Kick ball is encouraged at youth soccer games. A common cry from the stands is, "kick it" or "boot it" and my favorite "shoot" when the kid does not even have the soccer ball or has 3 defenders in front of him or her.
The ball is rolling down the field or coming out of a crowd and "BOOM" the ball just gets blasted down the field with no rhyme or reason. The common technique being the toe to kick the ball...
There are lots of teams that play kick ball... they kick the ball down the soccer field on a hope and a prayer and see if the forward can track it down and win it and score. This is a difficult game, especially when the team runs into a team that can play any kind of soccer.
The team will get a hold of the soccer ball and keep it...which makes the game tougher.
So, this tactic will work at the younger ages or playing against a team who cannot match the kick ball team athletically.
The kick ball team eventually runs out of ideas, kids grow physically matching the kick ball team, have better skills, play the possession game - holding the soccer ball with passes and dribbles successfully.
The kick ball team will eventually struggle in games and soccer becomes less fun. Kids enjoy playing soccer when they are learning how to play the game, gaining confidence with the soccer ball and learning how play tactically...this also helps the players long term.
Okay, so how do we teach kids to play?
How do we coach kids out the kick ball game? The kick ball game will go away when the coach teaches and encourages the kids to play.
The coach should encourage the players to play soccer. How do we go about doing this?
During games and practices the coach should encourage the players not to kick the soccer ball down the field instead encourage the players to trap, dribble and pass the soccer ball.
Coaching point: The coach can put a rule in the game that says players have to take a touch. This might lead to goals or mistakes but will encourage the kids to become soccer players which will lead to good soccer down the line.
The coach can also add in soccer terms like "take a touch" or "get your head up". Check out soccer terms to help communicate with your teammates.
Learning how to take a touch and control, the soccer ball. There are several techniques that players must master to learn how to control the soccer ball. I break ball control down into two areas.
Ground balls are trapping the soccer ball with the inside of the foot, outside of the foot and sole of the foot.
Air balls consist of the trapping the soccer ball with the foot - inside, laces, outside and sole of the foot. The players can also use the thigh, chest and head to bring the ball down out of the air.
These are all skills that coaches can teach to help young players bring the ball out of the air and avoid just kicking the ball down the field.
Ball control leads to dribbling or passing...please read on to see how players can use the dribble after ball control.
Dribbling teaches kids how to become comfortable with the soccer ball at their feet. There are three areas where players can learn how to dribble the soccer ball.
The players need to learn how to carry the ball on the dribble using the laces. The players will encounter defenders and have to have a way to beat the defender, but if that defender gets the better of the player with the soccer ball the player must know how to shield the soccer ball.
This is all about teaching the player how to keep the soccer ball so they can create scoring chances.
and shielding combined with passing the soccer ball really produces
some good soccer and this is what we are after as coaches. Read on on
how to develop the pass.
The basic pass is the push pass used with the inside of the foot. The players have to learn how to lock the ankle, get the toe up and heel down.
The passing takes a while to develop as players have to learn how to play a variety of passes.
All these passes and dribbling can be learned by passing or dribbling exercises but the kids need to be able to apply the skills to small sided games.
Small sided games can be put together to help players use the skills they have learned and apply the skills to games. So how does a coach set up small sided games to help players not just kick the ball down the field?
1v1 - learning to take players on...
2v2 - adding a pass to the 1v1 game.
3v3 - Learning the triangle - lots of 1v1 and passes involved in the game.
4v4 - Diamond shape - teaching kids how to play in the diamond.
5v5 - Diamond shape with a player in the middle.
All these small sided shapes and games will help players develop their games as they move up the ranks and get better.