Soccer Camps - Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge - FFTW Development

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Hope you are all doing well.

Our fifth week is officially in the bag with our 6-7 age group working on agility/sharp movements and our 8-9 and 10-12 age groups working on aerial control.

Here are the coaching points below:

6-7 Age Group (Coach Rich):

Agility

- Bend your knees to help speed away from a defender
- Change of direction
- Change of speed
- Know which way you are going to go and beat a player!
- Repition

8-9 and 10-12 Age Groups (Coach Ali & Coach Rich):

Aerial Control

- Watch the flight of the ball
- Adjust your body (dependent on flight of the ball)
- Before you receive the ball, decide what surface you are going to use to control the ball (This has to be done after watching the flight of the ball and adjusting your body)
- Cushion touch: let the ball come to you, you do not reach for the ball (if you reach, the ball will bounce off you, you want the body part you are controlling with to act as a sponge)
- Travel touch: Watch the flight, adjust your body, decide which surface and take your touch into space OR if there is a defender there, in the opposite direction
- Awareness - check your shoulders, if there is a defender behind you, you need to cushion/protect the ball. If there is no defender, realize you can turn with a travel touch or a cushion/turn touch.

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6-7 Age Group (Coach Rich):

With this age group, the movements and agility of players is incredibly important and that is why we took the liberty to focus on this aspect of the game during the sessions in the week. The main reason is because these body movements, all movements that footballers make as they grow older, will help players become faster, more flexible and get the body used to the movements that players make and as they grow older and their mucles start to develop.

Most of the players need to work a lot on their reactionary functioning and decision making on the spot but that will come with, practise, and growth. Speed is the essential factor here with players being able to get away from other players faster and using their minds to find out which is the best direction to run and how they can change direction to beat a defender.

We saw some really good progress with some of the players as a lot of them started out just running in straight lines, but after starting using their skills, their turns including change of direction and change of speed. There was some good progress being made and we hope to continue this with the ball next week!

8-9 and 10-12 Age Groups (Coach Ali & Coach Rich):

Overall, both groups did well with the general control of using the inside of the foot and the laces control but the only thing that was missing was true consistency. It should be said that 75% of the players were able to do it on a consistent level but then would switch off once in a while. What we want it to become is second hand nature to control a ball in this fashion and not something that is just done well sometimes, but almost all of the time and this comes with practise.

The travel touches we were actually pleasantly surprised with some of the quality but the one that both age groups struggled with heavily was the cushion touch and turn. This is probably because they are not taught this regularly and its something new to a lot of players which they will need to work on. It is used in the professional came when a player wants to take down the ball directly at their feet but then wants to quickly take their touch into the space the defender is not marking.

Last but not last is the awareness of realizing what to do when there is a defender behind them and when there is not. Players were still able to take travel touches even with defenders behind them but they just need to know where the defender is exactly so they are not turning into them. This is where the use of the body is critical and also checking your shoulders as you can put your hand out and use your body weight to feel the defender and see which side they are on.

Other than these main points, the groups did very well and we will see you all very soon!