When trying to unite a group of club players in giving their all on an international stage, it takes an innovative and empathetic leader like England manager and League Managers Association (LMA) president Gareth Southgate to really make it work. MORE
Introducing a curriculum for U9-U10 players
A few years ago, I wanted to guarantee my players had all the necessary tools in their “player development brain” by the end of each age group, so I wrote a comprehensive soccer coaching curriculum, covering the age groups from U7-U16, which I am converting into the EasiCoach series.
Having introduced the U7-U8 manual in January, yesterday saw the launch of the brand new U9-U10 curriculum.
All this hard work came to fruition recently when I agreed to help coach a U9 team. They’re a very inexperienced team, described to me as a “B” team – I prefer coaching teams like this because, in my experience, they’re the ones that present more of a challenge to my coaching skills.
I’ve had a couple of sessions with them and they’re a fantastic bunch of kids, even though these boys are not even “the best” in their year.
On Saturday we played a “friendly” against the “A” team. It’s hard playing against a team that your players feel is better than theirs. They started moaning immediately. I picked them up on that and told them to concentrate on passing and playing as a team, and to tightly mark the players they knew would run the game.
What happened was that they ran the game, playing as a team with the focus on passing and support play. The “A” team, sure that they would win, played as individuals.
I am looking forward to getting them playing “real” matches because I think I’ve made them aware that, if they pass the ball and support each other, they have the ability to beat anyone.
See a sample defending game 3v3v3 blocking passes from my brand new EasiCoach U9-U10 Soccer Skills Activities manual.