Sunday, April 26, 2015

U8 practice #1 (week 1)

Hello coaches.  Welcome to the 2015 season!  This year to keep it simple I am just going to number the practices and you do the practice number that you are on.  If you find you need more time on a skill, do one drill from the previous week too as a review.  It could be part of your warm up even or just add the drill at the start of the technical/skills session and tell the kids you are reviewing from the previous practice.  PRACTICE #1 is in this post, practice #2 will be posted on Wednesday.
**Pick 2-3 drills for the technical session - I always provide lots so you can pick what you like....or use your own great dribbling drills.

Find a space on the field.  Introduce yourselves and get to know players names (they may not know everyone on the team either).  Review code of conduct and expectations:  (equipment, jewelry, fair play, being on time etc...)
Hand out uniforms (if you have them).

Theme/Focus:  Dribbling

Dribbling cues
(with defender):
-ball close, lots of touches, use all parts of foot
-keep body/hip between you and defender ensure you can see ball and defender
-head up
(fast, break away style dribbling):
-ball still in control but pushed further ahead
-ball pushed forward with laces, toe pointed down
-head up 
for technique tips on dribbling in a fast break situation

WARM UP: (5-7 min)
soccer tag & Freeze tag - no balls to start, if you get tagged, freeze until someone comes and unfreezes you (show them how to freeze, legs apart, arms up and out)....then move to playing with balls, if you get tagged person unfreezes them by passing the ball between your legs (demo this).  You are dribbling around until you get tagged.

GAME:  (optional) Inter-squad scrimmage (two teams) with 4 goals and to score you must dribble the ball through the goal (10min max)

Activities to focus on skill of dribbling: (20-25min)

Dribble Grid/Square Dance
Grid, working on dribbling and ball control.  Can do this in pairs or individually...just adjust accordingly.

Players form pairs and find some space inside the square with one ball between two. (Or every player has a ball and set up 4/5 arches or small goals with cones in grid) One player in each pair starts with the ball, while the other rests. Players trade places on the coach’s command. The activity begins with the first player in each pair moving the soccer ball around the playing area using his/her feet and reacting to the coach’s commands:
1. Guide the ball with your feet as you weave in and out of the resting players/arches.
2. As above but on the coach’s signal run to the nearest cone on outside (ensure you have enough cones on outside as players) and take the ball in a circle around it using the inside/outside (your command) of your foot. Keep alternating from right foot to left foot.
3. “change”, players stop the ball, leave it and quickly go and get another’s ball and continue dribbling around the area.
4. “legs”, players try to pass the ball through the legs of as many resting partners/arches as they can before the coach says stop (Coach ask all resting players to stand with their feet apart).
5.  try commands like stop, turn (180 degree turn), toe taps on the ball, hard to space etc...
the video is on the right hand side V-snippet or V-in depth.

Directions Dribbling
Grid, coach/parent (4 in total!) on each side of grid with ball or pinnie.  Coaches/parents instructed to raise pinnie/ball to signal kids to be dribbling towards them.  Working on changing direction.  Can add coach attack at end once kids have hang of the change ups and the coach runs in trying to obtain balls

Red Light, Green Light - Purple Light?
-can be played one of two ways, free lance in the grid video 1 or from one end of the grid to the other, video 2
the video is on the right hand side V-snippet or V-in depth.

Shark/Cow Dogs/Shrimps & Crabs
Elect one player to be the shark or coach can be the shark for first round.  Players dribble from one end of grid to other trying not to have their ball taken by the shark, if they get your ball you become a shark too or a cow dog/crab (can only get ball from crab position or from knees).
the video is on the right hand side V-snippet or V-in depth.

Fast break on goal -with live defender
Two lines, staggered so attacker has about a 3 foot/1 metre advantage (or whatever is appropriate).  Coach has balls between the two lines.  Coach yells go and attacker dribbles (ensure you coach the different style of dribbling here) towards goal attempting to shoot and score before defender catches them.  If defender gets ball, play is dead

GAME:  just play the beautiful game, two teams, two goals (at least 10 minutes!)

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