Coaching the Swarm

If you decide to follow the swarm approach, you can permit most of the players to be a part of the swarm (i.e., to play like midfielders), and choose one or two to stay a bit ahead ofthe swarm ("Lead Bee" - or forward) and one or two to follow behind the swarm ("Ball Eater" or defender). Because the regular Bees tend to do the most running, you need to give them the right to switch out with the front/rear players if they get tired.Additionally, you need to give the front/back players the right to require a switch if they notice that somebody is getting tired. By adopting these rules, you introduce the idea of automatic observation and support for teammates - which is always a good idea. Of course, you need to watch that you don't have one player who is always trying to be the back or front player (and, if needed, you may need to make a rule that everyone else must get a turn before he can go back - or place some other limits which require that the bulk of playing time be spent in midfield).

Until you develop good passers, most of your goals are likely to come from individual efforts or a simple short lateral pass to a teammate. So, when a Ball Eater gets the ball, it is usually best to simply allowhim to try to dribble it upfield (although you can ask him to try to pass the ball to the Lead Bee if he thinks that this will work). Of course, once a Ball Eater has gone ahead of the swarm, you need to have someone else become a Ball Eater until he can get back. Often, the best approach is to find a reliable observant player to act as Captain, and have this player keep a lookout for when someone else needs to take this job (either by doing it himself or asking someone else to do this).