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Coaches Post, Issue #003-- teaser here
December 01, 2016

Tips and techniques from the Coaching Post!!

Hi all, Chris from Coaching Kids Soccer here!

This months newsletter piggy backs off what I wrote about last month regarding the psychology of young players.

This month we will discuss how we as coaches make soccer practice fun, develop players and encourage players to practice on their own as well as practice and game tips of the month.

Most youth soccer players...

Develop at different rates physically, mentally and socially. At the younger ages bigger, more athletic kids will dominate physically but this does not make them better soccer players.

So how do we help all the kids regardless of where they are physically, mentally and socially? lets look at...

What Motivates Kids...

Kids show up to practice with all kinds of different motivations - some just want to have fun and be social - practice twice a week and that is it.

Some players come to learn and will play or practice occasionally outside of practice.

Some players get what I call the "soccer bug" quickly - they are highly motivated, practice at home and always have their foot on the soccer ball. This player is developing a feeling and comfort level on the soccer ball and the skills to really see the game which allows them make good decisions.

I know, there is an exception to every rule and some kids have a natural gift athletically and also see the game. This is what we want for all the players, right coaches?

So how do we go about helping players develop?

Coaches can help players develop in a number of ways...

* Patience while the players learn...takes time!

* Teaching and demonstrating good technique.

* Make practice fun

* Make sure the kids get lots of touches on the ball.

* Small sided games: A touch followed by a dribble or pass.

So your players come to soccer practice but are they that player that goes home and...

Practices on their own!

Coaches can provide many good incentives to help kids go out and practice on their own. I like to use good technical demos in my practices to motivate players.

I use my best player to "show how it is done" which tells the other players it is not coach showing off and we can do this as well.

Before you know it all the kids will want to demo and they will be motivated to practice on their own so they can stand in front of the group and demo. They will bug you before practice and their hands will go up the fastest when demo time roles around. Here are a few more incentives...

* Small sided tournaments like 3v3 and 5v5 tournaments

* Challenges like juggling, dribbling moves and shooting.

* Showing the kids how to practice outside of your soccer practice.

* Rewards for accomplishing a goal - beating a juggling record, using a move in a game, scoring a goal.

Coaches, you now have some incentives you can add to your soccer practices. You can check out my page on street soccer or communication games to get even more ideas for practice and encouraging kids to practice outside of your soccer practices. Check out my page on Street soccer, which lends itself nicely to the...

Skill of the month

Last month we discussed the 3 components of dribbling and three moves.

1. Going 1v1 vs a defender.

2. Under pressure from an opponent.

3. Carrying the soccer ball into space.

Last issue we covered the lunge move, step over and scissors. This month we are adding 3 more moves...

Cuts (inside and outside) V-move Rolls

This month we will discuss why 1v1 is the cornerstone of the game. Just imagine if...

Every player on your team is a good 1v1 attacker and a good 1v1 defender? You would have no issues with other teams! Your team would win a majority of the battles and dominate the game in the youth level. In the....

So how do we help the players become better 1v1 players? I like any game that the players are faced up and playing 1v1 I.E.

1v1 to a cone:

* The coach can use a standing cone or the players put a ball on the cone and play 1v1.

* One player defends and the other attacks.

* If The attacker loses the soccer ball they must defend and visa versa.

* The player that knocks the ball off the cone with the soccer ball gets a point. Restart the game!

* High intensity so coach should play for a min or two max.

Check out my page on 1v1 soccer for more info on how to teach 1v1 soccer I like to play mini tournaments and see who the 1v1 champion is in our group - this tells you who can hold the soccer ball and dribble or defend really well which leads into the...

Soccer practice tip of the month

Coaches, when you are running little competitions like small sided games or 1v1 in your soccer practices try not to stop the action and coach too much.

I like to let the first round go and let the players have a chance to compete then coach in between games.

So as an example, if you are working on 1v1 with your players and you start a game of 1v1 you will drive the kids crazy if you stop the competition every second to add coaching points.

This is a chance for you to watch the games and see where you can help the players with good instruction.

Example, the attacking player is going at the defender to slowly or can't unbalance the defender to get a chance to knock the ball off the cone.

Watch to see who can perform the skill well and this pair will demonstrate for the group once the game is over.

The kids will love you for it and this will pay dividends on...

Soccer game day tip

How to coach players so you keep your message simple and players do not get confused. Stick to 2-3 points you want to cover for the game and don't deviate until the players have become better at executing what you want. So here are...

My favorite key points!

When starting out with a team are...

* Win the 50/50 balls

* Take players 1v1 when you get the chance

* Step out of the back or to the midfield line when the ball goes into the other teams half.

Once the players are doing well in these areas we can add more points...

I have watched many games where...

Coaches watch the first half and spot many things that young players need to work on. They proceed to half time and before kids have gotten a chance to drink some water and calm down the coach is coaching away.

I have seen this scenario play out many times. Believe it not there is a more effective way...

* Let the kids get something to drink - don't coach!

* Make sure they are all sitting down and focused on you - eyes up.

* Give them a lineup - the ones who will be going on first will be really focused.

* Give them 2-3 points to work on during the second half.

* Send them out to play the second half.

* See if they have any questions or comments - can be done before coach talks.

The great thing here is you are not picking on any one individual. This is positive, simple, to the point and less confusing for the players.

Check out my recommendations on soccer equipment and training equipment especially for players that need that extra bit of skill work. The Jimmy ball works really well!

Coaches thanks for checking out the newsletter this month and I hope it was informative. Please don't hesitate to give feedback on topics that you would like to read about.

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