top of page

What are the principles of football?

See a recent article from The FA based on the principles of football. Here at Billy Sharp Football Academy, we believe it's important to teach the children on Sheffield the basic football principles right from the start.

An overview

Football is an invasion game. This means that teams compete to attack their opponent’s territory and score points. Just like any invasion game, football has both attacking and defending principles. These are the foundations that help your team to score goals – and stop them too. Let’s take a closer look. Attacking principles 1. Penetrate Your team should think forward, look forward, run forward and play forward. This can happen alone or with others. If your team can’t go forward, they should try to keep the ball until they can. 2. Get creative Players should try to ‘produce the unexpected’ when attempting to beat an opponent. To do this, they could use their individual skill or combine with a teammate. 3. Use movement During a game, your players might need to lose an opponent, leave space, fill space or go to help a teammate. Effective movement allows this to happen. 4. Support play When working as a group, it’s important that players are always ‘an option’ for their teammates to pass to. Positioning themselves between opponents can help. 5. Create space To attack successfully, your team needs width, length and depth. This will stretch the opposition’s defence. Defending principles 1. Delay In football, your team must slow down the opposition and prevent them from playing the ball forwards. 2. Press If the opposition has possession, your team should apply pressure to the player with the ball. This makes it harder for them to attack. 3. Be patient Encourage your players to take their time and consider their options. Doing this makes them more likely to make a good decision. 4. Provide cover If one of your players is pressing the opposition, their teammates should consider their own position. Are they able to provide backup if the attacker wiggles through? 5. Be compact If your team is defending, players should stay close together and block any gaps in their shape. 6. Get the balance right When your team is well-balanced, players move in tandem. Whatever happens, they don’t get too close together – or too far apart.


89 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page