This should be your first priority!
A coach must always come to the field prepared. Below is a basic list of the minimum equipment you should have with you at practices and games: Your players should bring a soccer ball to every activity and must be wearing shinguards.
You should always come to practice with a plan. Consider what technique you wish to work on and what activities you can use to achieve your goal. A written plan ensures smooth transitions, little down time and that you won’t leave anything out.
Sample Practice Outline
Activities or drills that utilize the skill being taught is the most effective way for players to practice their skills. Attempt to utilize at lease two different activities or drills. This will ensure different types of experiences with the ball and keep the players from getting bored.
A scrimmage is a friendly game between two halves of your own team. Split your players in half and allow them to play largely uninterrupted. This is the time you should utilize the See, Show, Say technique to determine what you should work on the following week.
You should stop play a couple of times to make technical and tactical points. This is a perfect time to reinforce points about game knowledge. For example, as the ball goes out, remind them about when the ball is and is not in play. A short scrimmage is a good way to end a practice with these age groups. It gives them a chance to utilize the skills and knowledge they are gaining each week.
Keep it short, but do it. Young players must get used to warming up. At this young age, player’s muscles are not developed to a point where injuries will occur often, especially due to a lack of warming up and stretching. It is critical, however, that players be introduced to the concepts in order to prepare them for future competition in the years to come.
Warm Up the Muscles
Before stretching muscles and other parts, they must be sufficiently warmed up. This requires aerobic activities that get the heart pumping and breathing above a resting rate. Ideally, these activities should include a ball and be related to the technique you will be working on during the activity. Activities should not be speed oriented, but they should cause players to move.
Stretch the Muscles
After an aerobic warm up, players must stretch their muscles in order to avoid injury. Stretch by slowly and evenly extending each muscle just to the point that the body naturally resists. Movements should be steady and gentle static.
This section will provide information on the steps to follow on the days leading up to the big game. Ensuring that your players are prepared and ready to play will ease your mind and keep everything running smoothly.
Check your equipment before you leave home. Make sure you have everything you need.
Before the Game:
After the Game