The Power of “Team Building Exercises”

Parents and Coaches,

I believe that one of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal as coaches are “Team Building Exercises”.

However, 99% of youth soccer coaches never utilize or incorporate it into their scheme.

I will list some of the benefits of “Team Building Exercises” below:

  1. Kids love it and have fun
  2. It allows you as the coach to sit back and see which players take the lead role
  3. It allows you to see how the team interacts with each other to accomplish the goal
  4. It brings, what you perceived as the low hanging fruit, to the top
  5. We can talk about more later

Anyhow, last night at my training I declared it “Crazy Socks Team Building Day” for my U9 Girls team.  You should have seen some of the crazy socks these girls wore to training.

My top objective was really to remind the girls that they are kids, first and foremost.  Soccer is a tool, game, vehicle, developer, etc., but all that is secondary to these girls being kids.

So my “Team Building Exercise” was for the girls to plan their own training session, teach it to me, and then execute it for the remainder of practice.

I broke the Training Session up into four easy sections for them to build.

  1.  Coordination Exercise:  10 Minutes
  2. Technical Exercise:  15 Minutes
  3. Core Skills Game (Support):  30 Minutes
  4. Cool Down:  5 Minutes

At the beginning of practice I gave the girls the instructions and a blank lesson plan for them to fill out.  Then they had 15 minutes to create for me.

Now some of you might not realize the power of an exercise like this until you try it, but it is off the charts.  If you have trouble with your kids buying into you as a coach these are very effective to overcome that hurdle.

The hardest part for me as a coach was that I couldn’t coach the whole practice.  I had to sit back, observe and take notes.

That was a very enlightening experience.  I would like to hear from those of you that have tried this or that have had a coach that has tried this.  If you haven’t, then set one up in the next week or two and let me know your results.  Thanks again for joining me and I will speak again on the next blog.

Coach Randle

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