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Super 7's Shadows


  • To prepare young players for the complexities of larger numbers in team play.


  • To get the players ready and comfortable for the free play in the Super 7’s later.


  • Use a 60-yard by 50-yard field.

  • Goal sizes should be approximately 6-feet x 6-yards wide (be prepared to improvise or use what is available, e.g., small portable goals, corner flags, etc.).

  • Mark in two 20-yard lines with coaching disks - if available use corner flags to emphasize the 20-yard lines.

  • Put in a 12-yard handling box out from the goal and the endline.

  • Explain by showing with a Walk-Through “Offside” (in Super 7’s this occurs in the attacking third of the field). Please Note: A player is offside only at the moment the ball is played forward and will only be offside if there are less than two opponents either level or between the receiving attacker and the goal line (the goalkeeper is usually one of the two).

  • If you have sufficient numbers play Two-Team Shadow:

  • Two teams are organized, but one team (except for the goalkeeper) kneels down while the other team “shadows” though their pattern of play ending with a shot on goal.

  • Then the other team goes, while the first team kneels.

  • After five minutes both teams go at the same time, but from opposite ends each using a ball.

  • Coach synchronizes the play so both teams start together with a ball from the keeper.



  • Use a 3-2-1 system. A goalkeeper: a back three, midfield two and a striker.

  • Limit the players to two-touch to force them to support each other.

  • Give great encouragement for the outside back defenders to go forward (Rule of Thumb: One goes and the other stays) and for the midfield to support the striker by going forward.

  • Be careful it does not become totally unrealistic because of no opposition – in particular in relation to what could be offside positions in the game.

  • Now, here comes the fun, reverse the practice on the way back and interchange positions (see Progressions).

  • Try to rotate all players through the goalkeeper, defender and attacker roles.


U11 Progressions

  • Stand alone activity to familiarize the players with the game, the respective roles and the rules and expectations.

  • If you are not convinced that Shadow is the way to go, don’t use it. Some coaches find it very beneficial. Others are not enamored by this method.

  • Instead you could play a coached 7 v 7 game.

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