TOPIC: 6-10YR OLDS TRAINING GAMES
6-10yr Foolproof plan for 1st practice 2 years, 10 months ago #746
A foolproof plan for your first coaching session
This session plan is designed for coaches setting up a new team between the U6 to U9 age groups and meeting the players and their parents for the first time. The objectives of the session are to provide a fun and engaging introduction to soccer to the children, and to encourage parents to sign their children up for your new team.
I am assuming the session will last about 60 minutes and will be held outdoors. I also assume you will not be choosing your players according to their ability. There will be an article on how to hold try-outs (trials) in a future edition of this newsletter.
The groundwork for a successful first session is laid several days before you meet the players. Parents need to receive information about the session at least a week before it takes place.
Make sure the parents know:
Where the session will take place.
The start and finish time.
What the children need to wear (boots, if the grass is likely to be wet, and shinpads).
That their children need to bring a drink.
What you will do if the weather is bad (provide your cell phone number).
Provide a consent form that they complete and bring with them.
You can download a customised consent form from footy4kids.co.uk
Make sure you have at least one ball for every player and enough cones to set out several small training areas. You will also need training bibs in four different colours and some portable goals (or poles/traffic cones). Ensure you have enough help on the day. Aim for a ratio of one coach to every eight players.
On the 'big day'
Get to the training ground early and set out several playing areas. You need one 20 yards by 25 yards area for every six players you are expecting.
As the players and their parents turn up, introduce yourself, ask them their names and offer the children a ball to play with while they wait for everyone to arrive.
When everyone has arrived, ask the children to put the balls back in the ball bags and get them together so you can introduce yourself and thank them for coming. Tell them what they are going to do (have fun), how long the session will last and (most important) where the toilets are.
1. The warm up
Explain why players need to warm up before training sessions (to get their bodies and minds ready to play soccer). Then move the children to one of the playing areas. Demonstrate how you can move around the area with a ball - walking, jogging and turning - and ask the children to copy you. If possible, they should try to touch the ball with every step they take.
Then play Anatomy dribbling - it's a great ice breaker and parents love it!
Finally, ask the children to move around the area with a ball and then, on your command, get into groups of 2, 6, 9, 7 etc. Finish on a number that gives you four groups and tell the players they are now in their teams for the next game.
2. Let's all steal the ball!
Put all your balls in the middle of the same playing area. Place the groups at the four corners of the area. When you say 'go', one player from each group runs to the middle of the area, collects a ball and takes it back to their corner. Then the next player goes.
Repeat until there are no balls left in the middle. The winning team is the one with the most balls in their corner. Very young players can carry the ball. Older players can dribble with it.
After a couple of rounds, tell your players they have 30 seconds to steal balls from the other teams' corners. Again, the winning team is the one that ends up with the most balls.
3. Drinks break
You can relax too - it's going really well.
4. Now it's time for a dribbling race
Using the same playing area, your teams stand next to a cone on one of the touch lines facing a cone on the opposite line. Use one ball per team.
The first player in each team dribbles their ball around the opposite cone and runs back with it until they get within passing range of the second player in line. Note: With six-year-olds, this might be three yards. With eight-year-olds, it could be 10 yards or more.
As soon as they are within range, the ball carrier passes to the next player, and they run around the far cone. The first team to complete the race is the winner.
5. Play soccer
Hopefully, you already have four teams of three or four players. If not, you will have to split the children until the team size is four or less.
Now all you have to do is put goals at the end of each playing area. Give different coloured bibs to the teams and let them do what they came to do - play soccer! Don't even try to coach during these games. Applaud everything and let the children enjoy themselves.
6. Cool down
Take the children for a slow jog around one of the playing areas, shaking your arms and legs as you go. Chat with them while you're doing it. Tell them how well they've done!
7. Session review
At the end of the session, gather everyone together and review your objectives.
Did the children have fun? Of course they did.
Will they sign up for your team? I'm sure they will.
All you now have to do is hand out sign up forms to all the parents and look forward to seeing them again next week. Job done!
COPS & ROBBERS 2 years, 10 months ago #750
Cops and robbers
This simple and fun game encourages your players to work as a team and develop their core soccer skills.
To improve passing, defending and shooting skills.
For a squad of 12 beginners, create a circular playing area about 20 yards across. Make it smaller for fewer or more skilful players.
Place a small goal (ideally with a net) in the middle of the circle. Split your squad into two groups with a ratio of three to one. If you have 12 players, for example, you should now have one team of nine and one of three.
How to play:
The team with the fewer players (the cops) defend the goal from the larger group (the robbers). When the robbers win the ball, they try to score in the goal. If they succeed, the player who scored joins the cops.
The robbers win the game if they all become cops within a set time, say five minutes. The cops win if they can score a set number of goals in the same time.
6-10YRS Work together to score 2 years, 9 months ago #768
Work together to score
This simple game allows your players to improve their teamwork in attack and tackling in defense.
To improve combination play, passing, receiving, decision making and tackling.
Number of players:
The whole squad.
Create a 20 yards by 10 yards playing area for every three players in your squad. Have a cone goal at one end. Two players (an attacker and a defender) start near the goal. The third player (another attacker) is placed at the other end of the playing area.
How to play:
A ball is passed to the attacker opposite the goal. He dribbles the ball towards the goal and works with the other attacker to get past the defender to score. The defender scores if he can win the ball and kick it out of the playing area. A ball that ends up out of bounds leads to a restart of your choice.
Play the first to five points and then switch roles.
Limit the attackers to two or three touches of the ball.
Increase the player numbers by trying 3 v 2 or 4 v 2.
Do not interfere with your players' decision making processes while play is going on. Discuss the learning points when the game is over. To begin with, let them get used to looking up to find a target player.
6-10YR Steal the ball 2 years, 2 months ago #879
Steal the ball
– adapted from the English FA's level 1 game, Robin Hood.
This game is great for young players.
It teaches them to lift their heads up and see what is going on around them, encourages good dribbling skills, it's easy to set up and – most importantly – it's lots of fun!
The progression of "steal the ball" can also be used with older players to encourage them to be first to the ball and make quick decisions.
Set up: create a 30-yard square playing area and mark a five-yard square in each corner with flat cones.
Divide your players into four groups and send each group to one of the small corner squares.
Place all the balls in the middle of the playing area.
How to play
On your command, the first player in each group runs to the middle of the playing area, collects a ball, dribbles it back to their team and stops it under control in their box.
When they get back, the second player goes. When he gets a ball back to his team the third player goes and so on until all the balls have been retrieved.
Count the balls up and see which team is the winner.
Now give the players 60 seconds to steal balls from the other teams. They must dribble them back to their corner one at a time. Ball stashes cannot be defended!
At the end of the 60 seconds have another count up and see which team has won round 2.
Dribble with your head up, don't run into one another!
When in traffic, keep the ball close to you. If you have a clear run, push the ball firmly in front of you and run after it.
A ball that isn't completely in a team's square is not counted.
Players have to a do four or five toe taps on a ball in the middle before they can dribble it away.
Players dribble the ball half way back to their team then pass it to the next player who has to control the pass and place the ball in the square before they can go.
Instead of having a pile of balls in the middle, toss a ball into the air. As it is thrown, one player from each team comes out, tries to get possession of the ball and pass it back to their team.
Pass, pass, pass the ball 2 years ago #961
Pass, pass, pass the ball...
As anyone who coaches very young children knows, you don't see much deliberate passing in matches involving four, five or six year olds.
Very young players are totally focused on the ball. They might have a rough idea of where the goal is but they really don't "see" their team mates, even if one of them happens to be in a position where they could receive a pass.
Goals are scored when players force the ball into the opposition's net. There is no subtlety, no clever little touches around the box. And why should there be? The children are playing the game the only way they know how, without constraints, and it works!
But the time comes when even the most skilled player on your team will find it hard to batter their way through the other team's defence.
When children have been playing for a couple of years or so, the gap between the naturally skilful players and the rest starts to narrow and the child that used to dribble past four defenders and score is suddenly running into "brick walls" and losing possession.
That's when youth soccer coaches start thinking about how they can encourage their players to move into supporting positions (places where they can receive a pass) and for the ball carrier to get his or her head up and pass the ball before they are tackled.
The three games I've described below will help your team develop into a good, passing side but it won't happen overnight. Eventually, the day will come when your team manages to string two, three, even four passes together. And that's one of those days you won't forget – the day your team started to play "proper" soccer!
There are certain key skills that must be present before your players can be expected to get their heads up, pass and move to supporting positions.
They must be able to pass the ball accurately and with the right amount of pace over short distances. They must also be able to receive the ball confidently and be able to hold off an opposition player who challenges them for the ball. Developing good peripheral vision is also important.
How to teach all these skills and techniques is described on footykids as well as in previous newsletters:
Receiving (first touch) and shielding the ball
Four common mistakes to watch for:
A hard first touch: the ball should not bounce off the receiver's body. It should be received gently and kept close to their body but not so close as to make it difficult to pass. A ball should not be "trapped".
Not being in line with the ball: many children tend to be side-on to the ball as it arrives, attempt to control it as it passes them and end up missing it altogether. They will find it much easier to get a touch on the ball if they move their body so that they are facing the direction of the ball.
Not choosing the right part of the body to receive or pass with: young players should be encouraged to receive a ground pass with the inside of their foot and direct it away from pressure before passing. Initially, passing should also be done with the inside of the foot. Passing with other parts of the foot can come later.
Inaccurate or weak passing: to improve accuracy and power, your players should be taught to plant their non-striking foot so that it is pointing in the direction they want the ball to go and lock the ankle of their kicking foot as they strike the midline of the ball. The leg which is used to kick the ball should follow-through in the direction of the pass.
How to encourage your players to move after passing.
The first step is to emphasise the need for players to move immediately after they pass the ball. At this stage it is not important where they move to, they just need to move.
Set-up: place your players in groups of four in 15-yard square playing areas with five cones inside it. Each player stands by a cone. One ball per group.
How to play: The player with the ball passes to another player and immediately runs to the spare cone.
Challenge your players to play with speed and accuracy – five minutes without a mistake is a good target.
How to encourage players to move into a position where they can receive a pass.
Once your players have got used to the idea that they must move after passing the ball, it is time to introduce some purpose into their movement.
Set-up: use the same player groups and the same playing areas as above.
How to play: three players try to keep the ball away from the fourth player. Emphasise to your players the need for immediate movement to a place where they can receive the ball after they pass. The key concept is to keep out of the defender's shadow.
How to encourage players to use full width of pitch.
It is rare to see a team of eight or nine year olds make full use of the playing area in training or on match days. The whole match is often played in a narrow channel down the middle of the pitch.
Set-up: play 4v4 on a 30 yards long by 20 yards wide area with goals at each end. Place two players on each touchline just outside the playing area. Their job is to receive passes from players on the pitch and pass back to the team that passed to them. Touchline players can move freely up and down the line. They cannot be tackled.
Make it a condition that goals cannot be scored unless the ball is played to a touchline player during the build up.
Putting it all together.
Play a small-sided game with two conditions: that all restarts are made by the goalkeeper who must roll the ball out and players are limited to three touches of the ball.
Coaching your players to use the full width of the pitch, get out of defenders' shadows and move immediately after passing to a place where they can receive a pass back.
Play games like these for several weeks and you should begin to see an improvement in the way your team plays. Your players will begin to pass the ball more, support each other better and keep possession of the ball for longer periods.
Look out Arsenal!
Re: 6-10YR OLDS TRAINING GAMES 1 year, 8 months ago #1016
This is a game that I use with children aged from five to about 11.
It's good as a warm-up or you can use as part of a session that focuses on dribbling the ball. It's fast, fun, competitive, easy to explain and easy to play.
Number of children: Six to 16.
Equipment required: Twenty or so flat cones and a ball for each player.
Set-up: Create two concentric circles with your flat cones. The inner circle should be big enough for all your players to dribble around comfortably. The outer circle should be between 10 yards away from the inner circle (for six-year-olds) and 20 yards (for 11-year-olds).
Players have a ball each.
How to play: All the players dribble inside the inner circle.
On your command of "cone!" they leave their ball, run round one of the cones in the outer circle, go back to their ball and start dribbling again.
Repeat two or three times.
Then remove one of the balls while they are running to the outer circle of cones.
The player who doesn't get a ball on his return has to complete a small forfeit (such as running around the inner circle) before being given his ball back.
Repeat several times.
Coaching points: encourage young players to dribble with their heads up and try not to bump into each other.
Include commands such as "turn left/right", "stop" and "go" before calling "cone!" Older players can be asked to perform a move such as a stepover.
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