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Coaches Post, Issue #004
February 02, 2017

Tips and techniques from the Coaching Post!!

Hi coaches, Happy New Year!

As we move into the new year all coaches begin to ramp up for the season and collect their thoughts for the Spring season, Where do we begin?

What are the plans for the team you are going to coach in the Spring?

* Is your team a returning team that you have developed and coached?

* Are new players joining your team? How will you help them adjust to your to the team and your coaching style?

* Are you inheriting a team from a league or club just starting out?

* What techniques will you introduce or work on with your players?

* What tactics will you employ and how will you coach and communicate your ideas

* How will make the game fun, reward and motivate your players.

These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself in order to prepare for a season with your players. Wouldn't you agree?

Preparation is key to helping young players develop their game and enjoy the process so they stay involved in the game and learn the nuances of how to really play. That's why we have...

A skill of the month!

In the last article we discussed 1v1 as the cornerstone of the game, so we are going with a little different stance this month since as we are headed into the Spring depending on where you live.

The most important aspect of soccer is a player's first touch - trapping the soccer ball off a pass, bouncing ball or in the air.

Nothing happens without a good first touch!

There are several reasons why a coach wants to help players develop their first touch...

* Developing a first touch so the player is not chasing the soccer ball to win it back after attempting to trap the ball.

* Developing a good first touch so the player can look up and make soccer decisions.

* Developing a good first touch to avoid defenders - taking a touch away from the pressure.

* Developing a good first touch to be able to read the game. See passes and openings to dribble into

The best description I have come across is "A good first touch allows a player to dribble, pass or shoot."

So how do we as coaches help players develop a good first touch? Read...

Soccer practice tip of the month

There are many ways to develop a good first touch. Passing and dribbling exercises can promote a good first touch.

So here are a couple that will help you in your soccer practices.

Beginners game: Fix it! Players that are learning the basics of the game.

Game: Two lines facing each other 5-8 yards apart.

Set up: Two touch game - Line A Plays to line B and the player that passes moves to line B and the exercise repeats.

If a player makes a bad touch or pass the whole team screams "Fix it" and both lines run to the get in line with the ball where ever it lands to continue playing, keeping their lines straight. Kids love it!

Key coaching points:

Young players often fail to prepare the surface that they should use to to trap the soccer ball early enough. They get caught in two minds or don't get their feet ready.

In this case staying active - on the balls of their feet preparing to get the toe up, heel down and ankle locked on the trapping foot to cushion the soccer ball as it hits the foot.

Game day

I always encourage the players to "take a touch" and then "get your head up" during games. We talk about a good first touch with the players until they do it automatically.

This will allow your players to start learning the game.

Coaches should work on some sort of first touch practice just about every soccer practice. Don't you agree?

Another great way to improve a players first touch is wall ball. Find a wall that the players can use to pass the soccer against so they can work on improving their first touch.

If you don't have a wall look at the SI - Rebounder rebounder from Soccer Innovations. This rebounder can be set up on any grass field or back yard to be used before practice, after practice or at home.

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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