I had a ton of Futsal games last week. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve divided my teams up for the Futsal season to make sure they all get plenty of playing time. This is great for the players but it doubles the number of games I have on any given weekend. I love working with my players but 14 games on the weekend will really take a toll on you.
This is the last week of training before the club takes a two-week holiday break. This allows the families and coaches to make plans without having to worry about missing training. The break comes just about halfway through the soccer year so it’s a great time to reset and get ready for the second half.
“We’re heading into indoor this week. I’m transitioning from coaching U10 Boys to U8 Girls.
I have a mixed team age wise, with 5 7 year old, 2 6 year old and 4 5 year old players we took to help us get numbers to roster as a U8 girls team. Only one or two players have played competitive before. I’ve coached the 5 year olds recently so have had no experience with the true U8 players until now.
Unfortunately, the indoor facility has not adopted the 4v4 structure that is now played outdoors. They have us play 7v7 with keepers. I’m looking for thoughts and suggestions on how to introduce and teach positions in an age appropriate way that does not involve a lot of coach talking that could easily bore these girls.”
Thanks for your question Chris!
Coaching U8’s is challenging under the best circumstances. The 7v7 format will be difficult for the players to manage so my first piece of advice to to keep your expectations low. They will struggle with the concepts but if you’re patient then you will see slow steady progress during the season.
I would suggest that you continue to focus on technical skill work for most of your sessions (the 5-8 year old book is a great resource) but finish each session by working on playing from the back. Having the goalkeeper play out to defenders who pass to midfielders and then find the forward before scoring. At first this will be slow and unopposed. After a couple of practices you’ll be able to add a defender and then two or three.
This will help to teach the players the positions while showing them how the lines are connected and work together.
In This Episode
Moving without the ball is a very important element of soccer. But it doesn’t come naturally. Giving your players some basic ideas of ways that they can move will help them see how it affects the game.
Today I share the patterns I’m using with my teams during the Futsal season that are helping them see how moving without the ball opens and fills spaces to create more options for the player on the ball.
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I’ll be taking the next two weeks off from the podcast during the holiday period but I’ll be back in January with more training sessions and commentary.
I hope everyone enjoys a happy and healthy holiday season. All the best for 2018!