Are all youth soccer leagues competitive?
First of all, let me start by saying that 95% of the people who email me say they are in a very competitive league. The problem is that there is no way that 95% of us are playing in competitive leagues and many do not have a frame of reference outside their league. Most teams don’t play out of competition, play in outdoor tournaments or go out of town to play, how would they know if they are really playing in a competitive league or not? This is why I always try to schedule at least 2 out of league games against teams from 2 different leagues, as well as play out of town tournaments if the parents agree to raise the money. Don’t worry about someone saying or thinking you are playing in a competitive league, it doesn’t really matter if your youth soccer league is “competitive” or not, competition is relative.
My teams have played in leagues where our league teams have won Unlimited National Select National Titles (Top Gun Division) in Daytona, Florida, considered by most to be the most competitive tournament in the country. This league has produced such players as Dave Rimington (Outland), Ahman Green (NFL), Eric Crouch (Heisman), and many others. We have won many tournaments out of town ourselves in various age groups and we have always done well against outside competition. We do very well playing on “competitive” teams, in fact we have a very hard time getting teams to accept those games these days. My system has been used successfully from ages 6 to 14 by hundreds of youth soccer coaches across the country and came only one point away from winning the Jr. Pee Wee Pop Warner National Championship last year in Florida.
So simply put, yes, the Single Wing no Split system works in competitive leagues in the age group you train and against the tactics you mentioned. In the example above, just because all the teams in this youth soccer league use a shaky but aggressive defensive tactic does not mean that they are somehow well trained or “competitive.” Competitive may be the descriptive word used to describe the mental nature of these coaches, but to be “competitive” there has to be competition. In my opinion, the opposite would be true, if all defenses in this league were equal and all used the same unsound tactic on every play. Those defenses and this youth soccer league seem to be very predictable and would be pretty simple to beat with a reasonable amount of competent training. You often see this in youth soccer tournaments, XYZ league beasts that have mistreated everyone in their league, but are affected in state tournaments. They play in leagues where there is little “outside the box” thinking and many of the teams are intimidated by unsound but aggressive tactics. You’d be quite surprised how many blowouts there are in these things when these teams of thugs are up against a well-trained team or one that is not intimidated by such tactics.
Crushing Team Blitzing
By not defending the entire field and grouping all defenders in tight and falling every down, there are no levels of defensive pressure. A simple wedge play is usually quite effective against teams like this, even when they have 10 men on the line of scrimmage. Once the initial defense line is crossed, it is usually a big win. Tight splits as we use negated defensive pressure like this and many plays end up looking like a scene from the movie “The 3003”.
We like to use this kind of defensive aggression against them using “no plays” to spoil their blitz time and execute a lot of trap plays, screens, tight end dump passes (off a fake off tackle) and off straight tackle. careers. What doesn’t work are straight sweeps, deep setbacks, and deep back passes – soccer plays that many youth soccer coaches execute regardless of the effectiveness of the play. Running directly into these types of defenses is almost always effective and something this offense does quite well.
Making moves against teams like this often gives you a lot of numerical advantages and removes defense from outright blitzes or gives you open, flat, or on-screen games. We have even been able to do Jet Sweep on various equipment of this type. I enjoy playing on youth soccer teams like this that come in with a lot of bravery, makeup, and jumping antics, but usually have their tails between their legs by the second quarter. They get very frustrated when they don’t get a ton of negative yardage plays early on or don’t intimidate the offense. I’m obviously not a fan of this backyard tactic, it works only against the poorest and least prepared youth soccer teams. You never see this kind of defense in the big tournaments, those teams almost always recover early.
What is required in your team to defeat this tactic is confidence in your execution based on perfecting a basic set of complementary plays in soccer practice and running all the way north and south. A really well-trained team would have a field day with these kinds of defenses. You can do it effectively even without a large or dominant offensive line in youth soccer.