Hi Coaches! We are into week 6 and it has been great getting out on the field with all of you and seeing you interact with your teams. I say this almost every week, but I feel it’s something that can’t be said enough: We are here to always encourage! Kids love it when we respond positively to them and encourage them in what they are doing. Our players are young and with that they can find a lot of things challenging and frustrating, but when we take them time to acknowledge what they are doing well and encourage them, they will fall in love with the game of Soccer.
According to the weather forecast, it is supposed to be a nice and warm day (finally on a wednesday!). It may be a good idea to email your parents and remind them to make sure their kids have water.
Tonight we will be focusing on dribbling and lots of touches on the ball. As I’ve been watching your team I have been impressed in how well they move the ball (passing the ball up the field) at this age. Many of your players are grasping this idea far before they normally do.
1. Colour dribbling and Stopping
This is a variation of Red Light/Green Light. Start by having players dribble in in your area. Red Light means Stop, Green Light go.
As they get warmed up with this, have them stop their balls with various parts of the body as identified by colors. Example - red is right hand, blue is left foot, rainbow is forehead, etc. I suggest start by just saying the body part first, and then as they get the hang of it assign a colour to that body part. This is a great game for them as it changes how they think about the movements of their body. They have to process what they are doing, which down the road will help them focus more in the game. As we change how our brains associate movement, the less we actually end up thinking about it when it becomes a normal thing (it becomes a “muscle memory” movement).
2. Number Dribbling
Have players jog with a ball at their feet in the same direction. When you call a number, that many players must come together with balls touching each other. Example: the call is three, players must get in groups of 3. Those players unable to form a unit of three do three push-ups or star jumps or…? Be creative :)
3. Keep Away
Create smaller grids, probably 10x10 would be good, but feel free to make them bigger. In groups of three, play 1 v. 2. Start with the 2 plays having a ball, the other player tries to get the ball. The one who has the ball must dribble and keep it. Those who don’t have a ball try to get one. Once they get the hang of it, change it that only 1 players has a ball, and the other 2 are trying to get it.
4. Turn and Burn- dribbling with speed
We did this a couple weeks ago, but is a good one to continue out dribbling, now introduce turning and accelerating.
Divide players into two teams – put them in different colored pinnies One team starts on one end of the grid with a ball each. Objective is for players with the ball to dribble towards the players without, who remain stationary. The coach shouts “Turn” and the players with the ball stop, turn and try to dribble back to their starting line. When the players without the ball here the coach shout “Turn” the players without the ball can release and try and steal the balls of the opposing team before they get back over the safe line. Take turns having both teams being attackers/defenders. Do not eliminate players who lose their ball. Let them have another go.
Variations: Introduce specific turns: big toe turn, little toe turn, pull back, etc.
Split your team into 2 teams and simply have them play keep away. Make sure they are moving and passing.
One way you can motivate them without having a net is to have a coach (or parent) stand at each end (where the goal would be) and the point is to pass the ball to the coach (or parent). Once the coach receives it, they must pass the ball back to the team they got it from (1 coach per team standing opposite each other).
The horn will go at 5:35 to signal you to get ready for your game. The game will start at 5:40. 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: