Junior football coaching

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Zlatan 7, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Mar 25, 2019
    #41

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    Never two-touch and x number of passes, got to be one or the other, at least not until 11-a-side.

    I used to do a lot of games where the goals were small gates that they had to complete a pass through, or a ball on a cone that they had to knock off with a pass. Gets everyone playing rather than having goalkeepers stood there doing nothing.

    Two-touch can be a bit limiting for them at times, especially when they're younger, so I used to give them three or five seconds to release the ball. I could count it in my head then, and be stricter with the better players, and give the weaker ones a bit of leeway without it being too obvious to them.

    Splitting the pitch into zones is a good one too, where say only two attackers but three defenders are allowed in the end zone, but I found they struggled with the rules on that one until they were 10/11ish.
  2. Mar 25, 2019
    #42

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Thanks @Alex99 for your input in the thread, I havnt had chance to look at it all yet but quickly scanned it and it looks detailed.
  3. Mar 25, 2019
    #43

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    The biggest challenges I faced coaching junior football weren't caused by the kids, but their parents and whatever family members they brought along. I've banned three people from matches over the years.

    The first was a grandad who used to give his grandson all sorts of stick throughout a match to the point that the kid ended up running off the pitch in tears on a couple of occasions. The club had an official set of guidelines regarding supporting the players, which I referred him to, and when he didn't heed the warning I asked him not to return and told the kid's mum at a training session what had been going on and she seemed appalled. He eventually started coming again but was far better behaved.

    The second was a kid's dad, who only appeared once a month or so when he had him for the weekend, who actually tripped up a kid from another team during a match once. The kid didn't seem to like him anyway, and got on much better with his step-dad who used to help out with training now and again. Club chairman had to step in with this one because the parent of the kid that got tripped reported us to the league.

    The third was another dad who repeatedly told his son to ignore what I was asking him to do, and started swearing at me when I played his kid in defense when he was usually a striker. They were only under 10s at the time, so I was still rotating them around every now and then so they could play in different positions, which the kid was more than happy to do and often asked to play in different positions. He apologised at the next training session and said he understood where I was coming from, then his wife came to me at the end and said she'd bollocked him for being a prick.

    If you haven't already, make sure there's a set of easy to follow rules for any adult that will be coming to watch games or training. We used to get the kids and their parents to sign a contract of sorts at the start of every season that stated that they understood and would follow these rules, as would any guests they invited along. Made it much smoother sailing when problems arose.
  4. Mar 25, 2019
    #44

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    Amen.

    We've had warfare with a couple of parents, who ending up pulling the kids out against the will of the kids. Fortunately the rest are a great group.

    Really enjoyed your post on tactics at different age groups. We're u10, 7-a-side ATM, all about keeping the wingers wide, using the whole pitch and stretching teams to leave the space. The kids are getting it as well and we're making teams that all follow the ball look a bit silly.
  5. Mar 25, 2019
    #45

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    Some parents are absolute nightmares. You can tell that some are just trying to live through their kids, piling on unnecessary pressure and just being outright horrible at times.

    It's amazing how effective they can be with a bit of shape. Takes quite a lot of teams a good while for that to click, but they can play some really good football with the space holding their shape can create.

    It helps defensively too, because it means they have someone to cover a loose ball, which doesn't happen if they've all gone chasing it into the corner.

    Big thing to do alongside it of course is get them talking to each other. Good thing for that is to play games in training where they have to either call their pass, or call to receive it, otherwise the ball turns over to the other team. Also get big on telling the defenders and goalkeeper to call for support, because they can see everything in front of them.

    I had a very strict rule that they were never to blame any other player for a conceded goal. Gets a bit harder to maintain when they get older, but it stops a lot of playground nastiness.
  6. Mar 25, 2019
    #46

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    Absolutely agree. It’s weird, because I’ve played from their age to the present day, and my gob is never shut when I play....and I don’t think it ever has been. So it amazes me when I see kids silent throughout a game. Fortunately my lad plays, and his gob’s never shut either :lol:

    Why did you stop coaching in the end then?
  7. Mar 26, 2019
    #47

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    It's mad. They won't shut up in training then as soon as you get them in a match they suddenly go all quiet.

    I didn't have the time anymore really, and the team I was with was merging with another of the same age group to cope with the extra numbers needed for 11-a-side, so it was a decent time because I wasn't leaving them short-handed.

    I'll inevitably get back into it again at some point, but enjoying the weekend mornings to myself too much at the moment.
  8. Mar 26, 2019
    #48

    Vfc_brato New Member

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    I work with u12s, and i can say that its amazing how they can play one game and the next one is like they never ever saw a ball or step on the field. The best thing is to have patience with them and repeat the drills/patterns, i ask every training session that each player touch the ball at least 300-400 times during the training.

    And about the drills, be creative, you can watch some youtube videos, almost everywhere you can find some clips but try to be creative because thats the best way to form your own style of play.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2019
  9. Mar 26, 2019
    #49

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    How have you guys dealt with higher grade teams within your club always wanting to call up your players? I've got the girls coach in my ear at my club wanting me to release my gun defender for a league game the u13 girls have on the weekend.
  10. Mar 26, 2019
    #50

    SiRed Full Member

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    Agree with the earlier post regarding parents.

    I coach under 8s. i love the kids to bits but you kind of question why you do it because of the parents.
    Never happy unless they're moaning.
  11. Mar 26, 2019
    #51

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    Conversation with the kid and their parents about what they want to do. The last team I coached was effectively the b-team of the age group, so it was a constant battle to keep the stand out players. A few wanted to leave, so I let them, but some wanted to stay, so they stayed. Always make it about what the kid wants, because they don't always want to change teams.

    Had a similar situation to you, where one of our best players was constantly being asked if she wanted to switch to the girl's team an age group up, but she was in school with the rest of our team and already played an age up with the county, so she stayed.

    We had good links with a few schools though, so we were never short of kids wanting to join.
  12. Mar 26, 2019
    #52

    Vfc_brato New Member

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    Agree, the parents are the biggest problem. I made a deal with my club, i asked them to ban parents watching the training session and the team is progressing much better, it was a big deal because im young and lot of other "older,experienced" coaches were against that, but after few months every single of them chose to do the same.
    Kids just cant listen to me and to his parents together at the same time, its confusing for them because when i say "press high" i can hear parents saying "turn around and go back" and the kid just doesnt know what to do.
    It worked well for me with the ban, but i just dont want to communicate with the parents but sometimes i have to and im still searching for a model for that.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  13. Mar 31, 2019
    #53

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    Last pre-season hit out this morning. Two small games. Lost the first one 1-0, unlucky not to equalise (hit the crossbar twice)

    Second game we won 1-0. Our goal was a bit of a fluke. One of my new kids in midfield just put his laces through the ball from halfway. The ball bounced a bit, and the keeper looked to have it under control, but it slipped through his hands. Did the rest of the team get around the new kid scoring? You better believe they did :lol: that was such a good sight
  14. Mar 31, 2019
    #54

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    Just on this, my defender ended up playing three games today :lol: Played two games with us this morning, and then made her debut in the u13 girls league at RB. She just turned 10 today as well.

    Watched her game after we had finished up. Super, super proud of her.
  15. Apr 7, 2019
    #55

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    First hitout of the season this morning. Lost 4-1, but played the other team off the park (as weird as that sounds). Their goals came from momentary lapses we had (plus one long range screamer). The kids are playing good stuff and pushing the ball around nicely mind you, still need to work on positioning.
  16. Apr 28, 2019
    #56

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    Got a question for you youth coaches (@Alex99 if you’re about).

    My son’s always been a reasonably fit lad. He plays a lot of sport so he’s never been unfit. But he’s a big lad, not fat, but big and strong for his age. Just recently, he’s really started to gas in games, noticeably different from earlier in life. I put it down to his physique and development, but I want to get him fitter. Any experience of this happening? And, other than getting us out running a bit more, any ideas? It seems to have come all of a sudden and it’s a bit disconcerting
  17. Apr 28, 2019
    #57

    r3idy Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    Junior football Coach here taking my son from under 5s all the way through to under 16s. For what appears to be sins in many previous lives I look after an open age team in a Sunday league full of 16/17 year old know it all or 35± has beens.

    Thing to remember with kids or junior footballers they all develop physically (and mentally) at different rates. It's not straight line or linear development i. E. Once a good sprinter always a good sprinter. As an example, i had a player slightly taller than the rest but by the time he was 11 he was blowing out of his arse. Gave up footy for a few seasons and gave it all to swimming. Fast forward 6 years, he returns to our team (open age) and he has an engine like a Tesla, he out muscles and out runs most players on the pitch and now plays 3 games a week no problem. Flip side one of my best players started out in net then developed into a winger and at open age cannot beat anyone for pace.

    Keep encouraging him and if he can give you just a half bit a VERY good half then you know where he fits into your rotation. Alternatively try him coming on before half time and then start the second half
  18. Apr 28, 2019
    #58

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    Thanks. Yeah I put it down to a stage of development, because his lifestyle hasn’t changed but all of a sudden he’s knackered in no time. There’s no problem giving him game time because he’s far and away our best keeper, but he’s a natural leftie so we like to play him on the left wing, just he doesn’t seem to have the engine for it at the moment. Gonna try doing 15 minute sessions in the park, as we play 15 minute halves at this age, so that’s all he should have to go for
  19. Apr 28, 2019
    #59

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    How old is he?

    Everyone has different stages of development, so as long as he's still keeping his exercise going I'd say there's no need to push him too hard if he's on the younger side of it. I'd say you don't really need to worry about their fitness too much until they're around 15/16, because they're all still doing a lot of growing and developing physically until then.

    What other sports does he do? That might be a consideration, because it might just be how his body is conditioned at the moment. Had a lad that did cross country, represented Wales at youth level too, and used to just run non-stop for a whole game when it was small-sided. When we got to 11-a-side, and the pitch was bigger, the matches longer, and he'd have to stay in position more, meaning he'd go small stretches where he wouldn't see any action, he couldn't cope, and would be wrecked after 30 minutes because it'd be too stop-start.

    Combining short bursts of intense exercise with a more prolonged session doing something else might help. I had a similar issue myself when I was around 12/13, as I filled out a bit before a growth spurt when I was 14. My dad was the coach at the time, so he knew he'd likely only get a good half out of me, so I tended to come on at half-time. In the meantime, I started swimming once a week, doing as many lengths of the pool as I could before I was completely gassed. Ended up being able to swim over a kilometre with reasonable ease by the end. With that my dad made sure to have some sort of shuttle runs or other sprinting bursts opening every training session. Soon sorted me out.

    If he's bigger, he might be feeling it in his joints a bit, especially if he's still growing, so swimming is a good option for the prolonged session because there's no added impact on his joints from from running. Cycling not a bad shout there either, but I find swimming a bit kinder. You need the impact and the turning with the shorter bursts though, because it'll help his muscles get used to the way you move on the pitch.
  20. Apr 28, 2019
    #60

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    He’s just turned 10, does MMA twice a week. I think it’s maybe his muscular development, he’s strong for his age, massive goal kicks that can go out for an opposition goal kick....maybe his body just can’t support it over long periods, even if it used to be able to better. It’s disconcerting to see it change quickly, I’m gonna try doing 15 minute cardio sessions away from the team to boost his stamina
  21. Apr 28, 2019
    #61

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    Likely his conditioning then. If he's doing MMA I imagine his muscles have become much more use to extremely intense short bursts, whereas football has more of a balance between sprinting and general stamina. The general stamina work sounds a good plan. I still heavily recommend swimming though, particularly if his other exercise is MMA. His body might be grateful for the lack of impacts.
  22. Apr 28, 2019
    #62

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    Yes swimming is probably a good shout, though I find kids just want to lark about in the pool when they get in it. I’ll give it a whirl though. Many thanks for the support. I can’t dig him out too much, he scored the winner in a 4-3 today, a header direct from a corner. Rare sight in U10 :drool:
  23. Apr 28, 2019
    #63

    CLK_FPC Fists of Fury

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    Got an u15 and an u16 team
    Saw a post earlier in the thread that said at u9 a team can be carried by one player... Have the exact same thing at u16, one of our boys got signed by QPR, team fell to shit. Went from being champions and getting promoted back to back to back to getting smashed every weekend. The boys suddenly realised how much they'd been relying on him.
    Thankfully they pulled out of the nose dive in the last few weeks and whilst we didn't win the title, we (may) have been promoted.
  24. Apr 29, 2019
    #64

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Nice to see the thread has had some input. All links to drills greatly appreciated still.

    I’m not concerned about winning with them at the mo (U9s) but just like to get them learning and enjoying football. Amazing how many of my team still don’t watch or play football outside of our club football :(

    Anyway, everykid is having a trophy at the end of the year and I’m in need of some ideas to fill out some of the positions. So far I’ve got...

    Players player of year(anonymous vote)
    Coaches player of year
    Parents player of year ??(maybe)
    Most improved
    Best trainer
    Top scorer
    Goal of season
    Save of the season
    Tackle of season

    I need a couple more ideas
  25. Apr 29, 2019
    #65

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    I've always just done a trophy each for their contribution over the season, then individual awards as:

    Manager's Player
    Most Improved Player
    Players' Player
    Parents' Player

    Make the players and parents pick a top 3, so you've back-up options in case the same player wins both.
  26. Apr 29, 2019
    #66

    Thunderhead Full Member

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    my youngest is the same, loves playing in matches but won't watch football or play football on the street or anything
  27. Apr 29, 2019
    #67

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    Sorry about not minding my own business, but you can put your son in BJJ school to complement his MMA training. BJJ gives you more stamina, since you have to be actively exercising your muscles in order to control the opponent. And trust me: you need tons of stamina to make several 5 to 10 minutes combats in a single tournament and training.
  28. Apr 29, 2019
    #68

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    A good drilling for working on pressing and passing ability on short spaces: the interceptions game. I made this drilled inspired in two other drills

    You define the playing area and divide the team in two. There are no goals on this game. To make this competitive for the kids I did the following stuff:
    - Keeping possession in your own half for 20 seconds: 1 point.
    - Keeping possession back and forth for 20 seconds: 2 points.
    - Intercepting the ball on your own half: 1 point.
    - Keeping possession in opposition half for 20 seconds: 3 points.
    - Intercepting the possession in the opposition half: 2 points

    With this drill I tried to motivate possession in the opponents half and recovering the ball with a high line

    For positioning:

    You make a game with four small goals at left or right and keep the "normal" goal in the middle like this:

    ------ ------------------------- ---------------------------- ----







    ------ -------------------------- ---------------------------- ----

    - Scoring left or right: 1 point.
    - Scoring in the middle: 3 points.

    After scoring on left or right, they can only score in the middle to score again on left or right.
  29. Apr 29, 2019
    #69

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Good ideas, thanks, think I’ll follow that fairly closely
  30. Apr 29, 2019
    #70

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    I helped out with a club that tried making up awards so everyone got something but even at 8/9 years old the players knew what was going on, so I've always thought it better to reward the standouts and give everyone else their participation trophies, as it were.

    Does the club not have any guidance for you? I know my last one were very strict on what awards were given out and the sizes of the trophies.

    One manager in a club I was in got in heaps of trouble with the club president in his first year for going behind his back and getting top goalscorer, best goal, most assists and most man of the match awards on top of the prescribed few. I don't think it helped that all went to his son, who also won manager's player, players' player and parents' player. The only special award that didn't go to his son was most improved.
  31. Apr 29, 2019
    #71

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    :lol: FFS.

    I've recently taken on the (fecking thankless) task of Fixture Secretary for my son's club. Gives an interesting insight to the mentality of the various coaches.

    Genuinely shocked to see how many of them will happily not play any match on a given weekend, if not playing the match might give them a better chance of winning (e.g. if home pitch unavailable and opposition offer us their pitch for away game instead). They'd rather have 12 year old kids at home playing Fortnite all day if it gives them a fractionally better chance of winning a tin pot league that nobody really gives a shit about. Madness.
  32. Apr 29, 2019
    #72

    Inigo Montoya Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!

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    Same in our local youth league.

    Pitch and time changes. Fielding their strongest line up for the whole game even if it means some poor lads hardly getting a game. Questionable refereeing that borders on downright cheating. Parents still shouting at the ref
  33. Apr 29, 2019
    #73

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    This moron got kicked out a few seasons later for similar offences. His team became the first in the district to require a 2m stand-off between the pitch and where spectators could stand because he didn't do anything about parents encroaching on the pitch.

    The district also didn't have a formal league structure until you hit under 11s (season before the jump to 11-a-side) and he got a bollocking for buying his under 10s team a massive trophy and celebrating winning the league because they'd won all but two games, all in front of the district secretary who was absolutely fuming. He literally said something like, "the league are too stingy to recognise how talented my team is, so I've had to get them this trophy to recognise them as official league winners."

    He moved to another club but his 11 a side team fell apart for one of the things you've mentioned there. He only ever played his strongest 11, even when they were already 5 or 6 up, and would only give his fringe players 5 minutes at the end if they were lucky. His pre-season squad of 18 was down to 15 by Christmas, and 12 by February. He couldn't sign any players because word had got around about the way he ran the team, so it ended up folding before the next season after 4 of his players went to a different club.

    Amazing how seriously some people take kids football
  34. Apr 29, 2019
    #74

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    I don’t think we’ve time for another sport, but take your point, we do a bit of grappling and yes it’s fecking exhausting :lol:
  35. Apr 29, 2019
    #75

    Pughnichi New Member

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    The coaching manual as many have said is a great tool. Perhaps your club will pay for it as has mine.

    The big struggle for me is passing. I coach u9s and at the start of the season and even still now at the end, encouraging the pass is somewhat difficult. I talk about it relentlessly with them in the hope that it will eventually sink in. I go nuts with praise if perhaps 3,4,5 passes are strung together. I also stop matches in training if perhaps a poor decision to shoot was made... FREEZE...bring it back and ask the players to decide what they believe could have happened in stead of a shot....from the corner flag!! Haha

    It is brilliant when it clicks though and I get so much enjoyment from it and dare I say, most of the lads are starting to learn that a great pass is as good as goal.

    Next season....more passing sessions and I’m going heavy on positioning as well

    Good luck. Enjoy.
  36. Apr 29, 2019
    #76

    haram Full Member

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    :lol:
  37. Apr 30, 2019
    #77

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    Honestly it had to be seen to be believed.

    He handed out the trophies that everyone got, made a little speech for the kid won most improved that largely focused on how he could barely kick a ball at the start of the season, then, after he'd handed that out, went, "now for the proper awards!"

    He gave manager's player out first after some chat about how the other coaches agreed his son was the best player, then because he'd technically put the others up to a vote (opposition managers give man of the match) he basically made the same speech half a dozen or so times about how these were prestigious awards and a testament to his son's ability, as his son ended up stood there with a ridiculous number of trophies cradled in his arms.

    It was so farcical it was hilarious.
  38. Apr 30, 2019
    #78

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    Anyone got any good 1 v 1 practices? I have a few in my repertoire, but wondering if there's any different ones out there
  39. Apr 30, 2019
    #79

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    1 on 1 small pitch, using two poles/cones to make a large goal that will work more like a finish line

    Rules:
    - The players can't shoot: they must cross the goal line by dribbling with the ball
    - Each player has 20 seconds to dribble through the finish line by turns
    - The defending player can't be standing on the finish line or be static: he must be always doing shadow marking at least.
  40. Apr 30, 2019
    #80

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Really simple one this, but the kids love it, it’s small and fast

    [​IMG]

    Mark a square of cones but miss out the corner cones, this gap will be used as goals (marked gold in pic)
    Player A pass to B, B then has to attack a and score in the mini goal.
    Then it would be C turn to pass to D and so on.