U5 Co-Ed Coach

Discussion in 'NorCal Scene' started by Est.1988, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Est.1988

    Est.1988 New Member

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    Hello,

    Looking for some pointers Coaching U5 Co-Ed Kids. I’ve played Soccer myself all the way from U5 - to 2 Seasons Community College, but Coaching is a whole mother realm. Anyway we’re headed into Week 5 and I’m trying to figure out a way to teach my kids how to be more “Aggressive”? Offense is great but defense, they’re afraid to go take the ball from the other team, or back up from the offensive player. Also any other tips for the U5’s would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
  2. dk_b

    dk_b Well-Known Member

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    I’m going to assume that this was a sincere question so I am going to give my sincere answer: if this is U5, the kids are no more than 4 years old so (i) don’t worry about teaching them to be more “aggressive” and (ii) focus on movement throughout practice - movement with the ball at their feet and movement without the ball. Re (ii), it is not because of any grand strategy designed to create college players but because too many kids stand around at too many practices in too many sports. Watch any field or court and you will see kids waiting in line doing nothing until it is their “turn” to take one shot at the goal, take a layup, get in the cage for 5 swings or field a ground ball. Watch the really good coaches for younger age kids and you won’t see kids waiting their turn doing nothing, those coaches are the one who make sure there is constant motion and “fun”. The best measure will be not whether Katie steals the ball from Johnny but whether both Johnny and Katie sign up for the NEXT season or session. If you create a practice plan in which they are always doing SOMETHING other than standing around, you will be doing a great job for U5s.
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  3. The Outlaw

    The Outlaw New Member

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    Stay away from the single moms.
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  4. Scott

    Scott New Member

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    At this age, coaching is all about using different games to trick the children into learning skills. I used to manage a rec. club and I would always tell my coaches that the ball is the best teacher for younger children, so get them as many touches as possible. That means games where everyone is using a ball at once. I would also not get to hung up on aggressive defense at this age since many four and five year-olds are just not mentally there for aggressive defending.

    That being said, there are a number of games to play with kids that will enhance their willingness to not only take the ball from one another, but move with it once they have it. One of my favorites is "Pirates of the Pug." Put a pug goal in the middle of a large circle and call it Treasure Island. Designate 3 or 4 players as pirates, and the rest as captains. The balls are the treasure. The captains each have a ball that they must dribble around in the circle, while the pirates try to steal the treasure and bury it in the pug. If a ball is stolen, the captains must try to get their treasure back before it ends up in the pug. Once a captain's ball in buried in the pug, that captain is out. Other games like "Sharks and Minnows," and "Soccer Tag" work off the same theory of a number of players trying to take the ball brom others who are dribbling in a confined space. Another game which does not teach any technique, but encourages taking the ball is "Crab Soccer." All of the team tries to dribble across a square while the coaches (please tell me you have an assistant at this age group--if not use a parent or two) crab walk (using both hands and feet in a sort of sitting position to move) and try to steal as many balls as possible for each round. Every time a player gets a ball stolen, the player becomes a crab for the next round, until the last player standing is the winner.

    Finally, you can also do some 1 v 1 games where the players run to a ball and try to get it and return to a goal to score while the player who did not get the ball tries to recover and take it; of the classic Brazilian number game where the team is split into two groups with pug goals at either end of a grid. players on each teams are given numbers, and when you call them out, they must run and try to score on each other. These are great competitive drills, but they suffer from only tow players moving at once. So make sure you keep each round short so you do not have kids waiting around too long.
  5. Scott

    Scott New Member

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    Also, although unrelated to your question about defense, a great warm up is the "Neymar Game." Have the team dribble in a square and call out body parts. Each time you call out a part, the players have to touch their ball with that part of the body. When you call out "Naymar!" the team all drops to the ground, grabs an ankle, and starts crying until you tell them to start dribbling again. My kids loved this drill (although I used to call it the Ronaldo drill. Even my u-12 girls still wanted to do this one.
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