It’s that time again – soccer season just started and I bet when the club asked for volunteers everyone took two steps back while you stood still!
Congratulations you are the new volunteer coach!
Don’t fear, working with hundreds of youth soccer teams we have developed four tips that guarantee your practices are fun and effective.
But first, did you know that Anytime Soccer Training has over 5,000 100% follow-along training videos and over 101 fun soccer games?
Coaches love it because they can assign training homework and track who does it.
Regardless if your child is just starting out or trying to make an academy team Anytime Soccer Training has them covered. Click the image to learn more.
1. Decide on a consistent practice format
You want your players playing soccer; not trying to figure out what’s next. It doesn’t have to be rigid at all – but a simple routine of a few major areas will help make a practice run more efficiently.
When I worked in middle schools, we began each day with Morning Work. The students had an option to choose between four different activities, but everyone knew to come in and quietly get started.
This simple routine gave the teacher a few extra minutes to prepare and kept the students busy.
In soccer, this could take the shape of a fun activity, a technical block, and ending with a game. Anything is possible.
2. Start Every Practice with a Tag Game
Now that you have decided to use a consistent format, the first activity needs to be a hit.
As we wrote in the eBook entitled Become a Rec Coach Super Hero! there is no better way to start a practice than with several rounds of tag.
I usually start with a few tag games without the ball. Then, repeat the same tag games (for the most part) while adding a ball. That way, the kids are already familiar with the rules which allows for more time to focus on the actual skills of dribbling, passing, and finishing.
With a little imagination, you can incorporate dribbling, passing, and finishing in a single tag game!
3. Disguise Pressure with Racing and Chasing Games
Every kid loves to race, chase and tag each other. So turn that instinct into a fun way to add pressure that’s relevant to game-like situations.
Dribbling Cone Weave Example
First, teach the pattern by instructing each player to run through the pattern without the ball. Then, turn it into a racing or tag game using the same pattern. This is a fun way to reinforce the pattern and get maximum effort from your team. It also has the same benefits of speed and agility drills.
Next, perform the same drill while dribbling. Since the players understand the pattern you can focus on their dribbling technique.
Finally, add the same racing and tag games with the ball. It’s a blast!
5. End Every Session with 1v1 & Small-Sided Games
Small-sided games, 1v1, and dribble tag are the perfect way to give every player loads of game-like touches. It’s also easy to add 1v1 and small-sided games to any technical exercise.
Using the previous dribbling cone weave example, you can ask the players to shoot at the end of the pattern or go straight into 1v1. The possibilities are endless. Just remember to keep things fun and use your imagination.
Check out the below podcast where we share more tips on organizing fun and effective youth soccer practices.