April 13, 2011 4 Comments
Our under 7s had a match tonight. It was only our second game but as I’d missed the first fixture due to being away I was very much looking forward to tonight to see how the players I’d been working with for the last 9 months would get on in a match environment.
We played a local side and had a squad of 16 for 3 x 20 minutes matches. Unfortunately, we felt defeat in all three games but there were certainly positives to take and the main reason for our defeats appeared to be that whilst our players aren’t used to playing matches, the opposition certainly were.
Anyway, I’m not here to write about the performance or the result but more to share my observations from watching an under 7s match for the first time!
So here they are:
- Match experience and positional sense played a huge factor tonight
- The opposition managers had clearly set their team up well, but they’d also had them doing stretches and passing DRILLS before the game so were taking it very seriously
- Under 7 players will direct criticism at team mates when things are going against them
- Under 7 players will cry, mainly through frustration, when they lose games by a few goals
- Some players surprised me with how well they played tonight, others surprised me by how they didn’t (match awareness v skill/ability)
- A LOT of goals came from goal-kicks (as someone said in the week, should players retreat to the halfway line to improve this?)
- Refereeing under 7s was fairly simple, despite the huge crowd(!)
I think the biggest positive is that the ability to watch our players in a match environment gives us an opportunity to guide the training around the areas we’ve observed and that there’s clearly a lot the players will learn from the basic experience of playing matches.
Our players did get upset tonight, more so than I thought and that did take me by surprise. If anything I think it’s a good experience for them to learn to deal with defeat (if we coach it in the right way) and being 7 I’m sure they’ve already forgotten the game by the time I’m writing this!
Unfortunately that’s it for me now ahead of spending 6 weeks in India through work commitments but I’ll look forward to getting back and working with the players ahead of future games 🙂