Think about these questions and answer them honestly…
Do players spend the majority of your practices stood in lines waiting their turn?
Are you and your assistant spending too much time explaining things?
Are you constantly having to tell your players to stop fidgeting and pay attention?
Are you aware of the developmental differences between age groups and that what may be appropriate for U14 players, will probably not work for U8s?
Are your practices boring?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above, it is because you are falling into the trap of trying to “manage” your group, rather than allowing them to “play” the game.
My mission this year is to show how easy it is to be an effective soccer coach. Basically, it means that you need to approach your sessions from the perspective of the kids you are coaching. They want to play the game. They want to play games. They want to play. They want to have fun. They want to get touches on the ball.
Can you design every activity you do at practice to be a game? I challenge anyone out there to give me a soccer topic that can’t be turned into a competitive game. We must get rid of lines in youth soccer! They are a waste of time, both yours and the players. Also, other than for shaking hands at the conclusion of the match, when do you see players in lines on game day?