Veteran Coach Steve Lapierre talks about coaching small sided soccer team

Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 9:20 PM EDT
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VAN BUREN, Maine (WAGM) - The first official Small sided soccer game was played earlier this week. A veteran coach was on the Van Buren sideline in the 6-2 loss to the Wisdom Pioneers. Steve Lapierre has been coaching for 40 years and he said that coaching 8 v 8 will be an adjustment coaches, players, officials and fans.

Steve Lapierre:” There is a big difference because you are going to have a lot more open field. Where you used to have two or three defenders you might have one. There is going to be a lot mofe open field play and a lot of 18 to the 18. Back in the days when I started we used to play a three person defense. Similar to what we are going to do now with 8 versus 8. It all depends if you want your midfield to be strong or your defense or your forwards. It’s going to be a learning curve.”

Lapierre has been a very successful coach. He has won 10 regional championships and 4 States during his career. He said that conditioning will be a major factor for teams because most fields will be a regulation size field and that means more running.

Lapierre:” The kids are going to have to be in good shape. We are short on numbers. We have 12 this year so there is going to be some subbing, but they will be playing a lot.”

Lapierre says that now that school is back in session, he hopes to have full squad practices and that the team will work on conditioning

Lapierre:” We had one practice with a full team so far. We are still looking to get in shape and do different drills and scenarios about 8 versus 8.”

8 v 8 soccer could benefit teams who have one or two skilled players on offense.

Lapierre:” If you have one or two strong players it is going to be an advantage for you. They are going to be able to have a lot of open field to work with instead of being doubled up. At times it will be one on one.”

Last year Van Buren did not field a soccer team. A few of their players suited up with Wisdom as part of a cooperative team. Lapierre feels that having enough players to field their own team will be good for not only now, but down the road.

Lapierre:” We are trying to build also for the future. We have some young players. We have four or five young players we expect to have here for three years. When you don’t have a team those players lose interest. We are glad to be able to play and build for the years to come.”