Establish a ‘Pre-Practice Ritual.’ For yourself and the players as they arrive at the practice site.
-Greet the coach and report any injuries -Arrive early to check weather & field conditions
-Greet teammates and Socialize with them. -Greet the players and check for injuries
-Check your equipment. -Check players’ equipment
-Juggle and make the ball your friend. -Allow them to work with the ball
-Have your home assignment checked. -Check their home-assignment progress
-Participate in the ‘official’ beginning -Determine the time for the ‘official’ beginning
(Example: Team Cheer) (Time to begin ‘concentrating’ on improving)
Step 1. BEGIN THE PRACTICE SESSION.
- Explanation/Demonstration of the THEME.
- Briefly ‘Show and Tell’ the players what they are expected to learn & improve.
- State clearly the ONE goal to be achieved!
Step 2. WARM-UP.
Inside the FUNdamental Square, every player with a FUNdamental SOCCER Ball.
- Confined area activity to develop ball sensitivity, coordination, flexibility, agility, and body control; summarized – building confidence in keeping possession of the ball.
- Confined area activity that maximizes ball touches and creates a habit that may prevent injuries in their future
Step 3. ONE + ONE (Cooperative Play)
Coach and players Prepare to Stop the Action to make and take ‘points of refinement’ on the Theme.
· Two players/One-ball; Review previously taught techniques to provide continuity.
· Two-players/One-ball; Working on ‘new’ techniques to be learned and developed.
Player(s) use ‘the Stages of Play’:
- Beginning Stage – -Perform ‘Theme’ at controlled speed vs. walking opponent
- Intermediate Stage -Perform ‘Theme’ at controlled speed vs. jogging opponent
- Advanced Stage -Perform ‘Theme’ at controlled speed vs. game speed opponent
- Realize that some players may never get out of the Beginning Stage – Which is OK!
- Be careful in advancing players through Stages – Since Success is the Key!
- When in doubt, put player(s) back in the previous Stage – Since Success is the Key!
- Understands that (+) = Add information to improve player(s) performance.
Step 4. ONE vs. ONE (Competitive Play)
Coach and players understand that there will be No Stop In Action.
Player(s): Experiment with the ‘new’ technique while competing.
- Test their ability to perform Theme (s) vs. real opposition
Coach: Observes to see who will need help with ‘the theme’ at future practices.
- Observes individual strengths and weaknesses.
- Understands that (vs.) = Being verbally silent while players are competing.
Step 5. Half-time Routine
Rehearsal for game day activities that take place in a limited amount of time, such as:
· Gathering in a defined, secluded, shaded area
· Replenish liquids and stretch
· Check for injuries
· Give points of refinement (if necessary) to -Individuals-Group-Team.
· Prepare them for the 2nd half.
Step 6. SMALL SIDED GAME (s)
Games are framed inside a set of rules to correct a weakness (Theme) observed in the previous practice or game.
COOPERATIVE Small-Sided Games are Controlled by the coach.
Players: Understand that there may be Stoppages or Interruptions in Play for ‘Points of Refinement.
Coach: Plans to Use Stoppages and makes Interruptions during Cooperative Play
(But, only when necessary…!)
COMPETITIVE Small-Sided Games are ‘FREE’ Games Controlled by the players.
Players: Understand there will be No Stopping or Interrupting Play to make ‘Points of Refinement.’
Coach: Understands that there are No Stoppages or Interruptions during competitive play.
- Observes and takes Mental/written Notes
- Understand that (vs.) = Being verbally silent while players are competing…!
Step 7. SCRIMMAGE
Full team games are framed inside a set of rules to focus on the Theme:
COOPERATIVE SCRIMMAGE a Team Game Controlled by the Coach.
Players: Understand that the Coach May Stop or Interrupt Play to make ‘Points of Refinement.
Coach: Understands when to Stop and Interrupt during Cooperative Play. But only when necessary!
COMPETITIVE SCRIMMAGE is a ‘FREE’ Game Controlled by the Players.
Players: Understand that there will be No Stopping or Interrupting Play to make “Points of Refinement.’
Coach: Does Not Stop or interrupt play.
- Observes and takes Mental/Written Notes
- Understand that (vs.) = Being Verbally Silent while players are competing…!
Step 8. COOL-DOWN
The physical goal of relieving the tightness created by running and other soccer-related activities. The mental goal is to complement each player for their effort.
- To create a habit that may prevent future injuries.
Step 9. END PRACTICE
The time to reflect and review the practice session and its ‘ Theme.’
- Briefly analyze the strong and weak points of the teams’ performances.
- The time when positive statements will let them know they improved.
- Give home-play assignments preferably to play 1 vs. 1 as often as possible!
I hope that “the important (themes) that will sink in” with the Players in 2022 are…
…as Attackers: …as Defenders:
–Read the Game –Read the Game
–Run to Attack –Run to Defend
–Receive the ball –Ready Stance
–Retain the ball –Reject Advancement
–Release the ball –Regain the Ball
I hope that the most critical (Theme) that will sink in with the Coaches in 2022 is:
Understanding that (vs.) means becoming Verbally Silent anytime’ the players are competing!