The most important component of soccer for young players is technique. There must be a segment of practice allocated to this, because without technique there are no tactics. Drills are used at most practice sessions as a teaching tool, but some coaches forget that the drills do not teach themselves.
They are subject to interpretation by the players and your team will mimic what they think is the correct soccer behavior. This is why it is very important that the correct picture is painted by a great example. It is even more important that you correct improper technique, so that bad habits do not become fixated.
Technical competence is accomplished through repetition. The brain eventually triggers an automated response when a skill is performed often enough. The unconscious production of a skill takes less time than a conscious reproduction.
This does not take place if kids are in lines for prolonged periods of time. Having two or three kids to a ball is ideal to start. This allows them to establish a rhythm and they able to quickly adjust incorrect body mechanics and form (with your help).
Movement is also key when teaching technique. Very little takes place in the game from a standing position, so all aspects of technique must be taught while the players are moving. It is fine to induce fatigue as the players become older, so that they are replicating a more realistic game environment. Players must learn to be efficient when tired if they wish to be successful at the next level.
Train both feet at all times. Players must be efficient with the left and right. This improves vision and lends to a wider range of passing options. Two footed players have better balance and are more coordinated. They are better dribblers and are significantly more deceptive.
Drills must also be done at game speed. This is the only way the skill will transfer into the game successfully. It is, however, important to recognize the difference between haste and hurry. Hurry usually means panic. Panic leads to errors.
Never compromise efficiency for speed with kids learning a skill for the first time. They will become faster if the environment you create is conducive to player development.
Make the drills interesting. Set goals with time limits, so that a competitive environment is created. This will make the kids challenge themselves to be better each time. You can also set minimum standards, so players appreciate what type of effort it requires to exceed expectations.
Nobody wants to be an average player. Train that mindset in your players from your very first activity. It is not acceptable to be last at everything. Having said that, make sure your set standards that are attainable and you recognize when some kids are doing their best without results.
Please understand that drills alone do not produce players. You must move to activities that extract the skill. This can be done through the utilization of small-sided games with various objectives. Your goal is to foster creativity, imagination, and game intelligence through the soccer drills you choose.
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