I have been looking through my curriculum for the youngest age group Under 7- Under 8 to help out some parent coaches that have come to me for advice as they had volunteered to take the younger age groups starting in September.
A couple of them asked how I’d kick things off, and I thought I’d share with you what my plan will be. My immediate thoughts are that I want my players to be technically good. I’ll then mix that in with a few speed of movement skills. Initially I will use unopposed sessions until my players are up to speed. I can then put in opposition to make the task harder.
Here is my 12-point technical plan. I will tell players to:
- Use side of the foot and instep to kick the ball both along the ground and through the air with accuracy.
- Use all parts of the body…apart from the arms!
- Control the ball with all parts of the body…apart from the arms!
- Concentrate on accuracy of passing when on the move.
- Shoot at goal with accuracy, which takes priority over power.
- Concentrate on crossing accuracy to near and far posts. This will take some time with the younger ones and therefore crossing will be initially about direction rather than power.
- Try to gain confidence in defensive and attacking heading using the right technique (check local rules on heading the ball).
- Take on board 1v1 skills that give your players the ability to get past an opponent using feints and stepovers.
- Practice quick passing tactics to get past opponents with skills like wall passes.
- Appreciate the art of set pieces, freekicks, corners and penalties.
- Practice individual techniques like shielding, recovering and tackling.
- Take notice of the correct technique and tactics for throw-ins.
This is my initial technical blueprint. Of course, you need to think about tactics, positional play and a code of conduct that comes outside of this, but as a pretty thorough technical game plan, I can’t wait to hear from the coaches about how they are progressing.
Use this Block The Pass session from my EasiCoach Under 7s – Under 8s curriculum to get your team on the development trail.