Soccer Camps - Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge - FFTW Development

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Hope you are all doing well.

Our fourth week is officially in the bag with our 6-7 age group working on 1 v 1 Defending and our 8-9 and 10-12 age groups working on ground control and first touch.

Here are the coaching points below:

6-7 Age Group (Coach Rich):

1 v 1 Defending

1. Close down and curved run (get out to attacker as quickly as possible and block off goal)
2. Slow down (to help get into defensive stance)
3. Go down (get into defensive stance - side on and show the attacker away from the goal)
4. Stay down (bend your knees, get nice and low to stay agile with wherever attacker goes)
5. Be the Thorn (always let the attacker know where you are, stay an arms length away and if the attacker gets past you, never EVER give up)

2 Times the Defender has the Advantage:

1. When the attacker takes a bad touch (get a challenge in, make sure 100% you can win the ball)
2. When the attackers back is turned to his own goal (PRESSURE and do not let them turn)

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

- Use the inside of your foot to control the ball
- Your hips help you guide what direction you want to control the ball
- When going right, left and backwards specifically, remember to open your body up on angle to receive the ball
- When creating space away from a defender, ensure the passer plays the ball right when you check in/check out as if you are just standing there the defender will react straight away to your movement
- To ensure crisp control of the ball, make sure you are controlling the middle of the ball every time to create consistency in your first touch
- Check your shoulders/look around to see where the defender is allowing you to know which direction you can take your first touch away from the defender
- Use your back foot to protect the ball by getting your body in between the defender and the ball ***

- - -

6-7 Age Group (Coach Rich):

Of course defending was going to be difficult for the players in terms of how to approach a player with speed and one of the hardest aspects was the curve of their run when approaching an attacker. This was mainly because they were running straight to the player and when they were not curving their run, they were leaving the net open to attack.

The passes as well during the session could also be better but that will come with more practise, not just at training but also at home with you - the parents and also their friends when they get a chance to kick aroudn the ball. Even though the players started to understand that they need to get out quicker, they were still slow to close down the gap between them and the attacker. When we had success with this, they were getting into a good defensive stance as well as getting low which is what we want from them.

It is definitely a work in progress but for this age group, that is what we expect and want to keep progressing.

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

Both groups did very well as we worked a lot of repetition with our first touch ensuring crisp and sharp first touches with the addition of accelerating away once creating space away from our defender.

The main areas players need to focus on are knowing what direction they are going to go before they receive the ball as well as showing which foot they want it on. Although sometimes the passes were more of an issue than the touch itself, players need to ensure they are ready to receive the ball and depending on where the defender is, use the right surface of their foot (inside or other part depending on situation), getting a touch away and then accelerating.

We did a lot of work by adding defenders in allowing the players to then use their heads in terms of where to take their first touch and how sharp/big their touches could be. In the game, it was superb and a lot of players started using their back foot to receive the ball especially on the wings which was excellent. Players still heavily lack checking their shoulders however and that still needs to be worked on as that should be part of their overall game.

All in all, excellent job and see you all very soon!