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Adam32m

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akommers
Thanks. Great info about the different phases, etc.  I like the concept and am debating teaching it. I see how this would work well. But if the ball is on our side of the field, wouldn't the player who needs to be ready to defend as soon as we lose the ball be the 'defense'/'backs'?


Everyone attacks, everyone defends. This is exactly why AFB doesn't teach positions, just roles which are interchangeable and moment-specific. One of the first tasks defenders (not the position, but the team without the ball) need to do is drop below the ball so they are between the ball and their own goal. So if this happens in our own end, everyone will have to drop back. If the last defender is also the closest to the ball, she needs to try to delay the other team's attack until other players drop behind her.






Adam32m

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akommers
 And if we were on the other teams side, if we had one of our offensive players trail the girl with the ball, wouldn't that be a critical extra passing/scorer option that we'd have to sacrifice? 


There are 3 roles for players without the ball to help the player in possession of the ball. In field hockey, they use the terms target, support, and guard to describe these roles. The target player is ahead of the player with the ball (think forward), the support player is next to the player with the ball providing width, and a guard player is behind the player with the ball, supporting play but also ready to guard against a counter attack. These are not fixed positions, so if the forward has the ball, another player needs to overlap and run into space ahead of that forward. 
craigl

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akommers
Thanks. Great info about the different phases, etc.  I like the concept and am debating teaching it. I see how this would work well.

But if the ball is on our side of the field, wouldn't the player who needs to be ready to defend as soon as we lose the ball be the 'defense'/'backs'?

And if we were on the other teams side, if we had one of our offensive players trail the girl with the ball, wouldn't that be a critical extra passing/scorer option that we'd have to sacrifice? 


When we have the ball everyone immediately attacks.

When they have the ball everyone immediately defends.

The last defender role is 80% that they are thinking about what to do if the ball is lost so they can immediately react to it happening and 20% they are in a good position to deal with it.

When you attack you have a shape that is good for attacking and you are often spread out.   When you defend you are ball side, compact, and marking tight near the ball.   These are opposite situations.   So, when you attack you are often in a poor position to defend so you need a player who is prepared to handle it.  Players learn to think like attack, attack, attack  or defend, defend, defend.  Other times one needs to think support the attack, but be ready to breakup the counter if we lose the ball.   defend, defend, as soon as we win the ball be ready to provide a target for a counter attack. 

The soccer player is like an actor who plays a role in a play.   One character thinks and acts one way.   Another character thinks and acts the other.   A good actor can play either part.   Some player naturally prefer to defend and others attack.   They need to be able to do both.  The actors together are stronger than individuals working by themselves.  Still, the focus here is improving the individual player's technical skill and game intelligence.


Soccer is often played with the entire team staying compact to reduce space and this is how I played ( and even more so with the high intensity games of 4v4 plus keeper on a small field).  So, my players all pushed up and the keeper comes off the line when our ball is in the other half.   The keeper is adjusting positioning based upon movement of the ball and pressure on the ball.   I work a great deal about how to retain possession and how to not give the ball away.  If the other team cannot have the ball they cannot score.

Soccer can be played where there is a gap between the forwards and the backs and in this case the team is not compact and you already have defensive depth.  The backs are often not making decisions about how far to push up or move back or how to defend when pushed up.   For, this reason I do not use it with U8.   This approach is sometimes tactically used when you have a big field and do not have any speed on your team relative to your opponents and your keeper is not capable of a sweeper role.  Sometimes it happens late in games when the players are tired or the score has already gotten out of hand or the coach does not know any better.

everything

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Reply with quote  #44 
I think your question is for craig, but no, the "1st defender" is the player (regardless of position/label/etc) close to the opponent with the ball and should immediately put some pressure on the ball (not necessarily tackle). 

I'll channel coachkev a little here. If your team doesn't have the ball and wants to attack, your team first needs to GET the ball. Why would you wait for the "back" to get it? You shouldn't.
ianrudy

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Reply with quote  #45 
"Whose got ball" - 1st defender.. person closest to the ball and like everything said doesn't matter what position you play.. everyone plays defense

"Whose got their back" - 2nd defender.. person next closest to the ball who provides cover for the 1st defender in case they get beat and becomes the next 1st defender.. everyone plays defense.. goal side (between the ball and the goal you defend)

Don't gloss over everything's point about "not necessarily tackle" either because at that age and even a bit older they love to dive in and immediately try to win the ball back when you teach them coachkev's GET THE BALL.  Talk about restraint as one of the principles of play and wait for the offensive player to make a mistake (bad touch, ball away from body and able to be tackled, etc.) and then get the ball.  Allow them to make the mistake of diving in and getting beat and showing the transition between the 1st and 2nd defender (and that person that just got beat better hustle back and become the next 2nd defender..).

Transition games help enforce these concepts individually and in small groups..  There are tons but one of my favorites that is very simple to setup with just 8 cones in a 15 yard x 15 yard area:

c  X2  c                    c  X2  c

           X1o          
                        X1
         Y1         Y1


c  Y2  c                    c  Y2  c 


X players and Y players.  2v2 in the middle.  The X1's are trying to pass to either Y2 person standing between two cone goals about 2 yards apart.  As soon as the Y2 receives that pair immediately attacks towards the other side and the pair that passed to them replaces them inside the cone goals.  The team that was defending is still defending (this can really put the burden on some of your weaker players so you need to be careful and balance whether you leave them in to keep playing or manually switch them out.. I'm big on letting the kids know ahead of time the burden for not working hard on defense and only will pull them out if it becomes a safety concern) and when they win the ball they are trying to score in the opposite goal.  So if the X1 team scores and the Y2 team now attacks towards the X2 team and the Y1 team wins the ball they try and score towards the X1 team who has taken positions inside the cone goals.  If the ball goes outside of the playing area or there is a bad touch or pass to the player in the cone goal the same 2v2 teams stay out and start with a back to back restart in the middle.  You can coach attacking first touch out of this, support, 1st and 2nd defender, all kinds of stuff.. simple game kids love it and will play for awhile.  You can also make this a 1v1 game instead of 2v2, you can add another goal set and make the field bigger and go 3v3.. etc.  You can also double up the players in the goals to lessen the fitness requirement as well.  Makes everyone stay aware and "checked in" to the game.

Coaching points for your topic at hand are as soon as that pass is made to the new attacker which person is the closest and are they providing pressure on the ball immediately but in control (i.e. not moving forward and getting beat with a good attacking first touch).  Work the 1st defender's body shape in relation to the field and the goals and have the 2nd defender support based on where the 1st defender is showing them.  Good bit of natural stoppages occur to for some quick coaching points and provide a bit of a break.
craigl

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Reply with quote  #46 
I think there are lots of good suggestions by everyone.  I want to be clear that the term "last defender" is one that I used when I was looking for a way to teach the players how I wanted them to think about the game.  My posts are about how I used it with a U8 team and it is not a standard term to my knowledge.

Traditionally, as coaches we use the terms first defender, second defender, third defender as this is how it is taught.  I want to provide some background about this in case anyone is not familiar with the ideas.  It is abstract and kind of an adult way of seeing the game that players may learn over time.  You want to keep things simple and gradually build on what they currently know.

The person closest to the ball is typically the first defender.  His action involves closing down the person who either has the ball or is about to get the ball from a pass (while ball is on the way).   The defender moves as fast as possible, but as he gets closer to the person he shortens his stride and is more cautious to not get beat.  He typically shows the defender to one side or the other so that the players behind him know that the ball will go to one side so this allows them to overload that side and win the ball more easily.   How far this player is from the opponent who has the ball influences the opponents passing options.  It influences where the team mates can be to help defend.

An important role of the first defender is to slow down the other team so his team has time to get ball side (recover) and obtain better defensive shape.  He may tackle immediately if the opportunity presents itself, or he may wait until his has defensive cover before making the tackle.

The second defender is the 1-2 players that are close to the first defender.  They are positioned close to the first defender if he is tight on the opponent with the ball and will be deeper behind the first defender if he is not tighter on the ball.   An opponent who dribbles the first defender will often lose the ball to the second defender.   The opponent who passes the ball forward or lateral when under pressure from the first defender often gives it away to the second defender.

The 3rd defender role is more about balance so the entire team is not on one side of the field.   They are able to handle if the ball is switched without the other team being able to easily score a goal.

Other concepts can be double teaming the person with the ball in certain areas.

Also, you may decide where you want to defend.  You can drop the team and just defend on your half or you can press and try to defend up near the opponents goal.  You can always do it a certain way during the entire game or you can vary it over the course of the game.

So, these are some of the more traditional defending concepts.   This is common information that most experienced coaches know. 

As coaches, we need to know and understand the theory and then we present it in an age/developmentally appropriate way.  As I mentioned earlier there are so many things to teach you have to pick 1-2 important things and not try to teach everything at once.
akommers

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Reply with quote  #47 
More really good posts.  My last question was about having a person trail the girl with the ball.   To clarify, I was following up on craigl's suggestion to do this.  And we were talking about if our team had the ball on offense, and was attacking, we were talking about having a girl behind the attacker, in case the attacker lost the ball.  But the posts started talking about 1st defender.  But when we are attacking, having a girl behind the attacker in case we lose the ball is still considered an attacker, right? She wouldn't be 'first defender' if we still had the ball?  
craigl

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Reply with quote  #48 
akommers,

I don't think of the 'last defender' as trailing the person with the ball.  This causes me to imagine a player chasing behind the person with the ball.   The 'last defender' is likely behind the ball to some extent so in that way they are perhaps trailing the ball.  They are likely the defender on our team (or should I say attacker ;-))  who is closest to our own goal when we have the ball.   

(Aside: last defender is the last defender between the opponents and our goal besides the keeper.  I am using the term defender here meaning all of the players and also we have the ball at this moment so we might be considered to also be attackers at the same time.  I apologize for any confusion)

I think people are thinking ahead to the A->D moment and they are saying this 'last defender' is not necessarily the person to immediately pressure the ball.  The first defender should pressure the ball.  It would be a mistake to think that there is only one 'defender' at this transition moment.

I created the term 'last defender' because I have my players all push up into the attack and then when we lose the ball we have to deal with the A->D moment.  I needed a player to provide some defensive depth so we did not give up a cheap goal.   I did not want one player to park the buss.   I wanted the player to learn to think in a way similar to what a DM or CD needs at U14.  Also, players that had experience with game situations they would face at U14 game where they push up into the attacking half.   I wanted the players to learn to see the positions of team mates and to make decisions based upon the shape rather than just seeing the ball and the goal.   I wanted the players to learn for one person to fill this role so they could rotate into the attack and someone else would recognize that they needed to cover this role.   

It takes a team collectively understanding the situation in the same way.  This is how i like to play.  The players eventually are able to swap roles and interchange.

thank you for the thread it has created some good discussion.
akommers

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Reply with quote  #49 
Thanks for going deeper on last defender, first defender, when we are on offense. Yes, interesting to hear defensive strategy when you are on offense and playing shape.
Currently I'm not there yet, kind of playing a triangle with one defensive back.  The good backs can come all the way to the edge of the circle on the other teams side if we have the ball by their goal.  The week players if they are the back I still have them behind the center line because they don't have the ability to recover and get beat easily. Maybe not ideal, but just where were at so far.  Again not much time with one practice a week and second graders.  The assistant coach did mention he was impressed with the last practice, he liked the triangle and the 1 vs 1, 1 vs 2 we were doing.  Our team is definitely going in the right direction.
akommers

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Reply with quote  #50 
So we have UK Trainers available to help us 2 times the season.  Last practice was our second time using them.  I said I'd like him to work with them on passing and creating space.  He's nice, but told me 8U is basically too young to work on passing?  So he didn't.  I disagree, and although agree that you need to be able to dribble first, some passing should be learned and encouraged at 8U.  We played a game in practice, 3 vs 3 you get a point if your team makes two passes to each other. It didn't work as I thought, as they still all bunched up and tried to pass when they were right in front of one another.  The other thing I'd like to work on is shooting with your left (weak) foot.  We've missed a bunch of goals when girls dribble to the left side of the goal, then shoot with their right foot and the ball always misses left of the goal.  Looking for drills for these two things: passing while creating space, and shooting from left side of goal with left (weak) foot.  Thanks!
ianrudy

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Reply with quote  #51 
Quote:
shooting from left side of goal with left (weak) foot


Normal game.. goals with left foot count double.

Quote:
I said I'd like him to work with them on passing and creating space.  He's nice, but told me 8U is basically too young to work on passing?  So he didn't


I once had the opinion you did.. double down on ball comfort and dribbling skill instead.  At the U8 age they don't quite have the spacial awareness for what you want anyway.  Sure you could do it, but the priority needs to be ball comfort and confidence with the ball that comes from dribbling skill.  Core player development outcomes for that age should be:
  • Dribble with their heads up for extended distances
  • Fakes/Feints & Changes of Direction and core movement techniques
  • Strike the ball with laces (don't teach them the push pass yet they don't have the mechanics)
  • Shielding and block tackling and that it's ok to make physical contact
paulee

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Reply with quote  #52 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akommers
So we have UK Trainers available to help us 2 times the season.  Last practice was our second time using them.  I said I'd like him to work with them on passing and creating space.  He's nice, but told me 8U is basically too young to work on passing?  So he didn't.  I disagree, and although agree that you need to be able to dribble first, some passing should be learned and encouraged at 8U.  We played a game in practice, 3 vs 3 you get a point if your team makes two passes to each other. It didn't work as I thought, as they still all bunched up and tried to pass when they were right in front of one another.  The other thing I'd like to work on is shooting with your left (weak) foot.  We've missed a bunch of goals when girls dribble to the left side of the goal, then shoot with their right foot and the ball always misses left of the goal.  Looking for drills for these two things: passing while creating space, and shooting from left side of goal with left (weak) foot.  Thanks!


He's not far off.  At 7, the biggest challenge the kids face is controlling the ball.  Some of your advanced players will be able to pass, but by and large, most of them will still struggle with the concept.  But think of it in terms like this:
What is a shot on goal at this age?  It's a pass into the net.  They can do that, can't they?  
So it's not the technical aspect of passing that they struggle with (although there is that), it's the spatial aspect.
One thing that you could try is 2 v 1.  Kids at this age should be able to understand opposites.  You act as the defender so you can control how much pressure they are under, then have them attack the goal that you are defending.  
It will take them some time, but they will start to figure out not to stand right on top of each other.

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paulee

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Reply with quote  #53 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akommers
Thanks for going deeper on last defender, first defender, when we are on offense. Yes, interesting to hear defensive strategy when you are on offense and playing shape.
Currently I'm not there yet, kind of playing a triangle with one defensive back.  The good backs can come all the way to the edge of the circle on the other teams side if we have the ball by their goal.  The week players if they are the back I still have them behind the center line because they don't have the ability to recover and get beat easily. Maybe not ideal, but just where were at so far.  Again not much time with one practice a week and second graders.  The assistant coach did mention he was impressed with the last practice, he liked the triangle and the 1 vs 1, 1 vs 2 we were doing.  Our team is definitely going in the right direction.


A triangle with one defensive back?  Connect the dots, and what shape do you have?
My girls can all recognize that they should be in a diamond shape, ideally.

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AFB

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Reply with quote  #54 
What you can teach is limited by the amount of practice time available. It is possible to teach passing, but consider all that must proceed the effort.

1. The players need to have developed spatial awareness (this is strongly related to how their brains are developing, but it can be sped up and some will be ready at 7.)

2. The players will need to know not only how to spread out, but how to move. Paulee is on the mark with suggesting a diamond. This flows from the principles of offense. Keep in mind it is the player off the ball that triggers the pass by moving into an appropriate space.

3. The passing player needs to be able to see the run, which means they need to be comfortable with ball possession sufficiently to be able to play with their head up.

If you do not have these three predicates you are wasting your time and theirs.

Paulee is also right in suggesting that you can work on the technique of instep or push passing by shooting on goal. Shooting at this age is easier for the goal is a larger target than the pass recipient and the goal is stationary.

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craigl

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Reply with quote  #55 
My view is lots of ball feel and 1v1 and shooting is important at this age.  For them to have success I like to have lots of shooting practice that includes turning the ball, striking the ball with both feet, receiving the ball to dribble, settling air balls to dribble, and finishing a cross. So, the challenge is how to do this in a way where they do not get bored yet get reps without spending too much time on it.

Solution,  I start a shooting drill  5 minutes before practice starts and run it for the first 5 minutes of practice for 10 minutes of shooting practice.   The early kids get extra practice.  It uses up the time where players arrive at different times.   I taught the drill the first practice where we spend a little extra time on it so the kids already know what to do.

x & y are lines of players
c is cones.  The cones in front of goal are big construction cones you get at Home Depot.  They are position so they would be a couple feet inside the goal posts.

             x                              y
             x                              y
             x           G O A L.       y
                           c     c

                 c1                     c2
             ch1                           ch2


Initially ch1 and ch2 are out of the way.   c cones targets are big heavy and on goal line.

1) x dribble straight out using right foot past c1 and turn to inside of field and shoot right foot laces to far post cone.  Score Goal is 1 pt.   Hit Cone is 2 pt.  Knock cone over is 10pt.  If you miss you chase your own ball.  ac is in goal to help play balls out of the net and keep players from getting hit.   x player after getting their ball goes to line y. 

2) same as x except it is all left foot and c2.  Y waits and goes the second that X shoots.  They are watching the activity and making the decision to go based upon what happens.

Players do this 4 times on each side and then you progress to a new pattern
a) as above.  [ They learn to control the ball and turn the ball.  The ball is often rolling toward the ball when they shoot ]
b) before get to the cone pass the ball in front and then run around cone to strike the ball [This teaches them to hit a soft pass at the right moment to themselves.  When the strike the ball it is likely rolling away from the goal for a different type of shoot]

Now Add ch1 and ch2 (coach and assistant coach)
Now the x player will pass to the coach a quality pass (about 5 yards) and then the run around the coach to the center as they reach the coach ch1 he lays off a slow pass for them to run onto and strike first time.   The coach initially rolls.  Later he can vary it by serving a bouncing ball or tossing a higher ball, but initially just a rolling ball.

The trigger for the X player to make the pass is that the coach makes eye contact.  The coaches have to know to send the signals to the players so the players learn to communicate.  When the coach looks at the player in the eye, he is using non-verbal communcation that hey I am ready I see you and the ball so if you pass I can receive the ball. (if coach is not looking and pass is made possession would often be lost).  The coaches should use this trigger to time the two lines to pass at an appropriate time.

c) as described pass and run around coach and struck ball as above and go to other line [this one involves making a quality pass and I coach how to do a quality pass and expect one.  It has the player pass and immediately move to run onto a shot]
d) x passes to ch2 and runs around ch1 to finish the pass from ch2.

Next sequence is about making a good touch, receiving the ball with a good first touch and dribbling to shoot.
X passes to ch1 and ch1 passes the ball back to X who receives it with a positive first touch and dribbles out around the cone to shoot on goal.

e) as described pass and wait for the return pass and then dribble around the cone to shoot as in the original pattern at the beginning.
f) the coach can hit a firm accurate pass with pace or vary the accuracy/pace of the pass to the ability of the player.   He can serve a low bouncing ball, a high bounce, or even a high air ball to the player.

There are many variations of these drills and with a small space the players can get almost continuous touches and skills.  However, you need to keep it fun and you want to keep the duration short so I do it 5-10 minutes each practice.  Over the season they will get lots of touches and when the players can all knock over the cone shooting with either foot like this then they are ready to start making longer accurate passes in games.   You learn to pass by focusing on shooting.   By including receiving the ball where I can serve them different spins and types of balls they are ready to receive when they are ready to pass.   They already have a starting foundation for communication between the players.

This drill provides lots of touches but how you run it and the coach points are what make it great.  It is a variation I created based upon what I learned working with South American coaches.   They used a drill like this with U6 kids.

I would not normally do all of these scenarios at one time unless I had serious players that wanted to do it.  Often it is better to end activities a little early.  Also, it can be an intense activity if they are not fit.  They will be ready for a water break.   Sorry, I'm not sure I am able to explain it as well as what I learned in seeing how it was coached.  I added the eye communications and the triggers as I found that it requires the player to pay attention.  Learning to pay attention to what it going on with the other players requires concentration so it is an important skill.



craigl

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Reply with quote  #56 

NEXT PASSING DRILL:  This drill starts to expose the players to pass to left foot or right foot of team mate with accuracy and proper weight.  The players are in pairs and have to learn to work together.

The next part of passing is players in pairs close to each other.   They one touch the ball left foot inside to left foot inside.  The ball is hit in the middle so it rolls smoothly on the ground. They do 4 pass left to each others left foot.   They learn which foot is left.   They learn if they like the left better or the right better.  They learn weight of short pass.   They feel 1 touch.   They are close together so they get lots of touches.

so at close distance 1 yard apart they get 4 passes for each of the following:
1) left to left
2) right to right
3) same side one side (one left and others right)
4) other same side

Rotate partners and then 4 times again.   They learn to adjust to new partners.   It will double the touches without them getting bored.   If one player can't do it the partner can get  practice reps with the next partner.

Variation:  Accordion.   Players are close and gradually back up until 10 yards appart and then move back to 1 yard appart will doing left to left with smooth pass.   Striking middle of the ball.  Repeat with the other patterns.

Variation:  cones between the players and they do it passing through the gate

You do this for maybe 5 minutes or less.   Just get them some touches and then move on to 1v1 or 2v2 or the game.  It can be something to do where they catch their breath between intense activities. 


FUN PASSING DRILL:

The game is called marbles.   The players in pairs.   Each have a soccer ball.   The first player has their ball kicked out.  Now, second player gets one touch to hit other players soccer ball for a point.  If they hit it then they send off the other players call.   Then the other player gets to go.   The payers keep score and play for say 1-3 minutes and then rotate partners.  You can try to hit a moving ball once it has passed your ball.   You make sure they stay in the general area of your practice field.   You can offer coach points between games based upon problems you see.

This game develops assurance and a well weighted pass.   It can be lots of fun.  If they like it repeat it a few more times.   If they grow tire of it then fine move on.



craigl

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Reply with quote  #57 
The shooting drill you asked was for left foot from left side of goal while facing the goal.

STEP 1

First practice, I have players shoot static ball from 5 yards from ball strong foot with no goalie (repeat until all have scored).   Then 10 yard.  Then 15 yard.  Then 20 yard.   Then 25 yard.  Most can score from 25 yard so I have them 3 tries at each and ask how many scored.

why?  they score goals and get excited.   They shoot close to goal so they can get their ball and get more shots in.   They gradually increase distance and start to learn how far they can shoot at the start.   They develop the desire to be able to shoot from a farther distance.

I do this quickly with 1-3 tries at each distance.

Then I do the same thing with their weak foot.   They now realize they have a strong foot and a weak foot.   I tell them they need to be ok shooting with both feet.   They need to be really good shooting with at least one foot.   Watching this drill you learn who has right/left or both foot shooting ability on the team.

STEP 2

Static shot 10 yards from goal.   Next, prepare touch with outside of foot 45 degree (30 degree for some shots) and shoot.   Now do it with the other foot.   They need to see that if they are on top of the ball they can pass the ball to the net with inside or outside of the foot.  However, if they want to hit a powerful shot they need to get a bigger step before striking the ball and this requires a good prep. touch.

Do dribbling activities and afterwards teach the players how to run with the ball.   Do two demonstrations and asks them which is how they run.  First one you run with duck feet point out at 90 degrees.   Second one you run normal with left foot toe tucked in going out and right foot toe tucked in running back.    Now, you talk about the difference between dribbling in traffic and running with the ball in space.  you demonstrate running with the ball.  you show them how to do it with each foot.   you explain how to chose which side to carry the ball on .

Now that they know how to run with the ball.  Split them into two teams and place a coach in as passive keeper.   You want the kids to score.  The passive coach may give up re-bounds and will make obvious saves but allows good shots to score.

ck = coach keeper

                     G O A L
                          ck

                    c            c

                    c            c

                    c            c

                    x            y
                    x            y
                    x            y


First phase, the front person from x and y goes down center lane running with the ball, making a prep. touch and shooting.  x uses all left foot.  y uses all right foot.    They swap sides after each shot.    After both have shot the next ones go.

Now x is on the left outside lane to left of cones and y is to right lane to right of cones.

Now that they have all gotten 3-4 shots on each side in both the center lane and outside lanes.   Make it a timed contest.  You say go.  You can have ready set go.  ready go.   ready stop, etc.   or you can have a visual signal to trigger them to go.   Then 1 pt if you score.  5 pt if you score first.   You can have the scores be individual or you can have teams and then swap sides.  With teams the coach can keep the overall score.

You can also count the seconds and find the fastest right side goal as the standard to beat.  Then do the same thing on the left side.  It identifies left/right differences.  Then see who can beat the standard.

FINAL STAGE:

remove cones and have a single line.  you play as the passive defender.   Have then pass you the ball and you pass it back and then they dribble to score.   You control where the pass goes with can lead to a mix of dribbling down left or right.  You can vary how you defend based upon ability of the defender.   They idea is to give then token pressure and gradually increase it as they are ready.

Now rotate a player as the defender.   Maybe a player as keeper.   Let them go agains 5-6 attackers and then rotate to a new defender until everyone gets a chance to defend and play keeper.

akommers

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #58 
Thanks everyone and cragil for those great drills.

Well 3 more practices to go with my first G8U team.  They are doing ok, but I was a little surprised in this mornings game how much 'kicking and watching' they did.  I don't know, last practice we played a kicking drill called keep you yard clean. In the game they seemed extra timid, not attacking the ball.  Some of the parents were more vocal than usual yelling at their kids to be more aggressive.  I could tell it was frustrating some of the parents, when the other team is playing more aggressive. Most of our girls were kicking it and watching it, not following up, and almost everytime it ended up in a turnover. How do I teach them to dribble out of trouble instead of blindly kicking it? Are there drills or games for that?
craigl

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Posts: 971
Reply with quote  #59 

Kick out problem often happens when kids don't have the ability to stop or turn the ball.  It can also happen if your practice was always doing it due to transfer from the activity.

If the problem is turning the ball, then fetch is a simple game.  Players all have the ball you toss it and then they bring it back to you.  You can vary how far and roll, bound, high throw and they go settle the ball and dribble it back to you.   You have them all coming to you at the same time and counting how many times they fetch so they can compete with their own record or the team record.   You can tell them to only use a left foot or right foot or other restrictions on a per player basis.  You serve the players based upon their ability so a rolling ball initially for everyone and later the harder types of service.  You quickly take the players ball make them dribble it to you and toss it and then quickly get the next player it is fast and continuous so don't do it too long.

I do the shooting drill post #55 I talked about I think earlier so my kids quickly are turning the ball.

For how to keep the ball rather than kick it away.  They need to win the ball and hold it and be able to keep it in bounds with/without attackers trying to win it.  So, overcome timid play.  Control ball under pressure.  Compete to hold win the ball and have vision to find a person to pass to.   That's the next 3 drills.

1) Shootout drill in post #29 of the thread

2) Dribble Area Drill that can progress with stop/go (red light/green light in a grid), to red light/yellow light/ green light variations (yellow means slow down), to different types of turns with different parts of foot/different foot, to slow, slow, then quick move to space, to swap (player stops ball and runs finds another ball as fast as possible, to leave and go (coach give command to leave and all players quickly leave area and jog around areas coach knocks out a ball and when he calls go they all fight to win ball and dribble when coach calls tiem the player without the ball does a joke penalty), coach can be a knockout player so players gradually get used to the pressure before more intense games

3) Combat (players in two lines with coach in middle on side of area.  Coach calls 1-1 and tosses balls and two players run to win ball and make the pass back to the coach,  variation coach moves around so they have to find coach rather than just a stationary target,  coach can call 2-1 or 1-2 or 2-2 to vary the number of players and the players have to work together to get the ball to the coach.

I have lots of variations above.  An older team might cycle the variations quickly.   A younger team you do a 2-3 variations and then move on.  You can then repeat next time and add 1 new variation to keep it fresh and progressing.
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