Understanding the needs of everyone involved is vital to the smooth running of your club and practices, coach educator BILL STARA tells DAVE CLARKE MORE
6 ways to survive training in wet weather
The weather here in England has been awful lately and made training difficult. But if it looks like rain, you don’t have to cancel training straight away. There are a few things you could do to make your wet weather soccer session a winner…
01 BE PREPARED
If the weather forecast is not good, ensure your players are equipped with waterproof jackets, gloves and wear base layers under their shirts, plus they can wear caps to keep the rain out of their faces. Don’t underestimate the amount of fluid players lose on cold, wet and windy days – a quick drinks break every half hour is enough to stop your players from dehydrating.
02 DON’T STOP RUNNING
Make sure you don’t run any sessions that mean some of your players are left sitting out or standing around waiting for their go, especially if it is cold as well as wet. Training in poor weather conditions can mean there is a health risk if your players are standing around wet in cold weather, so always have session plans to fall back on that involve using all of your players all of the time.
03 PASS IN THE WET
To keep all of your players constantly moving in the wet, involve them in small-sided games like a 4v4 and give them some simple rules, such as: the number of passes made in the run up to a goal counts as the number of goals scored. So if the team makes five passes before scoring they get six goals. Or use a ball between two for passing and finishing skills.
04 MAKE IT THRILLING
Wet weather conditions are great for practising 1v1 skills, with the soft ground and slippy ball making it not only fun, but also a fantastic test of skills. Put players into pairs with a ball each and four cones and get them to mark out their own area of play. It gives them ownership of the session, it makes them feel a big part of training – and it will also take their minds of the weather.
05 TEST TACTICS
Practice tactics for the weather. Try playing out with goalkicks so players can learn to make decisions for wet weather matches. It will show them that playing out from the back is not always wise in the wet, as the ball may stick or defenders may slip when receiving the ball. They will learn that a pass from the keeper into the midfield could be a better option in these conditions.
06 TRY SWITCHING ON
If the weather forecast is really bad, as a last resort you could always take along a couple top soccer games on DVD, along with a portable DVD player or laptop. If there is a big downpour that brings the session to either a temporary halt or to a premature end, then you have the option to sit in the clubhouse and show your players all the talking points from the latest big games.