Week 5 already!? This season is flying by! It has been so great to see every team having fun over the first 4 weeks. Remember, our goal is to help teach our players all while having fun. The more fun that they are having the more they will learn (whether they realize it or not!).
One thing that I have been noticing helps at this age is to get the parents involved as much as you can. Think of it almost as a “parent and me” practice. As I’m sure you have all noticed, the attention span of kids at this age is quite small, and it can be a challenge to keep drills or games going. Sometimes it’s tough to even get them motivated. Having their parents (or guardian) with them on the field can help with this. Another way to help motivate your team is to always be vocal. What I mean by this is to always be encouraging them (celebrate every good pass or kick or goal). Talk to your team, get down on their level (get down on your knees while you talk). Have fun. Kids love it when we act ridiculous and crazy. Enthusiasm goes a long ways with 3 year olds. If you’re not having fun, the kids won’t either.
1. Vegetable Soccer
This is one to keep the kids from using their hands, and also to work on dribbling the ball. Start by simply have the players dribble around your area. Encourage Parents to walk beside their child. See who can take the most touches, or who is the fastest. Remind them that there is a set area that they are supposed to be in (this is something we can always be reminding them of).
For each Vegetable, we will be that vegetable and dribble the ball while acting as the vegetable. Encourage them to alway be moving and kicking the ball ahead in front of them.
Carrot - Arms held on our side nice and tight. Think of a carrot, they are tall and straight.
Asparagus - Arms held above our heads with fingers interlaced (holding our hands together). Arms should make a pointed triangle above our heads (just like the top of asparagus)
Tomato - Make a big circle above your head
Lettuce - Hold arms up and straight out making a V. Your arms are the lettuce leaf
Watermelon (Did you know watermelon is actually both a fruit and a vegetable!?) - Make a big circle in front of you with fingers interlaced again
Get creative? What other vegetables can you think of? Be as crazy as possible!
2. Animal Soccer
Have your players choose an animal (change animals as you go). Get the kids of come up with them. Try and get them to think of some animals to act as. A Bird is a great example as they don’t have arms. If you are a bird, dribble the ball while flapping your wings (and make bird noises). If you’re a skunk walk on your hands and feet with butt in the air. Go find a cone and “spray” it. Again, be creative.
Some other ideas: Penguin (do the Penguin Waddle), Elephant (use arm as the elephant's trunk and make noises), snake (lay down and slither (or roll) around while pushing the ball), Crocodile (put arms out in front of you and slap your arms together as if your arms are the crocs mouth).
3. The Wandering Wonder Net
Make sure everyone has a ball. Start with the net in one place, and have everyone shoot their ball into it. After everyone as scored, pick the net up and start walking around with it. Have your players shoot at the net while it’s moving. To start move it and then place it on the ground and let them score. Make it harder as they get better.
4. Treasure Hunt
Take your cones and scatter them around your area. This is the “treasure.” Take one (or both) of the nets and put them in the middle. This will be the “treasure chest.” Tell your players that you lost all of your treasure and you really want it back. Their job is to run around and pick up all of the “treasure” and get it back into the treasure chest. Once they have done it, scatter the cones again, and then scatter the balls. The balls are really special treasure and you want to make sure you don’t lose anything!
4.1 Treasure Hunt with Pirates!
Oh No! The Pirates heard about all of this lost treasure! They are coming to take it all for themselves! The treasure isn’t safe unless it’s in the treasure chest. Have yourself or parents act as the pirates. Have fun, speak like a pirate, be a pirate. Kids love it when we act silly!
5. Balls in the bag
This is really just a way to clean up before the game, but we might as well have fun! Make sure everyone has a ball, and hold your ball bag open on the ground. Have them shoot their ball into the bag. Once all the balls are in, say something like, “what’s that? Oh no! There’s a hole in the bag!” and dumb all the balls out. Do it again, but maybe move the bag a little, or have them stand further back.
The horn will go at 4:30 to signal you to get ready for your game. The game will start at 4:35. If you are the first team listed you are the home team. The away team (second team) will come to you. Remember, the game is about getting lots of touches on the ball. Feel free to add a second ball. Score doesn’t count at all, we want to see lots of touches on the ball.
Here is the game schedule: