Playing Formations

The following information details the New York Red Bulls Youth Training Programs philosophy to selecting formations for youth players on game day.
Game day coaching should be educational for a youth player. It is an extension of the training session where transfer of learning should occur. The use of formations should help enhance the learning process of the topics covered throughout the week in training.
  • When choosing a formation, clubs must encourage players, coaches and parents to honor the game and understand a selection of formation is for player development. This is a player centered philosophy.
  • Formation selection puts players in a role and they must then make their own technical and tactical decisions.
  • Formation selection on match day should help bring out the learning outcomes the coach focused on in the sessions that week.
  • Clubs must encourage players, coaches and parents to rotate their players in all positions. Player rotation will allow the player to learn from all perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of the game.
  • Once the player crosses the white line, it is their game. The position or positions they play should begin developing the player to move to the next level of the game, including moving up to age appropriate numbers: 4v4, 7v7, 9v9, to 11v11.

The following information provides formations which will help a youth player develop their game. Each formation provides a different strategy for the coach to help maximize the development of the players. Click on the links below for age specific formations information: