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Making adjustments key to good coaching

This is an excerpt from Coaching Girls' Soccer Successfully by Debra A. LaPrath.

During the Game

The coaching staff has many responsibilities during the game. Two important things to pay attention to and be prepared for are the need to adjust the game plan when things don’t go as planned, as well as coach and player conduct. As your team plays, take time (or appoint an assistant coach or other person) to analyze the game so that you are prepared to make adjustments to your game plan at halftime, if necessary.

Pay attention to the entire field, not just the ball, and make notes regarding both your team and the opponent. Following are the types of things you should be on the lookout for to help you make the most appropriate adjustments:

Your Team’s Defense

  • What is the overall shape of your defense (pressure, cover, balance)?
  • Are your players marking goal-side?
  • Are your players making good decisions after winning the ball?
  • Are your players communicating and preventing shots?

Your Team’s Offense

  • What is the overall shape of your offense?
  • Are your players making correct runs with proper timing?
  • Are your players creating and taking shots?
  • Are your players possessing?
  • Are your midfielders spreading the field and changing the point of attack?

The Opponent’s Defense

  • What is the overall shape of the opponent’s defense?
  • Does the opponent look for man-to-man matchups that you can exploit?
  • Are there gaps in the opponent’s defense, and if so, where are they?
  • What are the opponent goalkeeper’s strengths and weaknesses?

The Opponent’s Offense

  • What is the overall shape of the opponent’s offense?
    Does the opponent target a specific player?
    Is the opponent scoring, and if so, how?
    What are the opponent’s set plays, and is there a specific threat (e.g., a long throw)?
  • The more games you watch, the easier it becomes to analyze the field

This is an excerpt from Coaching Girls’ Soccer Successfully.