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Elkridge Youth Org

U6/U7 Coaching Responsibilites

EYO is an all-volunteer organization, and almost all of our coaches are parent volunteers.  Please understand that our U6 coaches are generally 1st-time coaches and many U7 coaches are as well.  The coaches are mostly responsible for managing the 50 minute skills development followed by the 30 minute game.  The coaches will be provided with a video that will help them prepare fun games for the kids to play that will help them discover ball control skills through repetition.  No soccer or coaching experience is necessary in these age groups.  This one hour video shows enough soccer related games to keep them actively engaged and having fun the whole season while developing ball control and field awareness.  Please consider volunteering ... it is a fun experience that I'm certain you will find rewarding.  

From a time perspective, coaching the U6/U7 clinics requires very little beyond the weekly clinic/scrimmage.  There are no additional practices, so the coaching responsibilities are very limited:

  • Complete the Online Volunteer form so that we can complete a background check.
  • Attend a 1 hour coach's meeting to receive an equipment bag prior to the season.
  • Contact the team prior to the season (from the roster provided) to introduce yourself. 
  • Watch the 1 hour video to get ideas to organize the practice.
  • Manage each weeks Skill Development session with your assistant and manage the soccer games.

The first 50 minutes of each session will be dedicated to skill development with your team.  Below is a playlist from the video The Soccer Help Method with Coach Doug Burgoyne, which is a video that I provide to all the U6/U7 coaches.  Please contact me if you are a coach and need a link to the video.

Your kids should be getting 20-30 touches per minute during practice!
  • Focus on dribbling in traffic.
  • Teach to kick with the laces instead of the toe.
  • More balls than kids, and a ball at every kids feet.
  • Games ... Games ... Games.
  • All kids, involved in every activity, all the time ... No lines!
  • Move the goals around.
  • Be zany.
  • Get the parents involved.

Kids Bounce

  • Teach the kids to bounce back up after they fall down.  Have them run and fall and then bounce back up.  This exercise prevents some tears.
  • If they fall hard, have them brush their knees and elbows, take a breath, and go.

No Hands

  • Carrot Soccer - dribble with hands behind back.
  • Animal Soccer - dribble while imitating animals with hands.
  • Ball in the bag - have players put the ball in the bag with their feet at end of practice.

Dribbling

  • Puppy on a leash - encourage kids to keep balls close.  Yell freeze if the ball gets too far away.
  • Go score - every kid dribbles ball(s) into net.  Move the net and repeat.
  • Big pile - Place all balls in a pile and send the kids to get all balls in the net.
  • Big Pile Race - two adjacent piles, two adjacent goals. Race to empty your pile.
  • Treasure Island - Create small island with 4 cones.  Send balls all over field.  Send kids to collect all the treasure and bring back to the island.  Add pirates ;-)

Shooting

  • Kick with laces - Demonstrate a lace kick.  Put balls on a touch line.  Show them that their plant foot should be on the line next to the ball when they kick.
  • Distance - See who can kick the farthest.

Scrimmage - 30 Minutes

The skills development session will be followed by dual scrimmages against the opposing team.  Each team (1 & 2) will divide their players in half to create two teams (call them A & B).  Each team will send one of their teams and one of the coaches to the opponent's field to play to 15 minute halves against the opponents.  As an example, 1A vs 2A on field 1, and 1B vs 2B on field 2.  The teams can decide to switch at half time if they desire.  

Small Sided Games - 3v3, 4v4
U6 will play 3v3 games and U7 will play 4v4, both without goalies.
The small sided games are designed such that there is no need to encourage positions.  Kids should not be assigned to stay back to guard the goal.  All players should be encouraged to try and win control of the ball and score (preferably on the other teams goal).  I would also discourage the coaches from trying to teach the kids to pass at this age.  

Game Structure
There is very little structure to the scrimmage.  There are no penalties, no out of bounds, etc.  I usually ask the parents to line the out of bound lines and gently nudge the ball back on the field as its going off the field.  Put the ball down at the center line, have one team start, and then let them play.  Restart after each score.  There will be lots of incidental contact, but keep an eye out for any intentional pushing or kicking or unsportsmanlike conduct and gently correct those behaviors.

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