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Hope you are all doing well.
Our fourth week is officially in the bag with our 6-7 age group working on dribbling and tight control 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):
- Bend your knees to help speed away from a defender
- Keep your head up
- Change of direction
- Change of speed
- Small touches to keep the ball close to your body, only take bigger touches when there is space in front of you
- Use your body to protect the ball by putting it between the defender and the ball
8-9 and 10-12 Age Groups (Coach Ali, Coach Rich and Coach Connor):
- 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):
The hardest and most difficult aspect to teach to the little ones is to remember to keep their body in between the defender and the ball. Even before we get to more complex points like this, players need to still get comfortable in controlling the ball with different parts of their feet. This includes the top of the foot, the outside and the inside plus the sole.
Players need to practise to get comfortable as in a game situation, using these different parts of the feet to manipulate the ball and keep it away from a defender and using their body to get in between will be of great bonus for them to allow the player to pass, dribble or shoot when they find space.
8-9 and 10-12 Age Groups (Coach Ali & Coach Rich):
The effort put in by the 8-9 group and 10-12's was solid throughout both sessions. In regards to the 8-9's specifically, they need to remember to keep the ball close to them when protecting it from a defender unless they are taking a travel touch. But since we worked mainly on cushion control, we want to ball to land directly at their feet.
The best part was of course when we got the defenders involved and we put it in a game situation where the players had to now work on protecting the ball but also finding a teammate to get the ball out to an open player. We saw some real progress with this and wish we even had more time to work on it but were very happy with the progress. Players just need to remember to check their shoulders more, move the ball quicker and if the ball isnt coming to you and you are the player being passed to, you have to move quicker to make a lane to help your teammate once he/she has brought the ball down.
The work effort in the 10-12's was also fantastic as stated above but since we went into matches early and didnt include the defending with aerial control, it didnt translate as well as we were hoping to the matches. Players need to more aware of their spacing on the field during game play and how they can hold a player up to receive the ball.
Awareness was by far the biggest factor which didnt allow the players to really use what they learned during the technique portion of the session and we want players to work a little more on knowing where they are going to get the ball, where their teammates are and also knowing where the defender is when taking the ball down.
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Well done to all players and see you next week!
Next Topic: 6-7 (Passing/Receiving), 8-9 + 10-12 (1 v 1, 2 v 2 and 3 v 3 defending)