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AYSO Region 12 South Torrance



“My team is really strong and is often many goals ahead early. Understanding a blowout doesn’t really help anyone, so what can I do to contain it within reason?”


This is a delicate topic but an important one. From a coaching perspective, the challenge is not to penalize the winning or scoring team – winning is the purpose of the game after all. We also don’t want to humiliate or discourage the opposing team that is being easily beaten.

Here are a few pointers for consideration:

•           Coaches should be proactive as early as possible if they see an obvious disparity. Once a game gets to 0-4 or 0-5, opponents will, at most levels, struggle to comeback.

•           The winning team should not be penalized, e.g., stopping scoring.

•           The losing team should not be patronized, i.e., using blatant efforts to “level the playing field,” like playing three players down.

Rather, we should look at some proactive and challenging coaching conditions for coaches before the score is out of hand.

Here are some ideas:

•           Rotate players’ positions on the winning team (e.g., GK plays striker, strikers play GK/defender, etc.)

•           Introduce a specific number of passes to score – a reasonable challenge that is less noticeable. Plus, you’ve got to start over at “one” every time the opposing team touches the ball.

•           Set a midfield boundary – tell your offensive players they can’t cross midfield to help the defense. This lets the opposing team have a numbers advantage. Tell your defense the same thing: not to cross midfield to help the offense score.

•           Balance the line-up: Limit the number of perceived stronger players being on at the same time.

•           Ball needs to be played “wide” before being put into the offensive area.

•           Selected players can only shoot using their weaker foot.

•           Players must perform a specific turn or move, e.g., step-over before shooting.

In actuality, there is no guaranteed way to lessen a blowout or ensure it doesn’t happen; however, a proactive awareness and effort by the winning coach can help lessen the impact. It should also be noted that prioritizing “development over winning” from day one could help the player’s perspective.

Scott Snyder – AYSO Director of Programs and Education (excerpt from May “Hey Coach”)

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AYSO Region 12 South Torrance

PO Box 10437 
Torrance, California 90505

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 310-997-0227
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