write this the rain is pouring, the wind is howling and outside it's about 2 degrees above
freezing. Time to move the kids' soccer coaching session indoors.
But what can we do?
You won't have time
to all the games and drills that follow (unless you're in the gym for two or three hours)
so you need to pick 'n' mix according to your needs.
the Wall Game
Place your kids in the centre of the gym.
Identify the four walls as North, South, East and West (with very young children you could
use colours or place different objects at each wall).
Tell them I will call out a name of
a wall and you have to run to it, touch it and run back. You could make anyone who
runs to the wrong wall perform a penalty such as press-ups but please dont make the
last one back perform a penalty its not fair on the slower kids.
∑ Ask the kids to skip, sideways run, etc
(but not run backwards falling over on a hard floor hurts!)
∑ Give the walls numbers rather than names
∑ Point to wall; call a different one (ha!)
∑ Tell them to run to the opposite wall (you
call North, they have to run to the South wall)
∑ Dribble a football to the wall and
Time for some mobile
than static exercises)
Up until the age of 13 or 14 you can
adequately stretch kids' muscles with basic shuttle races or relays. If you make sure they
include elements that involve turning, bending, acceleration and stopping they will also
improve aerobic fitness. A big plus is that kids love the competitive element.
Start without a ball and then get your
kids to do the runs with a ball at their feet.
∑ You could also try the all skills warm up
Want to warm them up some more?
Most of the usual soccer warm up games are suitable for indoors.
One of my kids favourites is Spiders and bugs (even if they are 11
and 12 years old!).
Improve movement off
the ball and communication
A quick game of basketball (make sure the
kids play to the rules!) followed by a game of keepaway
'Up in the air'
Ask your players to throw a ball into the
air, sit down, stand up and catch it before it lands. Demonstrate it first.
Sit + forward roll or backward roll, then
stand up and catch.
Control the ball first time with feet
Demonstrate correct trapping technique.
Setting objectives and testing
Before you finish off with some
small-sided games you can introduce a programme of regular testing. This gives all kids a
chance to demonstrate an improvement over the weeks. Read setting kids objectives to get the idea. It doesnt
take long and Im sure you will find it pays off. Record all the kids times and
Finish with some small-sided games.
3v3 or 4v4. Small goals. First goal wins,
winning team stays on.
You can use 3v3 games to focus on practically any
aspect of football technique. Look for good control, keeping possession, movement off the
ball, quick shooting, 123 defending, etc.
Suggested equipment list: indoor footballs or Futsals (ideally one for each child), stopwatch, cones, pad/pencil