Well, we started our practices for Fall 2005 today. After coaching U6 for 3 years (and assisting for a U8 team), I decided to jump up to U10 with my son and see how it goes. I’m nervous, but I’ve got a great group of kids so hopefully I can teach them a thing or two.
I’m a firm believer in no lines – the more kids stand in line the less time they have with the ball to learn. But keeping the kids moving at all times during practice definitely takes some doing and its got my parents scratching their heads. They’re so used to the kids lining up for drills I think my use of more chaotic activities threw some of them for a loop.
After working on throw-in technique for a few minutes towards the end of practice, we played a game of ‘soccer football’ – at least thats what its called around here. Basically the kids run around the field trying to score goals except if you have the ball you can’t move – you have to pass it to a teammate – then you can move. And they aren’t kicking the ball – they’re throwing it over their heads like a throw in. Its unorthodox – because they’re "using their hands" – but it teaches them the concept of passing the ball around instead of running all over the place, of getting open to receive a pass from a teammate when they don’t have the ball, and working on extending the distance of their throws. But a few parents we’re surprised that a coach was telling the kids to throw a soccer ball around! But hey, if it helps my kids add an extra 5-10′ to their throw ins, thats a serious advantage.
The kids had a blast and were quite exhausted. We’ll see how it goes next practice!