INSTRUCTIONAL SOCCER PRACTICE FORMAT:
WARM UP (roughly 5 minutes)
This segment should include general body movement and coordination exercises that may be or may not be with a ball. Without them being aware of it, this introduces players to the demand to bring up body temperatures and stretch muscles in advance of physical activities. The use of a ball for stretching is preferred over static stretching. Static stretching may also be introduced at this time, but it is not as enjoyable as playing with the ball. Besides, it is not really necessary for this age group.
WATER BREAK (recommended – roughly 2 minutes)
FUN GAMES (about 18 minutes)
This should involve as much activity as possible with each player playing with their own ball in a group situation. It is not advisable to let children play the same fun game more than twice in one training session. They need to be regularly challenged with new activities and learn to respond to the problem associated with each. (You can allow water breaks in between fun games.)
WATER BREAK (mandatory – roughly 2 minutes)
INSTRUCTION AND DRILL (roughly 10 minutes)
This should encompass a very brief demonstration of the skill topic for the day, naming the skill and showing how it should be performed (and sometimes it involves showing what NOT to do).
WATER BREAK (mandatory -roughly 2 minutes)
SCRIMMAGE (roughly 18 minutes)
Large games where one exceptional player on each team dominates are inherently not fun for other players. Therefore, if possible at all, it is suggested that coaches set up exercise matches with small-sized, balanced teams, and just let the children play and enjoy the game. It is advisable NOT to use goalkeepers. Additionally, to maximize engagement and the number of touches with the ball, it is recommended that games not exceed the number of eight players (4 vs. 4). If a coach has eight or more players, two scrimmages should probably be organized (for example; one 2 vs. 2 and one 3 vs. 3). If the game lacks people, a parent or the coach himself (or even a visiting sibling) can always fill in. Move players from team to team in order to "balance" the strength. (There may be a water break in the middle.)
CONCLUSION AND COMMENTS (roughly 3 minutes)
Ask children for feedback: how they felt about the training session, what the skill topic was and to demonstrate it to prove they understand the purpose of it. Suggest "homework"* assignments. Announce the date for the next practice. End soccer training session on time.
* Homework – Parents should play soccer with their children. However, don't associate "playing" with "coaching"! You can place cones, saucers, or pieces of cloth as goals on any surface. Let your child get the majority of the touches on the ball. After all, this is their game. Don’t try to take it away from them. Remember to show enthusiasm and provide encouragement. Additionally, don't forget that you’re bigger and stronger than they are, so be careful not to show off too much. Likewise, don’t KICK the ball - just use gentle touches. As seen in so many family movies, you can "stand in their way", let them pass around you, and then score a goal. Quit only when they say they want to quit.
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