players feeling low - try these three games
|It's comparatively easy coaching a team
that wins more games than it loses.
Parents are happy (or at least they're quiet!) and your players are keen to train and play.
But it's a different matter if you're on a losing streak.
Being beaten every week is bound to affect your players' confidence and match days become more and more stressful for everyone concerned.
When that happens (and it happens to every youth football coach at some point in their "career"), it's important not to criticise your players' work rate and effort. That will only get their heads down even lower.
Instead, give your players simple objectives they can achieve in matches even if they lose.
You could, for example, give your wide players the objective of staying in their position and not get sucked into play in other parts of the pitch.
A striker could be given the task of getting one shot on goal in the first 10 minutes.
But whatever objective you choose for your players, make sure it is within their capabilities to achieve it and it's easily measured.
In training, get back to basics. Practise passing, tackling and shooting using small-sided games (SSGs) and easy, fun drills.
These three SSGs are ideal. They're easy to set up and explain, they work on your players' core skills in realistic, football-like situations and, most importantly, they'll put a smile back your players' faces!
They are all played with teams of four or five players in the same playing area.
The exact size of the playing area should be adjusted for the age and experience of your players but, as a guide, use an area that is about half the size of the pitch you use on match days.
The Four Goal game
Set-up: Place two goals at each end of the playing area.
How to play: Each team defends and attacks two goals. Goalkeepers are optional. Every time the ball goes out of play the game is restarted with a kick in that has to be taken in four seconds or less. If a player takes longer than four seconds to restart the game, the kick in goes to the other team.
Progression: Teams can score in any goal. The first team to score a goal in each goal wins the game.
Set-up: Place one goal and one team at each end of the playing area.
The players give themselves a number, starting from 1.
How to play:
- When everyone is
ready, you call out a number. The players with that number run round the outside of the
playing area and while they are running you throw a ball into the playing area.