Football/Soccer Session (Beginner): St. Thomas SC: Learning to Train (U9-U12): Session #1

Profile Summary

Ian McClurg
Name: Ian McClurg
City: Ancaster
Country: Canada
Rank: Elite – 2 points
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Warm-Up

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Warm-Up
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Warm-Up (20 mins)

Objective:

To start practice is a lively, fun way.

To get the children laughing

Organization:

Mark out an area 15 yards by 15 yards - depending on the numbers.

With a group of say 12, have 5 or 6 of the players with a ball.

Start with a game of soccer tag - the players with the ball can only untag themselves by hitting the leg or foot (i.e., below the knee with the ball), but the ball must be kicked.

Then the game is changed. Just four players have a ball and the ball is picked up. The rule is now that to tag someone the player with the ball must hit another without a ball below the knee. This time the player without the ball can protect his/her lower legs with the hands and arms.

Finally, a more conventional game of tag, where the player who is "It!" can tag any player within the square -- except for those holding a ball.

The idea is for those with a ball to follow "It!" around and throw the ball to a friend who is about to be tagged. Should a player just hang on to the ball and do nothing then that player becomes "It!" (at the direction and discretion of the coach).

Similarly, if a player runs out of the area in an attempt not to be tagged that player becomes "It!"

Teaching:

Encourage the players to be alert and alive and looking all around so as not to be caught out.

Encourage the players with the balls to "hunt in pairs" to either tag someone or later to help the player who might be tagged and is looking for a helpful soccer ball.

Target:

Not to get tagged; or to untag oneself as quickly as possible.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Noah's Lark

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Noah's Lark
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Noah's Lark (20 mins)

Objective:

To combine the attack and defense in a challenging game.

To begin to understand the cooperation required in 2 vs.2 play.

Organization:

Area 30 x 20 yards with goals eight yards wide.

6 vs.6 (or whatever numbers), with partners assigned on each team: each partner given a number from 1 to 3. Coach shouts number (1-3) and rolls ball into play.

The two pairs with that number come out of goal to compete against each other.

Remaining players must stay on goal line and defend goal without using hands.

Goal can only be scored below knee height. When ball goes out of play, coach can immediately serve in another to same pairs - or allow pairs to go back to goal line.

Ball can be played back to "goalkeepers," who must play ball back with no more than two touches.

Do not let "goalkeepers" move out off goal line. Penalty kick from six yards out if they do.

Teaching:

When defending, one player should go to player with ball.

Supporting player must watch other attacker, mark the dangerous space and cover partner all at the same time. Coach should encourage dribbling, passing and shooting to the "team" in possession.

Encourage "goalkeepers" to defend as a wall together, and to move as a unit to block shooting angle.

Target:

One team vs. the other, also pairs to keep a count of goals scored and conceded.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 3v1's

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 3v1's
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3v1's (20 mins)

Objective:

To progress the possession games (Carl's Keep Away, 4 v 1 and Keep Away Tennis).

further develop the importance of moving and taking up good supporting positions

Organization:

Mark two or three 10 - 12 yards squares.

With 9 players have three groups of three; with 12 players have four groups of 3 players.

With odd numbers improvise with the numbers; for instance, with 10, two groups of three and one of four (still play 3 vs. 1, but use a sub system with the 4).

Use pinnies to distinguish the groups. 3 vs. 1 in each of the squares.

Spare defenders can change "on the fly." Coach times each period of one minute. At the end of the period, the team of three that achieved the least number of consecutive passes become the defenders.

When the defender wins the ball or forces the ball to be played out of the area the team of three restarts with another ball. The coach keeps a supply of balls handy so after an interception or a ball is kicked out of play he/she can kick or roll another ball in. If you have an assistant or co-coach, each takes one of the squares.

Teaching:

3 vs. 1 is much more difficult than 4 vs. 1. In 4 vs. 1 the four attackers can just take a corner each and so give good support. In 3 vs. 1 the two players "off-the-ball" have to move and work hard to open up a good passing angle for the player with the ball. The player with the ball may have to screen the ball away from the defender while awaiting a better supporting angle from a team-mate.

All attackers need to communicate - particularly the two players "off-the-ball" ("Hold it!" "Wait!" "I'm here!") -- as they become the "eyes" of the player with the ball. Coach must assess whether the playing area is too big or too small and make adjustments if necessary.

If it is too difficult consider reverting back to 4 vs. 1. For the first few minutes allow the players to play in a non-competitive way so that when a mistake is made, the coach can recreate the situation and then ask the player who made the mistake what the alternatives are. If they can see what should be done or how their team-mates could have helped they will learn more quickly to do it when the ball is in play. After a few minutes go into the one-minute stopwatch competition described above without any interventions by the coach other than putting the ball back in play.

Target:

To keep the ball for the longest time; for the defenders to win the ball or force errors as quickly as possible.


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 4v4's

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): 4v4's
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4v4's (20 mins)

Objective:

To create a Jamboree atmosphere.

Allow the children to enjoy playing without any coaching

Organization:

Any number of players above 15 can create a Jamboree atmosphere. Consider joining up with another team who practice at the same time. If less than 16 make up three teams of 4 or 5 players. Have a second activity area as one team waits to play. With 16 or more put in two fields or more, depending on numbers. With more than one field synchronize the play. The time-keeper starts the game for everyone with a whistle. One long blast signals the start of play. A short blast signals the end of each period. After the end of each period the substitutions/rotations take place and the game is recommenced as quickly as possible without a signal from the time-keeper.

Restart is with an indirect free kick from the part of the field where the period ended with the kick taken by the team that was in possession. A short blast, followed by a long blast signifies the end of the game. Use 4-period (quarter) games, but make sure to organize the rotations for the next game to ensure equal time on the field and in goal. Play two to three minute periods.

Try not to have more than 6 players on a team. With 5 players, at the end of each period, one of the subs becomes the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper moves out onto the field. One field players comes off. With 4-quarter games, start the next with the player in goal who was not in goal in the first game and so on. Use the same principle with 4 players or 6 players (equal time in goal and on the field).

Teams work on a Round-Robin format.

Teaching:

Coaches have to work hard to say...nothing!

Target:

To enjoy good fun soccer.


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