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Coach Tips

This is the third of an occasional series of tips from Michael Karlin and Robin Corbett.

Coach Tip #2 - Standing and Moving

5-, 6- and 7-year olds don't concentrate. 25-, 36- and 47-year old coaches may know this but rarely act on this knowledge.

Keep your players moving.  Have drills which involve everyone all at once.  Above all, don't have a line of players that's longer than two or three.  The sun rises in the east and the kids at the end of the line get bored and distracted. It's the law.

There are lots of drills to keep kids moving:

  • Make sure that each player has a ball and is doing something with it.  Put out several pairs of cones on the field and make the players dribble through different pairs the pairs.  Then have them dribble through a pair of cones, turn and dribble back through the same set before moving on.
  • Another idea:  You won't get a lot of passes from a 5-year old, but by the time they are 6 or 7, you can ask them to buddy up and pass the ball back and forth with a teammate or two.  The same cone pair set up can be used but with two players having to pass through a pair of cones and then move on to another pair.
  • A third idea:  If you must have a line, make sure the player has to do something that makes them run around before they get back in line.  For example, shoot the ball through a pair of cones (not into a net) then go retrieve the ball and bring it back to the end of the line.  Before you know it, the player will just have got back in line when it's time to go again.

The point is - no standing around. 

At some point, the kids will need a break.  Send them to get water and get them back quickly.  Lots of short breaks are better than fewer long ones, especially ones that involve sitting down .  Make it a race not to be the last one back.  Keep Moving!

Send us your best tips at coach@ayso76.org. We'll publish the best them and award you a 100% increase in your coaching salary, just like the one we get every year!