We all fell in love with this beautiful game at some point in our lives. Most of us at a young age when playing around was fun and chasing and possessing the ball was the greatest thing in the world. When it comes to preserving the love for the game for the very youngest and to avoid losing kids from stopping to play football, some points are crucial:
Far too often we consider children as small adults. Everything of the 11vs11 is adjusted to youth football. Pitch size is smaller, goals are smaller, playing time is shortened, number of players is reduced; everything is small adults, right?
So, let’s just adapt the training methods, exercises, playing style we use for adults and apply it in youth training as well with little of the above-mentioned adaptations; everything is small adults, right?
As coaches we need to take a step back and deliver our training sessions out of a child’s view. A good way is to try to remember what we felt like as a child. It’s ok not to know the answer, get the perfect drill done or play a flawless match. In fact, that doesn’t even hold true for adults, so let the kids be kids and use appropriate training forms with lots of variations, storytelling, and the freedom to try new things in a safe environment without any fear of failure where the kids (and the coaches) are able to learn and to grow.
Let the kids choose their own favourite movements, tricks, or exercise, choosing from previous sessions or encourage autonomy and creativity in finding new solutions to a given task. You will be surprised about all the creativity occurring and maybe you will learn some new things for yourself.
Another point is to let the kids play after their own modified rules every once in a while. Enjoy the creativity and see how the kids handle emerging problems in the group. However, this point strongly depends on age and maturity of the players, the general group setting, and it works best if the group members know each other already. Some guidance from the coach is still needed to control possible occurring chaos.
In the end it‘s all about the kids and not about the coaches, parents, or any other adult person working with kids. So let’s take these points into consideration and go out, have fun and play.
Our online coaching certificate will provide you with a basic & engaging, first level introduction to soccer practices in a fun, safe environment focussing on engaging with youth players.
The online coaching course covers four key areas: FUNdamental concepts of coaching, key coaching process components & skills, exposure to a modern applied coaching structure & further advances through an introduction to an integrated training approach.
In addition to these areas: Developing a culture, player pathways, promoting & developing sound coaching sessions are embedded.