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Second Practice

Coach: Phew! Two steps forward, one step back. Tough practice yesterday

Karl: I am surprised that because you did not take the time to teach them what to expect at YOUR practices is coming-back at you this soon. I figured it would take at least two or three practices for you to begin realizing that you are working with 8-9 year old girls who need to know what they are supposed to do. Let’s see what happened?

Coach:  I was disorganized; kids didn’t remember the pattern and it was hot! 

Karl: Nothing we can do about the weather

Don’t worry about being disorganized in the future because our ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ is very specific and will guide you through what to do at each and every practice.
The kids did not remember the pattern because they did not do enough ‘repetitions’ of the pattern to learn it. You will find that one of the emphases in our methodology is to repeat until it becomes a habit. Once you begin using our 9 Steps you will make hard work seem like FUN!!!

Coach:  I got off on the wrong foot by warming the kids up before started practice!
Oh well…

Karl: Again, this will be alleviated once you begin to introduce and consistently follow the Steps in our 9-Step Practice Routine. There will be no more “Oh, wells” in the future and that is guaranteed..!

Coach: I ended up spending a lot of time on the 1+1 (and 1v1) games – about half of the 1.5 hour practice.

Karl: Half of 1.5 hour doing something new that they don’t understand and maybe don’t enjoy could feel like a life time of pure torture to an 8-9 year old. Remember they come to your practice to play Soccer.

Let’s get specific and spend your time more wisely. You told me that your team plays using the quarter system and they play 15 min. quarters.
Introduce your players to the following schedule:
• Begin Practice – Take less than 3-5 minutes introducing the theme
• Warm- up — 15 minutes of each individual with the ball – Figure 8 Routine
• 1+1 and 1vs1 — 15 minutes
• Break — Length your league allows during the league game
• Small Sided — 15 minutes
• Scrimmage — 15 minutes
• Cool down — Brief
• End Practice — Brief and give homework assignment

Let me know after a few practices how things are going? Once they have the routine down… That is, once they are able to get from one Step to the next after hearing the ‘Buzz’ word… Then, we will start adding some challenges to this “Their Routine”!

Coach:I plan on scaling this back once they get it better. What do you think? 

Karl: Your scaling has been covered in the schedule above.

Coach: I am still just trying to have them do the pattern, including the screens, pull-back, push, peek and pass.

Karl: Way too many themes. We will introduce them, ONE at a TIME, once they have learned to respond the routine ‘buzz’ words. Be Patient..!

Coach: I have yet to introduce any fakes or any other technique.

Karl: More themes that will be introduced once they are able to run a session pretty much on their own. Be Patient..!

Coach: I am finding that 4 or 5 of the girls get it and are somewhat bored with the repetitive 1+1 (but not the 1v1) and possibly bored because I am not introducing anything “new” to them

Karl: Children get bored once they get it and you keep asking them to do it again and again. These individuals need to be challenged.
Have these individuals help those who ‘don’t get it’ You create better team unity by having players help each other. The ‘teaching player will become better at ‘the theme’. The learning player may catch on quicker because they speak the same language, etc.
Or, introduce ONE of the ‘themes’ you mentioned earlier to these players to practice… if they ‘get’ the current theme/activity!’

Coach: The rest (9 or 10) are/seem bored and confused with the 1 + 1.

Karl: Children get bored if they don’t get it and you keep asking them to do it again and again. These individuals need extra help!

Either you or one of the players who ‘get it’ should help them. Your homework assignment for them could be this theme/activity. Be patient with them and allow them to make some progress on this theme/activity at each future practice. Repetition is the key to their learning and you must disguise the fact that they are still working on the same theme/activity. They key to good coaching is making hard work seem like FUN!

Coach: Also, we did two short-sided games, both 4v2. I had the team with 4 do two-touch and had one goal; the 2-membered team had two goals and could do as many touches as they wanted. This seemed to work out alright. 

Karl: You allowed them to play Soccer and that made it alright. In the future keep your games even-sided and without restrictions. We will start adding restrictions in the future as the need (challenge) arises. Glad to see that you allowed them to play Soccer!

Coach: We also had a very short scrimmage. All the kids seem to like the scrimmages and I got the entire 9-steps in

Karl: Of course they liked the scrimmage. They have played this game before and understand what is expected. We will now aim at their ‘liking’ all the other soccer games that they will be playing in future practices as individuals, in pairs, small groups, or large groups. Finally, we will finish with the Scrimmage which we know they ‘like!’
You got the entire 9 steps in and we will aim at them understanding what the 9 steps are.

Coach: They were tired when we were done..

Karl: And were they smiling???????????

Coach: Next practice it seems that I should continue with learning the repetitive 1+1 game; still learning the pattern, push-peek-pass, rollback and maybe introduce the fake/feint – I don’t know. With the confusion, this may be too much, but I don’t want to bore the better players.smiling???????????

Karl: Your schedule for the next practice is above. Let’s see what happens at the next two practices. The readers and I are eagerly waiting to hear about your and your player’s progress

Coach: Please advise.

Karl: You have been advised. Now, find the courage to follow this advice!!

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