What do I know about coaching under 7s? Nothing, actually…
September 14, 2010 2 Comments
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going to start my coaching efforts by helping to coach a team of Under 7 boys from (hopefully) tomorrow evening. So, having understood that I’ll be starting with U7s I asked the obvious question, “What do I know about 6/7 year old children and how to coach them?” The answer? Very little, if anything…
To help give myself a fighting chance I decided to do some brief reading over the weekend to see what I could find out about coaching U7 footballers and then be in a position to re-visit this list after a couple of months.
So, what did I find out?
- As young children, they are still developing physically which includes areas such as balance and aerobic capacity:
- As such, their football coaching should include games which help them develop in this area (i.e. controlling the ball with various parts of the body)
- They don’t need 5 mile runs for fitness
- Their body isn’t fully developed in regulating their temperature which means they have a tendency to get very hot very quickly, so ensure they get plenty of drink breaks
- They are likely to dwell on negative feedback and therefore do not criticise, or give negative feedback. Only reinforce positives, “catch them in”
- Focus on technique, games such as ‘Sharks v Minnows’ and ‘numbers’ feature heavily on sites such as http://www.footy4kids.co.uk when looking for games for young children
- Their attention span is short, so keep game descriptions brief and demo all the time
- Tactics are meaningless to children of 6 or 7 years old
- Finally, and most importantly, they must find football enjoyable – so make sure you have fun and make sure they have fun too.
That’s a top level summary of what my weekend’s reading told me about coaching U7s! I’m sure there’s a million other points available for me to note but half the fun should be learning about these as I go! I’ll ensure I revisit this post after a couple of months and share my views having spent an hour a week with our local U7s team.
In the mean time, if you’re reading this thinking “YOU’VE MISSED SOMETHING IMPORTANT!” then please share it as it might help me and it might also help anyone else who comes across this post 🙂