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Myth #3 - The field is too small; some of my players can kick the ball from one end to the other

Reality: True, but can they dribble the ball and keep possession? Can they pass to a teammate and receive a return pass? Can they circulate the ball between teammates, particularly those at the back of the team and on the opposite side of the field? Can they possess the ball in a purposeful way, or are they limited to kicking the ball away because their close dribbling and passing skills have never been developed? Just as throwing every pass long in football, or trying to hit home runs on every plate appearance in baseball, or driving the ball 300 yards from the tee on every hole in golf are not always the best strategies, kicking the soccer ball 50 or 60 yards to the opponent is equally suspect as a basic tactical approach. Few coaches appreciate this.

“Goalie Wars” is prevented by encouraging playing possession soccer. More passing, more combinations, more control in tight spaces, these skills benefit every player moving forward.


“It’s possible at any time during a player’s career to get into top physical shape, but you can’t teach skills to an old player. Youth coaches should keep in mind that individual skills need to be nurtured from an early age. Players who haven’t mastered the fundamental skills become frustrated because the game gets too difficult for them as they move into higher levels.”

Claudio Reyna, US World Cup Captain