By Stephen Cochran
USSF “A” Licensed Coach
At soccer practice this week, we focused on the figure 8 warm up and ‘the Serve’.
We concentrated on the routine as the boys are under 7;s. We use the key word “Los Altos” and are just trying to keep the soccer ball close on the Figure 8. We have fun using the left foot only (is this the correct foot coach?) When using only the left foot, most of the players used both feet (go figure).
We are learning which is the right foot and which is the left foot. The boys really like making the goals.
Since I have taught them 3 moves prior: the step-over, scissors and cut move, we try to have them use those while dribbling or in the middle of the 8. Age appropriate is dribbling, so I emphasize moves. This also gives me a measurable goal each game.
It turns out that the other youth soccer teams in our youth soccer league are all one year older. Since we get killed by the other youth soccer team (the mercy rule is not enforced), so I look to measuring success on the use of moves when they have the ball.
When we work on the serve, we have learned the pattern this week and have added a move between the front and rear and have used the terminology “push-peek-pass”. There are so many corrections to make with the server that I have not even begun to work on the receiver. We have now spent 4 practices on the serve and the Figure 8 and still have not mastered either.
We did have an interesting situation arise at the youth soccer game on Saturday. We were warming up and I only had 7 soccer balls and we had all 8 youth soccer players show up at the soccer game. We use the Figure 8 to warm up (just like practice) and we were one ball short. I told the players that if they walked during the Figure 8, then they would lose their ball to the player who was doing it without a ball, just running.
Boy, everybody was working hard, Then, during the dribbling around, I told the youth soccer player without the soccer ball to try and take it from the other youth soccer players. I put the requirement that the other players could not run away, but that they must use moves to beat the defender.
Gosh, the moves looked great. I wish we were done there. But alas, no. We had a youth soccer game to play in which we made 3 moves in 40 minutes. The score of the game was 15-0 (we didn’t win), but the kids had a great time.
I focused on the moves the whole time. We talked about it, they understood what to do, and then they got on the field and didn’t do it.
I was unhappy, but the kids were in great spirits and that is what is important. The parents were in great spirits, as well. Boy, do I have a lot to learn about the game and children at this age.