Coaching Day 4: Success & Challenges


I had a really enjoyable session with the U7s tonight, with 12 of them braving the conditions to come along. I saw evidence of some very small, yet tangible success with one or two of the kids and I also had some challenges which of course are all part of the learning process.

I felt the session was positive because we spent 90% of the session with the boys working on their ball skills, primarily through dribbling & control. At the start of the session we had the boys dribbling from one side of the pitch to the other. I chose to work with a couple of the boys and challenged them to use both feet to dribble with (moving the ball from right foot to left, then back to right) as a way of keeping the ball closer to them and then, as we progressed in to a game of sharks v minnows, I worked with one of the boys and had him working on one particular skill in order to dribble round me.

Following this we split the boys in to two groups with Phil & I both taking one group. I had the boys with me taking part in a basic game where they’d dribble through cones before taking a shot, this then progressed by changing angles, changing feet and improving the pace at which they went through the cones. I also had them then playing a 1-2 with me before shooting; I used this to work on their communication (they wouldn’t get the ball back without calling my name and asking for it) and also challenged some of the boys who were scoring regularly by changing their feet and also giving them bouncing balls to control and hit.

After these games we finished with a 5 minute game where I asked the boys to try to pass it as much as possible, a couple of them tried to do this where possible which was good to see. My one major success game during the game as I saw the boy who I’d earlier worked with on dribbling perform the skill I’d shown him – this was fantastic! Appreciate it’s only once, but to see him use it, and it work, was a real motivator and it’ll be interesting to see if he remembers it next week 🙂

The game itself had its challenges as one of the kids had been desperate to go in goal for our team but he wasn’t very good which meant our team conceded a few very soft goals. Not particularly a problem but the other players kept asking for him to be replaced as he was “rubbish” but I didn’t want to move him so I had to try to keep them focussed on scoring goals at the other end!

My other challenge is thinking quickly on my feet to think of new games to play – I think I’ve been reading about so many different games from so many various websites that it’s clouding my brain. I’m going to try to focus on the Level 1 games, embed them in my head, and then look around at others…or maybe I’ll just take a folder with them all in!

Bit of a brain dump, but that was “day 4”.

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About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

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