Coach: I do note that your new practice book has some significant changes from the older one. I’d like your thoughts on some of these differences.
The thing that immediately struck me is the de-emphasis on dribbling as compared to the first book. For example, on the bottom of page 63 in the original book, you make the remark “Make Step 3 a “Mandatory Exercise” for every practice.” Frankly, the dribbling drills (not games for sure) described on pages 60-69 have always posed something of a problem for me. They are always a bit boring. I’ve always got to sandwich them between two really fun games so that the kids will do them. On the other hand, I find them absolutely indispensable! They really help in teaching the kids how to dribble.
Karl: – Repetition, repetition, repetition – good repetition – good repetition – good repetition that is the key toward developing ‘instinctive’ players. I suggest keeping the ‘daily routine’ as part of each and every practice – as in the past. However, the movements should take place ‘inside’ the Serve. That is, as the players are going through the Serve pattern – ask them to move the ball in a required manner.
As for the ‘they are a bit bored.’ You should expect this from young players – anytime something ‘new’ is introduced and they find some difficulty in performing – the excuse becomes either: I can’t do this – or – this is boring. It is your job to show great enthusiasm for this section of the practice. Let them know they are truly becoming soccer players since they can maneuver the ball around the pattern in such a smooth and fluid manner. They are working on ‘fast footwork’ and you are noticing the tremendous improvement. Hate to say this but – yes, some parts of practice are and sometimes must be boring to get them to improve. And that is a fact of life! You bring the excitement -they will surely follow!
We have U-14 through U19’s doing this – at great speed – and they do not have time for getting bored. Besides they know with success in this phase they will get to play the 1 vs. 1 games sooner – a great motivator.