Junior football coaching

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

  1. Mar 10, 2019
    #1

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    I’m not expecting this thread to have lots of replies but being one of the biggest football forums surely there’s some here that would coach kids football?

    I’ve been doing it a few years now upto under 9s but struggling to get the team to click and play as a unit at this age, match situations are so different to training and drills.

    Anyone know of any sites or coaching drills, books etc that would be useful or even better, personal input would be great
  2. Mar 10, 2019
    #2

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    Hey

    I coached U9 last year and have moved up with the group to u10 this year. I hear what you are saying, it's so difficult to get them playing together, but when they pull it off it's amazing.

    I use soccercoachweekly or thecoachingmanual for drills
  3. Mar 10, 2019
    #3

    Lynty Full Member

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    You don't learn anything up until football coaching level 3 (even then it debatable) but they're worth getting if you haven't already.

    Under 9's is brutal. 1 good player can carry a team to victory easily, because it's impossible to really get a cohesive team at that age group.

    Repetitive passing patterns will take them a long way over formations that they will never stick to.

    At the end of the day, just let them have fun and work on individual development. I personally wouldn't return to coaching teams under the age of 12.
  4. Mar 10, 2019
    #4

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Hi mate, that’s great to have such a quick reply!

    Yeah I agree it’s great when they pull off a bit of great play, especially when it’s sometjing you’ve worked on, it’s a pleasure to watch. We started the season great but hit a flat spot now and Don’t seem to be progressing as much.

    It’s a big step up from kick and run under 8s to playing some sort of football with positions and tactics to a certain degree at this age, with more players, bugger goals etc.

    Appreciate those links, I’ll check them out now.
  5. Mar 10, 2019
    #5

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Yes mate, it can be brutal and I totally get what you’re saying about the fun and individual development.

    I’d just like more ideas in how to bring the training to a game situation.
    They stay in a shape pretty well to be honest, too much Infact and that holds us back sometimes definitely.

    I’ll have to look into how to coach these repetitive passing patterns.

    I’ve only got level 1 at the moment with level 2 booked in.
    Thanks for your input.
  6. Mar 10, 2019
    #6

    NotworkSte Full Member

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    I am taking the US soccer coaching courses, but due to work commitments have not actually tried to find a youth team to help out at yet.
    I should complete the D level by next month.
  7. Mar 10, 2019
    #7

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Good luck with it bud, I enjoyed the first course I did and certainly looking forward to doing more
  8. Mar 10, 2019
    #8

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    I just keep hammering the basics (1st touch, striking the ball, running with the ball and 1v1). They can do more advanced stuff when they are older.

    Last year I lined up in a 2-3-1 for 7 a side and am trying to transition that to 3-2-3 for 9 aside. Trial game result yesterday tells me that I might need a plan b :lol:
  9. Mar 10, 2019
    #9

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Yes, a few of my lot still struggle with those basics to be honest, there’s big gaps in individuals development. A few love and live football and play at home, school etc. Some the only football they have is an hour training with me a week and then the match.

    I’m in Wales, under 9s is 6 aside here. Although we played a 7aside match this morning, I went 3-1-2 not to confuse them too much, just put another in defence basically.

    :lol: At your trial game, Junior football is a tough sport!!! Ha!

    Do you pay the fiver a month for that coaching site? I had a quick look and it seems like there lots of ideas on there
  10. Mar 10, 2019
    #10

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    :lol: I made the mistake of telling my brother the score (think it was like 6-0 loss) and he's made non stop sacked in the morning jokes Bastard.

    Yeah I do. Well worth it
  11. Mar 10, 2019
    #11

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    :lol: We lost 6-1 this morning and we only got the one because one of my boys somehow pulled a tony yeboah off and smacked one in from range off the crossbar haha
    We started the season so well winning by big margins but other teams seem to have caught up to us now, which kind of led to this thread.

    I’ll sign upto that site and give it a good look, thanks.
  12. Mar 11, 2019
    #12

    Lynty Full Member

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    My passing pattern is usually use:

    Keeper short to full back.

    Full back into midfielders feet and makes a run up the wing.

    Midfielder to centre back.

    Centre back long to full backs run.

    Cross.


    It’s simple for them to understand and remember in a match. It’s draws the opposition up the pitch chasing the ball between the midfielder and defence. Nobody ever follows the wide man. Usually the let down is the quality of the cross/pullback.

    I done 9 a side until under11 age group.
  13. Mar 11, 2019
    #13

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Thanks for your input again bud.
    The main play we’ve learned is..

    Keeper short to fullback

    Play that down the line to a forward who pulls wide for it

    Then maybe play inside to midfielder for one two or run the line himself and cut it back.

    It’s really simple stuff but just trying to implement training drills into match situations at the mo.

    I’ll definitely try that play you’ve mentioned with them, thanks!
  14. Mar 22, 2019
    #14

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Ive read a great Ajax pdf from the nineties mentioning the Ajax TIPS and junior and senior drills.
    Also found these on YouTube which overlap with the pdf a little, it’s an interesting watch if you havnt seen it, it did remind me of the old fashioned school videos I used to watch mind.


  15. Mar 24, 2019
    #15

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    Had another trial this morning. A full complement of players this time. Changed formation up to a 2-5-1 to seize the midfield. Kids played out of their skins and won 7-3. I was standing back in awe at some of the stuff they were doing.
  16. Mar 24, 2019
    #16

    red_de_pologne New Member

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    Congrats. I'm not coaching but my 9 y/o plays, up till 10 years old they play 5 a side here (the old 1-2-2), but it's really competitive - regular league (we're top of league 3 atm), tournaments etc. Tbh I'm a bit worried about early burn out due to the competitiveness, not easy to get into first team of 5 players out of a 30 something group, my boy was a regular first teamer for last two "seasons", now he's just making the bench and I can see this frustrating him. Plus he has training 4 days a week (75 mins) plus a game or tourney every weekend.

    Any tips to keep him going apart from the no pressure, have fun approach?
  17. Mar 24, 2019
    #17

    BootsyCollins Full Member

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    Ive been coaching my team since U9 up to now when they play in U16.
    Ive learned so much from this journey and i feel i would like to start over with another group, just to not do all the things i did wrong the first time.
    When i started i knew nothing so did alot of static drills i did myself when i was a kid, but now i would have them just playing least half of every training.
    I also tried to implement playing styles way to early, and i feel this was my biggest mistake.

    Soon i have UEFA B licens(for then to take youth exelence) so would probably look to coach a juniorside, but still nothing beats watching these kids fall in love with football for the first time.

    Do you mean tips how to talk to him, or something else?
    When he is on the bench does he gets to play or is he just there for backup incase of injury? Does the team have more teams or is it just 7-8 out of 30 who gets called to every match?

    The most important drive for a 9 year old(apart from special cases) is having fun and beeing with friends. If they dont feel that in a team, why should they stay?
  18. Mar 24, 2019
    #18

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    Fantastic :drool:

    I coach under 10’s and although it’s a hell of a commitment, when they knock the ball around and play good football, it’s a wonderful feeling.

    Reffing on the other hand.....
  19. Mar 24, 2019
    #19

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Awesome mate :) isn’t it great when it comes off, I’ve mixed training up a little since this thread to refresh things and get the kids excited again, we won 6-3 yesterday and they knocked it about lovely fairplay, had a few nice comments off parents later in the day about how impressed they were with the football and how much their kid is enjoying it. Can’t beat that. They just seemed so up for it yesterday, if only I could bottle that for every week :lol:
  20. Mar 24, 2019
    #20

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Good to hear your input mate, especially from being a position of taking U9s through U16s and seeing how things went and what you could have changed.

    We are doing lots of different training drills, usually start with 15 minutes or so of rondo or running with the ball in big group, technical skill, touch, fast passing, movement etc then 15mins of plays like 2v1 and shoot against keeper etc drills and last half hour a little match.
    The last few sessions I’ve split the group into 3 aside teams with smaller pitches and no gk though instead of one big 6 or 7 aside. They seem to love this, it’s more time and touches of the ball for them and a more confined space to get used to playing a pass under pressure.
    Any tips to go with this would be greatly appreciated.

    What do you mean by playing style? We play to a formation and I try to get them to understand support a player, play from defence down the line to a forward etc. Or do you mean even more advanced than that.



    Great seeing the input from people in this thread! It’s encouraging.
  21. Mar 24, 2019
    #21

    BootsyCollins Full Member

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    Its a Nice thread indeed, and good to see other people also interested in this.

    With playing style i mean formation, position and also to lock them down in what they can do. Or even more what they CANT do. Im not sure this is the right way at all, but in discussion with coaches who works with the best Young players in my country this always comes up.

    Ill try to give some examples.

    If you train in a club that got a senior team where the players can play profootball then you probably should train them in the same system as your senior teams play. Your club maybe even give you instructions to do this.
    If you train in a club where the natural way for your best players to go is to change clubs when they are good enough i would not lock them in a system or a position before they turn 12,13,14 depending on the individual maturity level.
    If you do this you can create a good team, but its much harder for you to see if you create good footballers, if you understand what i mean?
    Our job as youth coaches is not to win matches when they are 7-13(even if it is our job to learn them the importance of winning), but to help form and push players to want to reach their potential.

    When it comes to lock players in a position to early i am strongly against that. One of the best ways to learn how to play as a forward, is to play as a defender. Versitality is the name of the game. Let them self discover their flaws and strenghts.
    I would not let a player play several positions during a singel match as its much harder for them to focus on their individual pointers if they moved around to much, but during a season i would have them play at least 5 games in 2-3 different positions.

    In playing i tell them to play in the way i want of course. Like you say, build from defence for example.
    What i never do is tell them what i dont want them to do. For example i have a defender who is great at defending, but always just hoofs the ball up when he wins it. I dont tell him to stop doing that, but rather work with him on the pros of keeping the ball in the team. Then play him as a midfielder so he is forced to play more short passes F.ex.

    Sorry for bad English in the post, but would love to keep this thread alive and keep on discussing.
    From 1.january 2020 i am finaly able to live from football so this will be my life from then.
  22. Mar 24, 2019
    #22

    Lynty Full Member

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    I couldn’t agree more with whoever said training needs to be more playing and less static drills.

    Sometimes the kids are standing around talking about fortnite whilst waiting their turn. I think training their concentration is an important factor that most coaches neglect.

    I find competitive Rondos as the best drill. Have a leader board for most passes completed. The kids usually start off awful at this. But within a few months you’ll see so much improvement.

    Usually my session will look like:

    Warm-up
    Rondo
    Short drill
    Match

    I also keep some simple stats/awards from the training ground matches as possible; motm, leading scorers, most amount of passes before a goal.
  23. Mar 24, 2019
    #23

    mariachi-19 Full Member

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    Never coached under 9's but did a little higher (12-16's), but would I would focus on at these ages would be touch, positional play and passing. Its a great age to get them thinking like a footballer and getting into good habbits which may mean focusing on drill work to an extent.

    The issue with 9 year olds is that the human body develops so fast at that age so focusing on physical attributes is difficult as it can change at the drop of a hat so make sure you rotate them through positions so that they can adapt their mindset to whats going on around them rather than, throw the quick kids up top and leave everybody else behind.
  24. Mar 24, 2019
    #24

    Sauldogba New Member

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    Training definitely should be more playing and less drills.
    Also if they are boys as a coach you need to shout and scream at them a lot more to get your point across more.
    I dont know why it is but boys and men from my experience respond better to shouting and aggression.
    Obviously dont swear at them because you dont want to get reported.
  25. Mar 24, 2019
    #25

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    Thanks.

    The idea (to me at least) that your son is playing "competitive" football at that age is wrong. This is probably one good thing that Australia's done with youth competitions in that it isnt competitive until u12. Like @BootsyCollins said, the most important thing for player at that age is to have fun. If your boy isn't getting it in the environment he's in now, why should he stay?

    Although, if your club has 30 players at that age group, there's 5 teams of six there where players could get more even amounts of time. I can't say too much more as i dont know your club situation

    Mate, I coached this same core group last year at u9. They've improved immeasurably since we started. I'm so proud of them all.

    Know what you mean about reffing. One of my players got crunched late on this morning. Was a legit tackle, just ended unfortunately. My player copped a heavy one to the knee and a few tears were had. When I offered to take him off for a bit, suddenly he was okay (funny that :lol: ) Brave dude tried to play on but had to come off towards the end. That reminds me, I should check in with his dad tomorrow and see how he's faring...

    :lol: my phones been going off with texts from parents saying "Thanks coach" - it was all the players doing. Having that DM sitting in front of the two defenders worked wonders.

    Agreed entirely with this. I have said multiple times to my parents since starting that I would honestly put more emphasis on improving their skills and through that, helping them to improve as people (like me trying to set the right example of how to behave on the pitch, communication, supporting your teammates etc). If their skills improve, the results will follow, and it'll be exactly because theyve deserved it.

    Actually had something similar this morning. In my team of 13 I have 12 boys and 1 girl. The girl is phenomenally quick in the sprint and is a great defender at that age. I want to try and encourage her to play out from the back so I gave her a go in midfield. She came up and asked me "How do you want me to play?" Rather than overload her with instructions I just told her to stick close to our DM, to give him a quick easy option, and to just keep the ball moving forward.
  26. Mar 24, 2019
    #26

    T00lsh3d Full Member

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    Won our local derby 3-1 and 4-3 today, absolutely buzzing. Played some decent stuff as well. All about getting our wingers to stay wide at the moment, creating space in the middle as we’ve some dynamic midfielders and forwards

    How did you all get on?
  27. Mar 24, 2019
    #27

    Thunderhead Full Member

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    Our lot got beat, u8 level and I eventually lost it with a gob shite parent who keeps yelling at the kids to clear it when in their own box they're being coached to run with the ball and pass the ball from the back and not just hoof it up the park with out any thought to why they would do that, my kid didn't have a clue what to do when the bloke shouted clear it and I shouted back no, don't do your own thing and then got tackled and they scored from it :lol:
  28. Mar 24, 2019
    #28

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Same every week with me
  29. Mar 24, 2019
    #29

    Sunny Jim Full Member

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    Are you a former player?
    I really want to take up coaching classes for youth teams but never played at any level..so dont know how much of a disadvantge that would be.
  30. Mar 24, 2019
    #30

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    I played yes but not to any decent level. You can still do the courses and get a feel for it.
    When I did the first coaching course there were a couple on there who had never played. I suppose an advantage of playing is being used to terminology such as simple things, man on, turn, step, time etc. None of that is taught, it’s mainly focused on drills and positive attitudes.

    Actually, that’s reminded me in our course we were told to be aware of terminology and how kids might not know what you’re on about, they used the example of shouting “stay on his toes” and kids taking it literally.
  31. Mar 24, 2019
    #31

    Thunderhead Full Member

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    Not a disadvantage at all, I reckon one of the best coaches in our league is a woman who knew nothing about football but only took the coaching role on was so the kids in the village could have a team
  32. Mar 24, 2019
    #32

    Flying Fox Full Member

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    Mine don't quite get it yet not to play the loose passes in defence across our goals. Had a few heart in mouth moments when they tried it anyway haha
  33. Mar 24, 2019
    #33

    Thunderhead Full Member

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    Yeah, but it's better they play then and learn from mistakes than just aimlessly hoofing the ball up the field. What were trying to do is make sure there is an option for the pass or run with it even knocking it out for a throw is preferred to the old hoof, that'll come later when there older as a last c resort
  34. Mar 24, 2019
    #34

    Alex99 Rehab's Pete Doherty Scout

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    Not coaching currently, but I didn't do too much in the way of tactical prep until I hit 11-a-side at under 12s with my lot. Not sure what the step-ups are in your league structure but these were the formations I set them out in at the various stages (this goes from under 8s to under 11s, with an extra player each year basically):

    6-a-side - 2-2-1
    This was very much kick and rush and was very difficult to actually have them hold any shape. In general though, getting the striker to stay up top and the defenders to only push on when the ball was on their side of the pitch seemed simple enough for them to grasp. Found it important to get the defenders taking all throw-ins (or kick-ins in some leagues) from their side.

    7-a-side - 2-3-1
    Similar challenges to 6-a-side on the kick and rush front. Same plan with the striker staying up top, but now actually introducing some semblance of shape into the midfield. Important for the wide midfielders to stay on their sides and stretch the pitch as much as they can, and once again the defenders need to be mindful of when they push on. Big challenge I found at 7-a-side was stopping one or more of the midfielders staying up top with the striker.

    8-a-side - 2-3-2 or 3-3-1
    The first option here adds an element of a strike partnership. I always used to use this as a proper way of linking with the midfield, so I tended to designate one striker to stay up, while the other would have to track back more. Same things with the midfield as 7-a-side on the first option. Second option adds a proper distinction between full-backs and centre-backs for the first time. Centre-back has to always sit for me, and the full-backs follow the same stipulations as the smaller-sided games, just with slightly more freedom because there's the opportunity to work on a proper overlap.

    9-a-side - 3-3-2
    I found 8-a-side still kick and rush for the most part, but there were glimpses of it starting to click. 9-a-side is where you should hopefully start seeing some proper shape to the play. I got really big on triangles with them at this stage, and they loved an app I had on my tablet that was basically the old formation settings from FM, because they could see the illustration of their possible triangles. Found that a good individual became far less capable of carrying a team here too (unless they were really good) because it was easier to crowd them out without leaving too much space elsewhere.

    With all of these I used to mix up their preferred positions, because at the younger ages you undoubtedly end up with a team full of strikers. Big issue is finding a solid goalkeeper in the approach to 11-a-side, so good luck with that one. A growing problem I had, as did some of the other coaches in the club, was what we ended up referring to as the "FIFA-position". You're playing 6 or 7-a-side and you've got kids asking to play "CAM", "CDM" or "wing-back", so I adopted the approach of asking what they thought their job would be if I played them there, which they usually couldn't answer, so I told them to find out and then I'd think about it. I think I only had one kid come back to me with an explanation, and he wanted to play "CDM" in 7-a-side, so I agreed and he had a stormer sat in front of the defence and spreading passes to the wingers to which I'd given more license to push on.

    Training-wise, I didn't refer too often to the drills you find in coaching guides but that was because time was at a premium for me on the training pitch, and I was often on my own so I didn't get a lot prep or clear-up time, which those drills often require.

    My lot were always so obsessed with playing a match (and I was the same when I was a kid), I used to basically adapt a match for the session each week once we'd done the warm up. Warm-ups I tended to use to focus on close-control and weak-foot practice, because as soon as you try and do anything else they're going to revert to belting it up the pitch as quickly as possible.

    Lots of two-touch games, or games where they have to string x number of passes together before they can score are great. Anything that gets them thinking about moving in a direction other than up the pitch is great, because they'll lose the ball so often from running into blind alleys because that's the way the goal is. Barely ever played with a proper goal and a goalkeeper until the final five or ten minutes of a training sessions because I wanted them to get the passing and movement side of things nailed.

    Mixing in specific attacking and defending drills is good too, but they were a bit fruitless I found until around late under 9s/under 10s. Shooting practice is always one they'll enjoy, but I used to make them call their shot so they couldn't get away with fluking it.

    Just a big thing for me was getting them to think about not just what they were doing, but why they were doing it. Loved getting out that bit from Goal where you ask them to run to a cone and just blast the ball over their head when they won't pass it.
  35. Mar 25, 2019
    #35

    BootsyCollins Full Member

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    This you should continue doing. Sounds like great sessions with lots of energy and decision-making for the kids.
    Lots of specific technical skills you can train in matchplay also. F.ex shooting practice imo is much more effective in gameplay than the old "stand on a line and shoot one after another" like i did countless times as a kid and then made my team to my first years of coaching.
    Make a pretty small field with larger goals that you usually play with, no goalie and 3v3 or 4v4(maybe even with a joker if you want the team with the ball to have more chances at getting to shot, so 4v3 or 5v4). Make a line 5-6 meters from each goal and no goals are allowed after that line. Then you have a match were you got shots from distance, with realistic match play from the defenders, all the time. And the smaller you make the area in the middle were shots are allowed from, the higher the tempo gets and the more shots you get. Just make sure you got 20 balls with you so you can start the game as soon as the shot is off.

    What do you guys do to get the playing tempo to go up when you train?
    Its the biggest challenge in my opinion, when working with kids, but also probably the most necessary to make good footballers. High tempo is everything, and often what separates good from great, both on a team level and on a individual level.
  36. Mar 25, 2019
    #36

    Champ Full Member

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    I help coach an under 9s team, my son plays for them, but also my two sons both train with Norwich development centres too, so I get to see a lot of coaching at kids level, both at local level and elite level.
    To be fair the main focus at under 9/10 level should be fun, get them enjoying the game, give all the players as many touches of the ball as possible in every drill.
    We tend to focus on shielding and keeping the ball, so possession based games, and techniques such as keeping the ball on the floor when shooting and passing, using laces/side of the foot.
    I love doing it, the more kids involved in football the better. Get them enjoying and loving the game early.
  37. Mar 25, 2019
    #37

    BootsyCollins Full Member

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    Nice post, and i really like this part and agree with it.
    How did you do the two-touch games? Because i try to avoid the max two-touch instruction, as i feel its unnecessary to put this "limitation" on them, when it would work just as well with the string passes together game that you suggest.
    One of the game is "dont do this" and the other game is "try to do this" but they really serve the same purpose and encourage the same behaviour.
  38. Mar 25, 2019
    #38

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

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    Thanks mate again, I did read your previous reply too regarding player positions but not had chance to reply in detail.
    I totally agree about keeping rotating players at a young age, I should do it more tbh, I have players who love forwards and other who only want to play defence, I don’t want to force them into positions they don’t like, it’s all about them enjoying themselves, I move them slowly maybe from defence to a midfield position or midfield to attack, we play a 2-1-2 formation that they all seem comfortable with at the moment, I think next year going up an extra man I’m planning on playing the forwards as wing backs a lot so they get to experience defence and attack. And slowly move players from defence to midfield and then attack so they get to grips and try every position.
    As you say it’s all about them learning technical ability and having fun at this age, I think they still need to have some kind of structure and formation though as it will be demoralising getting smashed every week and no fun for anybody.

    The post I’ve quoted, thanks for the training tips for shooting, I’ll certainly try the marked area to shoot from, it sounds good! I certainly don’t have the kids line up to take shots and always try to have a maximum of 2 to a ball in drills so there’s no hanging about talking about fortnite! It’s all about keeping their attention switched on and no time for day dreaming.

    Regarding the training tempo, I find my lot are more up for it in training than a match as they know each other and want to beat each other.
    They definitely got more tired during training than a match.
  39. Mar 25, 2019
    #39

    BootsyCollins Full Member

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    Yup, agree with this. Its about finding the balance and its difficult.

    The competition in training i also agree with. They really want to beat their friends, so matchplay is always in high tempo.
    I was talking more in drills that not a competition, or hard to make competitive. I find it the tempo falls, specially when its a repetitive drill.
    I try to avoid it as much as possible, but some things needs to be learned this way i feel, but im struggling with holding the tempo up to get as much as we can out of the drill.
  40. Mar 25, 2019
    #40

    Zlatan 7 Full Member

    Joined:
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    Ahh right, yes I get you about then slacking in drills. I have that problem too. They may walk between cones or there’s no urgency.
    I’ve tried turning most things into a competion, even drills, what group gets the most competed passes in rondo, who makes most passes when we do a guy in the middle turn and pass to outside people repeatedly (piggy in middle shape). They just want to beat each other and if there’s no competition, only learning they lose effort.