Fun sessions to focus young minds

Getting back into the swing of training every week can be hard work. Certainly for me, when faced with a dozen U9 players, training last night was very stop/start as players got their legs working again and tried to pass and receive.

Sometimes the very things that worked so well before the Christmas and New Year break are just not doing the trick and so you need something a bit different to catch your players’ imagination.

I usually try something like a fun game with the younger age groups to take the focus off training and put it onto the game instead. I find it works a treat and I’m sure when your players are all back you might just find that playing one of the games here helps you to put on an excellent training practice.

For the younger age groups, start off with games that fire their imagination like Space Invaders, which gets young players excited and burns energy. It’s also a great way to coach dribbling, control of the ball and passing.

You can also use fun games to start off training sessions or to get players up to speed before they play a match – Tiger Tails is easy to set up and gets young players running around, changing direction and looking to see where the other players are.

Even if you coach older players, fun games are great for getting across a coaching point. Shrinking goal is a fantastic way to even up sides with a goal that shrinks or gets bigger depending on how accurate the players are with their shooting.

You can even have fun with your goalkeeper in this Sweeper keeper game, which is a fantastic way to coach playing out from the back and retaining possession using the keeper – a tactic used by most professional teams.

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