/2 to 1/4 of the game. If you have to play weaker players, I’d stick them up front or on the wing i.e. out of the way as much as possible.

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Coach V

/ Dec 9, 2009

In recreational season play, I play my weakest player at Right Halfback and put my strongest player at Center Half. We play short sided 9v9 at the U12 level. If I play them up front at Forward, I reduce the ability of my attack. At Right Halfback, they are ususally matched up against the opposing team’s left halfback (usually a fair matchup). I won’t play them as defense or goalie (it doesn’t do them any good or me any good.) At halfback, they learn offensive and defensive skills. I don’t like to move them around because they don’t learn the skills and instincts to play at one position. When you move them around a lot, they never get comfortable anywhere.

Usually at halfback they have more opportunities at touching the ball, than they would at forward, and I always have my stronger player there to help balance it out. Even when I have 2 weak players on a team, when they are both in the game together, they both play halfback with my strongest player in the middle.

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