This week is supposed to be warm, so it might be wise to email your team and remind them to bring lots of water. We will be doing some fun game this week to hopefully keep everyone motivated through the heat! Make sure you give your team plenty of water breaks, but at the same time don’t give them too much time to goof off.
Do your regular warm up with the 2 lines. It has been great to see everyone doing this. Warming up is vital to being a good soccer player, and helps prevent injuries. It is also a time to help them focus on what they are there for.
Once you have done your warm up, have them pair up and get in groups of 3 and try to keep the ball in the air while juggling. See who can do it the longest. This is also something you can get them to do while they arrive.
This week we will be working on defending. As I was watching the game last week I was extremely impressed with the awareness of every player on how to use the width of the field, and also how to pass around the other team. I saw some plays that honestly you would never see at this age! Rory Luxmoore and I were both super impressed! But there are always things we can work on, and there were some key areas I noticed that we will begin to touch on. One was defending. All the teams were aggressive, but the technique behind defender was missing a little. There was lots of just running at the ball and lots of collisions. Hopefully these drills/games will help with defending awareness. Next week we will work on using the width of the field and how to work as a team with our positioning.
Defending coaching points. Here are some points for you as a coach to remember about defending, as well as a youtube clip that talks about Block Tackling. Remember, we DO NOT slide tackle at this age, and all slide tackles will be called by the ref and could result in your player being asked to sit on the sidelines during a game. This is simply about safety as most players at this age are unable to slide tackle safely.
Ensure you spend time demonstrating proper defending stance and positioning. Encourage good defending skills and correct when needed.
Defender's feet should be about a shoulder width apart, boxers stance
- legs should be slightly bent
- stay on toes so you can react to any sudden changes of direction by the attacker.
-quick close down. You want to get to the attacker quick, but in the last few feet slow your run down so you can close down the space and react to their movements.
-delay/give space - don't commit- jockey (wait for them to take a bad touch or make the first move).
-watch ball not player. You want to be watching the ball, not the player's body or feet. Their feet and body can confuse you, but the ball can only go in the direction it will go.
-make the attacker make the mistake
- defender is goal side (closer to net than attacker)
- direct attacker into area where there is support or try to force them out wide.
How to block tackle:
1. Ball warm up:
Keep Away - 20 X 30 m grid. All players except for two are dribbling within a grid. Those without balls try to win ball from other players and then continue to dribble with grid. When coach stops play the two players without balls must do a challenge.
2. 1 vs 1 defending.
Play kings court style or just let them play until the get tired. Players stand 15 yards apart. Defender passes ball to attacker who tries to beat defender and dribble to end line and stop it. 2 minute games.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6-1No0rddBo (as in video except multiple grids so no line ups.)
Progress to 2 vs 1 where defender is trying to prevent two attackers from getting to endline or to get a shot on net.
You Could play knock out version with two grids, continuous, with one person as the shark, they need to know everyone's ball out of grid, when knocked out, they go into second grid, coach designates a shark for that grid. Switch sharks when clearly tired.
4. Win ball Drill
Two lines facing coach, coach passes a 50/50 ball, players need to try and win ball and either score on a small net or pass to a target (ball on cone or at the net) and work on defender's working to win the ball back and make strong second effort.
5. 1v1 to numbers game
Have two small goals on either end of a mini field. Balls at centre on side of grid with coach, line up of players on either side of coach (two teams, one in pinnies), play a ball into middle of field, 1v1 until dead or score. Can increase number of players going for ball to create different situations, 2v2, 3v3 etc...or numbers game: Number players 1,2,3,4,5 etc. Call out a number. Coach rolls out ball at center line and numbered player on each team must try to win ball and then either defend their goal or attack the other goal. Progress to calling out more than one number and encourage players on same team to work together to score.
Two teams. Regular rules except man on man marking only. Pair up forwards and defence, and midfielders and midfielders. Have one player on each team who can check anyone. Stress importance of knowing where your check is and to get goal side (between the attacker and your goal) and defend against check when ball is lost. Place a ball on top of a cone at each end. This will act as the “goal.” To get a point the attacking team must knock the ball off of the cone.