Friday, June 1, 2012

U13 - Poorly planned ending to an otherwise good session

Last night we had training with our U13 boys, and I think I made it a bit too long, or planned the ending poorly.

We had a 2-hour session on one of our club fields.  I had 2 parents help us, which was a very good thing.  I wanted to cover a variety of things before getting to my main topic, hitting the ball firmly with the laces.

Before getting to our topic we did:
  • Keep-away (they are getting better at it)
  • Heading
  • Flick-ons, redirecting an oncoming ball over the defender behind you
  • Playing the ball out of the air while running, from the front and side
I was glad we touched on all those things and I see the boys’ confidence continue to build slowly.

When we got into striking the ball with the laces, I set up several scenarios:
  • With a partner, pushing ball out and striking after 1 step
  • Running with the ball and striking with laces
  • Receiving, turning and striking a low, penetrating pass with laces to a running winger, through 2 poles serving as defender
The coaching points were:
  • Toe down
  • Knee bent, over the ball
  • Head and Chest in appropriate positions depending on purpose of strike 
  • Jump into kick with plant foot, leaving hips open
  • Lock ankle
  • Follow through
I still see a reluctance to hit the ball cleanly with the laces.  There is still a tendency to revert to the inside of the food if they can get away with it.

The mini-game at the end is where I feel I blew it.  There was quite a bit of running before we got to this point and the game was a giggle-fest.  A more appropriate ending might have been a spirited competition testing their accuracy with a laces-driven pass.  Maybe I should have let them play and left them alone.

We have 2 more training sessions before our season opener.  I will have to make sure to spice them up with exciting endings.

No comments: