Tag Archives for " Grids "

Grid System to Train Systems of Play

Our recently released Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1 has been getting lots of attention recently, especially for its use of the "grid system" when setting up training sessions.  I have copied an excerpt from the book which is part of the introduction and explains what the grid system is and how it should be set up and used.

Grid System

The grid system is a coaching aid I developed to improve what I consider to be the number 1 problem in youth soccer, player spacing (shape) on the field. How many times have you watched a youth soccer game where players are huddled round a ball and fight for a kick? A soccer game quickly descends into a frantic display of kick and run. I have created a system that allows anyone, no matter what your level of soccer knowledge, to coach your team how to spread out when playing soccer.

This system is called the Grid System and it increases the efficiency and awareness of how to coach shape within formations. It is a system that breaks down the fundamentals and increases the coach’s and players’ understanding of how to keep the desired shape during play. Simply put, according to the formation (1-3-3-1 or 1-2-3-2 etc.) each player is assigned a grid to play in. Grids are connecting but players have limits as to which grids they are allowed in during any specific play. The grids relate to field positions and stop players bunching whilst allowing them to play in a more structured setting. Using this system, we go through step by step what to do to achieve success, beginning with simple movement patterns through to more advanced tactical choices.

I think it is important to relate everything you do during a training session to a scrimmage, therefore keeping it GAME REALISTIC. Thus terms used in this guide will relate to player and body positions according to the type of play being focused on.

When laying out your grids, each is 10x10 yards in size and each grid connects to another grid (Fig.1).


Whichever formation you choose to coach all bearings are the same. The grid directions are taken when attacking. So, facing the opponents goal, the grid line in front of the players is

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Progressive Soccer Training - One Grid - MORPHING

This is the Introduction to our new book, Progressive Soccer Training in Grids by Dan Minutillo and Rich Rafloski


Too much time is wasted by a coach or staff setting up grid after grid before and during a training session to accommodate different exercises to be accomplished by a soccer team during the session. Morphing during soccer training allows a coach to set up just one grid with very minor modifications for an entire session, changing only the exercises during the session but not usually changing the grid size or shape. This is done by maintaining the same grid for an entire training session (except for the usual scrimmage at the end of the session) re-configuring players, adding target players, adding neutral players, adding wide players or moving goals in and about the grid, allowing variations in exercises by this reconfiguration based on a singular training theme during the session.

To add value to this book, soccer training themes are discussed, one theme per chapter, with the elements of that training theme broken down in detail and analyzed to help the novice or expert coach recognize those elements during the training session. Each technical and tactical training theme is explained in detail. Four small sided games per theme per chapter are provided and described in detail, including

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