Where I Start with My Young Teams

So I just started training some of the new girls on my U8 going U9 team.  I’m pretty excited because at first glance I have quite a bit of talent.

Now when I say talent, at this stage all I am really looking for are coordinated girls with athleticism, a good attitude and supportive parents.

If I can get those things then turning them into intelligent soccer players is all on me…

So where do I start with girls or even boys this age…baby steps…

There are three pillars of development that I base my trainings around.  First and foremost are the individual tactical intentions…aka, the basic skills each player needs to harness at 12 years old…that follows with coordination training…teaching the kids how to execute soccer specific movements on and off the ball…finally we focus on situational awareness…teaching the kids to recognize various phases and situations in the game, allowing them to develop records in their minds on how they solved those situations for future exploration…

So with that said, my first month I will focus on just a few things…since soccer is a team sport where you operate 90% of the time without the ball, it only makes sense to start with teaching kids how to support their teammates by calling and positioning for the ball…within this block we will focus on two concepts and two concepts only…

  1. How to position their body on the pitch in relation to the ball possessor and their location, allowing to see as much of the field as possible
  2. Showing them how to take up positions of support so that they have line of sight with their teammate on the ball and can offer them a passing option.

Outside of that we will spend the first month conducting coordination exercises off the ball to work on the motor skills of the players with soccer specific movements they will encounter in the real world off the ball…basically teaching them how to move…

Finally, I will focus on teaching them how to recognize open space to move into once they have passed the ball to their teammates to offer immediate support…

That’s it all month…and that’s only if they are grasping the concepts…it could take longer if lessons need to be repeated…

I hope this gives you an idea of how systematic and focused my trainings are…it’s about teaching the kids concepts, not about them battling and competing with other kids their age or older…

Let me know how you train your kids,

Coach Randle

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