It doesn’t take much to impress a 9 year old.

A little knowledge will take you a long way with kids. Assuming you are training using Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule, and focusing on Trap – Pass – Move you will have established yourself as a coach who knows something about soccer. If you do your homework and pick up a few bits of information before and during the season you will become THE expert.

Here’s an example and a true story.

Last season we had a team comprised of mainly new players, new to my coaching. We had fun, did well and the players progressed in their skills. We usually ended practice with 30 minutes or so of scrimmage and when needed I would participate to even the sides. (This reminds me to write a post on Coach Participation in Practice. Look for it later.) This was a day I’d play along.

We split up playing 7v7 on a full field.

“Hey, we have six playing the field how ’bout we use a Brazilian Box?”

I got puzzled looks from my team so I explained the Box formation.

Our entire practice season had revolved around small touches, control of the ball and the style of play found in Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, etc.

“Wow, coach knows everything about soccer.”

I smiled. I’m sure he followed it up with the word genius but I got distracted by a butterfly or something.

The point is, with a little research, a little reading and watching, like you’re doing now, you too can appear to be a wealth of knowledge and an expert.

Oh, you probably don’t want to be using the Brazilian Box unless you have a very experienced team. This formation relies on very technically skilled players particularly in the mid field. It incorporates one or two touch passes, give-n-goes, shifts and movement.

Stick with a 4-4-2 Diamond, 4-3-3 or W-M (when playing 11v11) depending on the skill-sets your players have. Remember to adjust your system to fit your players or if you have the luxury of picking players, run a system you prefer and recruit players who fit your philosophy.

If you are new to coaching Trap – Pass – Move was written for you. It contains information that you will find helpful including mental development of youth players, drills, systems and the whys behind them. It’s short with little fluff, just down to earth soccer coaching information that helped make our teams very good.


The Brazilian Box formation
The Brazilian Box soccer formation
The Brazilian Box soccer formation
Rocky at the Candle Cafe

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