SAY Sample Passers Practice Schedule
Submitted by Kurt Kiessling, Coach and NWCCSAY Board Member
Here is a practice schedule I use. At this age, you tend to get wide gaps in talent as you’ll have experienced seven year olds and some six year olds that have never played before. You’ll notice a theme of individual skill work early in practice and team drills toward the end.
Name Game: (for use early in the season) Sit in a circle, coach included, so you're at their eye level. Each player says his/her name. In subsequent practices, ask the kids to state each others' names. It takes two or three weeks to learn names.
Simon Says: Kids need improved ball skills. Do this for ball drills, like pass the ball back and forth between their feet, toe taps, roll behinds etc. Have fun with it - say sit on the ball, touch head to it, etc. Let players be Simon later in the year, it helps teach leadership.
Ball tag: Have them chase you and try to kick you with the ball. Mix in a sibling or parent. I do this early in the year and then stop mid-way through the season as ball skills improve.
Knockout: Put cones in a circle and everyone has a ball but one player. Player without the ball tries to kick everyone's ball out. Use a theme such as Cinderella and the player w/out ball is wicked stepmother. Use Peter Pan/Capt Hook for boys. Substitute in whatever kid’s movie is in vogue. Also, when players get knocked out, get them right back in. They don't learn anything watching other kids dribble. I let each kid take a turn at being a bad guy or have two bad guys at once. That way everyone gets to work on dribbling and at taking the ball away.
DRILLS TO PROMOTE MORE AGGRESSIVE PLAY:
For newer players, it is sometimes hard to be aggressive, as kids are taught to be nice and share in school/home. Now we’re telling them to take something from someone else. These drills can help learn to be aggressive/take the ball away.
Sharks and Minnows: Minnows must dribble through sharks to get to the other side. Mix in parents /siblings. I use this early in the season.
1 on 1 Toss Up: Have two players throw the ball out. The first one to the ball is on offense, the second one is on defense. The offensive player tries to score. Match players with similar abilities.
3 on 1: Have 3 lines at midfield, one in the middle and one on each wing. Put one defender back and have one goalie. This gets 5 kids in the drill and thus not a lot of time waiting in lines (kids hate that). Person with ball dribbles to goal and when defender engages, player passes to either wing. This drill promotes passing, defense, goalie work and teaches offensive players to stay in lanes.
Scrimmage: End practice with this so they get game-like scenarios. Stay on the field so you can help kids understand positioning and what to do in situations.
Throw Ins: I don't teach this until the week of first game. Key advice is throw it right away, preferably down the line to a teammate.
Goalies: During practice, I let everyone have a turn that wants to play goalie. In games, I tend to use the kids with mid level ability that won’t get hurt and who have a chance to stop the ball. I won’t put a child in goal who I think has a chance to get hurt by a hard shot from a big seven old. I switch off every quarter so no one is stuck in the goal the whole time.
H20: Give lots of breaks, they dehydrate quickly.
Game Management: I rotate kickoffs and throw ins. Keep track of who starts and who is captain at coin toss so all get a turn. Make sure everyone plays at least two quarters.
Thanks for being a coach, it is a lot of fun!
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