SAY Sample Candy Practice Schedule
Submitted by Kurt Kiessling, Coach and NWCCSAY Board Member
This is a guide and not the only way to run a practice. We've taken the drills that we've seen work effectively at this age group and listed them below. Use your best judgment regarding what works, but most importantly, have fun!!!
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: 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.
Ball Tag: Have them chase you and try to kick you with the ball. Mix in a sibling or parent
Freeze Dribble: Have them dribble around and you yell, "Freeze like a ____." Put in animals, Disney characters, etc. Repeat several times.
Knockout: Put cones in a circle and everyone has a ball but one player. Player without 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 kidís 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. That way everyone gets to work on dribbling and at taking the ball away.
Sharks and Minnows: Minnows must dribble through sharks to get to the other side. Mix in parents and siblings.
Scrimmage: End practice with this so they get game-like scenarios.
Throw Ins: I don't teach this until the week of the first game. Curl up like a turtle and have them throw at you. They like it.
H20: Give lots of breaks, they dehydrate quickly.
Game Management: I rotate kickoffs, throw ins, goal/corner kicks to ensure touches. Keep track of who starts and who is captain at coin toss, so all get a turn.
Other Thoughts: At this age, if you get them going in the right direction, youíre doing well. Sometimes it is hard for kids to be aggressive at first. They've been socialized to share, share, share and now parents and coaches are encouraging them to take a ball away from someone else. It takes some time to get used to it. Also, kids with older siblings who play soccer have had more exposure, so they're often ahead at first, but the others catch up quite quickly.
Thanks for being a coach, it is a lot of fun!
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