Hey Coaches! Great job last week with the stations! It know it started off a little choppy as we got things going, but after that first group went through everything seemed to run smoothly and kids were having a blast! I just want to encourage you that we are here to have fun, to be crazy, and to encourage our players. The more we interact with them, the more fun they have, and the more likely they are to continue to play soccer. Be loud, celebrate every goal and every good pass. The kids love it! At this young age a lot of what we are doing is running around and teaching them how to move, how to fall down and get up, and the simply movements of playing soccer (dribbling, kicking, and passing). As I am sure you have noticed the kids are happy with running around in circles and at times it can be hard to motivate them. Be their friend, chat with them, and try to find ways you can encourage them to join in the drill.
As the weather warms up, I suggest reminding your parents to bring lots of water for their children. Also, if it’s warm, make sure you have lots of water breaks. This will help keep their attention as they will get tired because of the heat. Just make sure you make these water breaks short and don’t give lots of time for them to goof off :)
1. Warm Up: Soccer Tag
Players are dribbling around in your grid. Player who is it holds their ball and runs with it, tagging players with the ball. Once tagged, player is frozen with ball under their foot. To be freed, another player must dribble up and pass their ball to hit the frozen players ball, or dribble up and tap their ball to the frozen player's ball.
See the first minute of this video as a demonstration and for further explanation.
2. DON'T CRASH THE CAR
Red Light, Green Light made fun....check out all the variations! You may want to stick with the basics, but if you have a keen crew I would try some of the additions.
3. Soccer Bowling
Partner players together or have children work with their parent. Set up a ball on top of a disc cone, one for each pair. Players are taking turns back and forth, trying to knock the ball of the cone by shooting their ball at it. Appoint a parent or two to help place the balls back on top of the cone when it is knocked off. The video is slightly different and they have used it as a passing activity, but can also become a shooting activity. Do a quick demo of proper shooting technique, pointing out which part of your foot players should strike the ball with.
4. NUTS AND SQUIRRELS
In your grid, use your pop-up nets or cones to make "hoarding areas/trees" in the corners of the grid.
Place all of the soccer balls (nuts) in the middle of the grid.
Divide players up equally to become the "squirrels", and start in the hoarding area.
Taking turns, players are trying to get as many "nuts" as they can from the centre of the grid when you shout "Go!"
When there are no balls left in the middle, coach yells "steal" or (something else appropriate) and then they may try and steal nuts from the other hoarding areas. No defending the nuts!
Start with having the players carry the ball back to their hoarding area. After they understand the game, progress to dribbling the ball back and stopping it in the hoop.
Feel free to also go and take the “nuts” out of the nets and kick them back towards to middle to keep the game going.
5. Freeze Tag (or be creative and think of a different name).
We have done this many times, but the kids love it, and it is a good time filler if you need. Any time we can get the players running around and moving we are teaching them the valuable parts of soccer such as running, finding space, and staying within the playing field (hopefully).
The horn will go at 4:30 to signal you to get ready for your game. The game will start at 4:45. Here is the game schedule: