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It’s great to have completed the Director of Coaching course. Last weekend I finished the revisions for my assignments and the reflections on each assignment. Now I’m just waiting to hear if everything I’ve turned in is satisfactory or not.
Now my attention has turned to preparing for the recreational league season as well as my first week of training with our competitive teams. There’s a lot to do in the next three weeks and then everything will be up and running for the fall.
I’m doing all of this while the US Youth Soccer Nationals are happening right outside of my office window. I’ve taken some time watch a bit but I’m hoping to catch some of the semi’s and finals over the weekend. There are some great teams playing great soccer and it feels like a waste not to take time to watch more.
Today’s question comes from Vutu, He’s asking about what to do at the Kickoff.
Vutu says, “Do you have any plays or concepts that you run for kickoffs? I coach a variety of age groups (both genders) and my players will always ask at some point during the season – hey coach, can we do “something” on the kickoffs?
I tend to resort to a very basic idea of having someone who can provide a penetrative pass receive the initial kickoff “pass” backwards. This player then tries a “Hail Mary” play so to speak to two or three ball winners flooded on one side of the field. From there my instructions may get a little more specific – “play the ball in front of their left back,” “or behind,” and so forth. I feel that this “hail mary” idea is direct and accomplishes a lot of things, but to me it is not very creative or inspiring for the players, sometimes even boring. Some players have expressed that playing possession at the kickoff was boring or not creative enough.
Ideally I would like to create a space for the players to combine ideas, plan, and decide for themselves but I feel that I have tried unsuccessfully to do so and could really use a new set of tools.
Are there other approaches to this question? Does your team possess the ball and invite the defenders to commit from the onset of the kickoff? Do you go direct? Both? What are some of the catch phrases you have been telling your players for the kickoff?”
To be honest, I just want my teams to go forward and either find a give and go through the middle or a pass wide to winger.
The only thing I don’t want us to do is go backward. I’ve seen more teams get in trouble going backward from the start.
We don’t do anything complicated or rehearsed. Get the ball going forward into the opponent’s half. If we have to go backward from there to keep the ball that’s fine. Just don’t go backward from the kick.
In this Episode
In recent years the coaching methodology has moved away from drills and exercises. The focus has moved to more functional, game related activities. Today I want to talk about whether or not there’s still a place in our training curriculum for isolated technical training.
Here’s the link to the Australian Skill Acquisition Manual that I talk about in the episode.
I’ve got something completely different planned for next week’s episode. I’m not sure how it will go but I’m excited to give it a try. If it’s something I think you’ll find interesting and useful I’ll share it. If it’s not, this may be the last you hear about it.
Frank J Kelly
Tom – very excited to learn more about the Aussie Rules – Game/Intervention/Game model – can you share the link? Thanks!
I’m not sure if this is the exact web site that Tom was referring to but I found alot of good information here. https://www.playfootball.com.au/coach/skill-acquisition-phase-sessions
Tom – I am extremely interested in the Aussie training session model. Please share the link. Thanks
SORRY ABOUT THAT! I’m glad you found it but I’ve also put it on the show notes page.
This link has the Australian GAME-INTERVENTION-GAME (GIG) METHODOLOGY.
Just a normal guy
Run ‘The Play’ especially 12u and younger, but really any youth age.
Two players on the ball, two wide players (one on each side). Wide players sprint to the corner. Coach screams ‘kick it to the corner’ (like every typical youth coach) and everyone on the other team falls for it. 1st player on ball fakes kick to the corner gets 1-2 defenders to jump in air or jump the passing lane. Player on ball takes a big touch to space away from jumping defenders. Then makes next line of defenders commit. From here you should have 2v2 on the inside or open on the outside (very likely that the first two inside defenders that jump the passing lane are central midfielders). Player that played kickoff overlaps the 1st player on ball and continues run to a penetrating run in behind. Wide players continue running to corner. Bang goal or 3 players that don’t shoot crash goal for rebound and not bad to test goalie early on.
Kids love it not only because it’s creative, but it’s the opposite of what every team does but initially looks like the play everyone runs. Secondly they do the opposite of the coaches instruction, so they love that part because how often does your coach really you to not follow his command? 3rd it still comes down to decision making and making a play, which means credit to the player for making a big time play if it works. The last reason and most important is you score Gs.
That’s great! Thanks for sharing.