May 5, 2015
Last night I was at my 6 ½ yr old daughters’ (…almost 7, as she would say) soccer practice. I help the head coach with six 6 year olds. Another set of hands is helpful for this age. Anyway, throughout the session I decided to take one child away from the group and practice their passing technique. We did 20 passes. 10 2-touch and 10 one-touch passes. They all did a great job and really focused on the skill at hand. Plus they enjoyed it and wanted to do it again.
Which leads me into the topic of private coaching. I do private lessons. I think they’re helpful for the kids. I don’t think it is necessary every day of the week but a once a week or whatever the child may need. I say “may need”, because I think my one-on-one sessions offer the athlete three things: 1) attention 2) repetition and 3) confidence.
I focus on the technical side of the game and give the kids reasons why we do certain things, like receive with this foot, so you are open to the field. For one hour they get the opportunity to do things over and over again. I don’t focus on the mistakes; I focus on doing it again and try to help them limit the mistakes through repetition. We work hard but we have fun and in the end they feel better about themselves.
Common emails I get from parents are about how much more confident their child is or how they had a bit more pep in their step and weren’t afraid to make mistakes. I’m not reinventing soccer, but I am giving the kids tools to feel better out there and to grow as a player.
Kids need a balance of everything. They may need a session every so often to remind them that they can do these things. They need a team to be able to work with and learn tactics. They need other sports to help with their agility, meet new friends and figure out what they really love to do. They need a hug from their parents and a “I’m proud of you” to know they care.
Always Believe! #13