I had a letter from a coach complaining that one of their young players in an U6 side was pushing the other players in order to get the ball. The coach had talked to the player and his parents but the behaviour remained the same.
My suggestion for dealing with this problem is to remove the player when he behaves in this way. Many young children become a bit too ‘physical’ when they realise they are stronger than their peers. Pushing someone over seems like an easy way to win the ball for a strong five-year-old. My advice is to remove the player from the field of play every time he breaks the rules in this way.
Explain to him why he has been taken off (so you can have a talk with him), and make him wait a few minutes before he is allowed back on. This will seem like a very long time to a boy of his age.
Do this every time the player pushes another player over and he will soon understand the consequences of his actions – no soccer!