Hey Coaches! Our first week went great, and kids seemed to have fun! I enjoyed coming around to each team and seeing the giggles and smiles on your player’s faces. Every week our goal is to have fun, and to encourage our players. The more fun they have, the more they will learn -even if that’s just how to run around within a square, or kick a ball to their friend. These are the building blocks of strong players.
As your team shows up give them a ball and have them play pass with each other, or with a parent.
When you change to a new drill, send the team for a REALLY quick water break (30 seconds) or have them working on their juggling, passing between each other, or be creative in how to keep them occupied. If you give them time to goof off, they will do just that and you will struggle to get their attention back.
Rory Luxmore, our head referee will be coming by at the following times to talk about rules of the game, and answer any questions you or the player's may have. This will be about 10 minutes:
5:20 U-8 girls
5:40 U-8 boys
Make 2 lines, Placing cones 10 yards apart from each other
players X ----------------------------------X
10 Yards apart
Have players line up in 2 single-file lines with equal numbers in each.
Have them start at the first cone, and work toward the second cone. Demonstrate and call out the follow: do each 2x, have next player go when player in front is half way through
- Light jog from cone 1 to 2
- High knees
- Heel kicks/ Butt kicks
- Open the gates (talk to me if you don’t know what this is :) )
- Close the gates (talk to me if you don’t know what this is :) )
- Kicks straight out
- Kicks across the body (swing arms and upper body opposite direction of kick)
- Touch the toes (bend down, straight leg, no bending knees and reach as far as you can. Try reaching with left hand to right foot, right hand to left foot)
- Squats (take 2-3 steps between each)
- Full sprint from cone 1 to 2
Watch this youtube clip for an idea of what it should look like, not all are in the video
1. Box work
- We did this last week, but it is good to teach the players how to warm up properly and to get a good touch on the ball before working on other techniques.
Make your grid (however large you want) and give each player a ball.
- Start with dribbling around the box. Encourage players to change direction and not just go around in a circle
- Remember to take lots of small touches, and not big touches. The ball should never be more than 2 feet away from you at any time
- DO NOT use your toes, use the inside or outside of your foot
- As they get better at this, yell “stop” and have the players stop in place. Each time they are getting the hang of things, or you need to switch it up, do this and demonstrate one of the follow:
- Turn: Place foot on ball and roll it backwards as you turn
- Sit: Sit down on the ball until the coach says “up”
- Cut: With the outside of your foot, wrap your foot around the ball and push it in another direction (if they struggle with this one feel free to skip it)
- Change: Swap balls with another player by running up to them and gently passing the ball
- Outside: leave your ball and run to a cone on the other side of the box and run back to your ball
- Etc… Be creative. This is all about getting the players moving, and as many touches on the ball as we can.
1. Numbers Passing
In your grid, split your team into 2 groups. Give pinnies to one team. 1 ball per team (so only 2 balls will be used)
- Start with having the pinnie team only pass within their team, and the shirt team only passing within their team. Encourage movement around the box. No standing. Also encourage them to call out the name of the person they are passing to. We want them to talk lots.
- Once they get the hang of it, number each group (1-?). Have them pass in that order (pinnies pass from play 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4 etc…, same with the shirts)
- Change things up by putting a line of cones down the middle, have Even numbers on one side, and odds on one side. Each pass should now be going across this center line. Make sure players around just standing waiting for the pass, but are running around until someone calls out their name.
- Change things up again by making the 2 teams into 1 team again and numbers them 1-? And do the same as previous. Now there are more people, and players must pay attention. Encourage them not to just stand, but always move and find the space.
- Change things up by making them do it backwards
2. Find the Gap
This is similar layout and drill to soccer tennis that was in the blog last week and some of you did, but a little simpler to help our players practice moving the ball between themselves, and “finding the gap” to pass through to maintain possession of the ball.
-In your grid, split it into 3 equal areas as pictured below. If you made your grid 15yards by 15 yards than these areas should be 5 yards deep by 15 years wide.
-Split your team into 3 equal groups. If you do not have enough for 3 groups than just do 2 and have parents act as defenders in the middle
-The goal of the attackers is to pass the ball 5 times before they can try and pass it through the middle to the other side of attackers. They must stay in their area, and make a minimum of 5 passes before they can play the ball to the other side. If they get it through the defenders in the middle, then they get a point and the game keeps going
- The goal of the defenders is to get the ball. All of the defenders stay in the middle of the grid and try to block that final pass.
-If the ball goes out the round is over and the other attacking team gets the ball. Switch after each attacking team has had 3 turns, and rotate the defenders with an attacking team.
- The coach will play to ball into the attacking team.They must take a first touch, and play the first pass to one of their team mates before the defenders enter.
-This will work on their first touch, movement, and most of all, working as a team.
-Try and keep things moving as fast as your can. It may take a few minutes and tries for the players to get the hang of what’s going on, but when they do they will love it! Keep things moving quickly and energetic and play the balls in quickly. The less time standing around the more fun every one will have.
- Change things up by introducing a defender that can only enter after the first pass. Once you have a defender, only make the attacking team make 3 passes.
3. Channel Game
Make your grid (I suggest 20x20 for this one). On each side, make a channel 3-5 yards in from the side (see below).
One each end, put a Pop-up net (I will bring them out on the field and they will be in a black cart with other equipment) for a goal.
Split team into 2 team, 1 with pinnies.
Before a team can score, they must have one player receive a pass while in the channel and pass it back out of the channel. This is to help the team use the width of the field rather than just stay in the middle of the field. Extra points if they score off of a direct cross that results in the goal.
- Change things up by making them pass into and out of each channel, or make every player have to touch the ball before the team can score.
If you have time at the end, allow them to keep playing this game, or take the channels out and just let them play a scrimmage, encouraging them to use the width, make lots of passes while finding the space, and to talk lots while calling out each other’s names.