A couple of seasons ago I was asked to take over an Under 16s team that the club said were underachieving – they wanted the team to get more success than they were having. So I went along to watch them.... MORE
Sessions with purpose
One of the first things we must do as coaches is to make sure the environment we work in allows young players to be creative and not to worry about making mistakes if they try to do something different. So using the right language, the right sessions and developing a positive learning environment is key to developing a creative team.
Turning up to training organised and with a sense of purpose is important to maintaining that. And with the right sessions you are giving yourself a great head start in providing the right education for your players.
When I work with my players I like to have them out on the pitch where they can get used to the feel of the ground and the pace that the ball travels at. Of course, this is not always possible and a lot of last season I was forced to train on 3G pitches or on indoor pitches where the ball runs at a much greater speed.
This is fine for coaching fast feet and for passing at speed but once the players get out on the pitch for matches they must be given a chance to see how the ball runs on the pitch and how much harder they have to kick the ball on heavy pitches.
What I tend to do in these situations is to run a warm up session with the ball in grids.. Tight boxes with 4v2s get players up to speed on the fast passing skills and help them realise that a tap of the ball, which on an indoor pitch goes fast and true, may not even reach the intended target on a heavy pitch.
So the creativity you have worked on all week can fall at the first hurdle – the pitch. Don’t let that happen!