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					Coaching at the Grass Roots
IT’S PRACTICE TIME!
8-9 year olds

PART IX

Defending Play
Objective: Preventing the opposition from scoring goals while playing within the laws of the game. Generating attacking play after gaining possession of the ball. Key Factors: Get between the ball and the goal (“goal side”) Keep your eye on the ball. Close your man down rapidly and then “jockey” the man with the ball. Select the “angle of approach” (pressure) that prevents direct movement towards the goal.

1. 2. 3. 4.

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LET’S PRACTICE!
8-9 year olds

EQUIPMENT CHECK: Balls, bibs and cones

Warm-up (10 minutes) Players run backward for 5 - 10 metres and, on command, turn and sprint forward.

Running-on-the-spot with weight on balls of feet. Coach indicates right, left, forward, backward; players sprint 5 - 10 metres in appropriate direction maintaining balance as they do so.

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"Truck and Trailer": Player without ball trails player with ball. Ball carrier (truck) attempts to get away from trailer.

Stretching.

Technique Practice (10 minutes) "Jockeying" - Players operate in pairs. One player (attacker) has ball and is 10 metres from other player (defender). Attacker advances. At same time, defender moves forward to "close down" attacker. ("Close down” means reduce space.) The two players then "jockey" and attempt to force opponent back to his starting position. No tackling takes place. "Jockey" using balanced, sideways-stepping motion. Reverse roles after 5 advances.

Coach, emphasise these points for defender: · initial speed to ball · deceleration before arrival · settling to low, balanced position, with one foot forward and knees bent (boxer stance)
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Skill Practice (15 minutes) Players work in pairs (one attacker, one defender) in 20 m x 10 m grid; one ball per pair. Defender passes ball to attacker and then "closes him down”. Attacker carries ball slowly, defender "jockeys" attacker to end-line. Defender maintains 2-metre distance from ball, and concentrates on ball and maintaining balance. Defender does not attempt to win ball (but may take it if the other player loses control). Variation: Attacker zigzags forward in an attempt to “unbalance” the defender.

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Related Game (15 minutes) 8 v 8 game across half-field (60 m x 50 m grid).

Coach, make it a condition that a dribbler must get by a defender before passing or shooting.

Mini or Maxi Game (10 minutes)

Warm-down (5 minutes) Relaxed running and stretching.

Practice is over!
Did everyone have fun? Was there equal opportunity for everyone to play? Was it a positive experience for all?

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Coach, remember to give each player some encouragement or positive feedback!

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IT’S PRACTICE TIME!
8-9 year olds

PART X

Attacking Play
Objective: Moving the ball forward under control into the attacking third of the field, as rapidly as possible, in order to create a scoring opportunity. Key Factors: 1. Player must have his/her head up to see what opportunities he/she has to pass or shoot the ball. 2. Other players must be moving into supporting positions – near, far and wide. 3. Players must communicate with one another (even just eye contact).

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LET’S PRACTICE!
8-9 year olds

EQUIPMENT CHECK: Balls, bibs and cones

Warm-up (10 minutes) "Moving Tag” - 16 players, 2 teams of 8 in 30m x 20m grid (penalty area/centre-circle). One ball. Each team tries to score points by hitting opponents below the knee with the ball without losing possession. Passing only. Limit the number of touches to the ability of your players (no more than 3 or 4). Dribbling is not permitted. The opposing team gains possession if ball goes out of bounds or if opponent is struck above knee. Players may keep track of number of "hits". Add second ball if desired.

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Stretching.

Technique Practice (10 minutes) Players work in pairs, each pair in a 10 m x 10 m grid. Send low instep-drive (kick) to partner. Coach, emphasise: • eyes on ball • head steady • ankle of kicking foot "tight" (toe extended, ankle firm) • 1-2 touch striking of ball • accuracy Attackers (one in each end-grid) take turns to shoot on goal. Goalkeeper moves to face appropriate shooter. Attackers serve and retrieve for each other. If goalkeeper saves ball, he turns to serve other shooter. If desired, goalkeeper may serve each time. Emphasise 1-2 touch striking of ball and low shots to side of goalkeeper. Score may be kept.
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Rotate roles/positions after so many shots, goals, minutes.

Skills Practice (10 minutes) Five players are arranged as in illustration. A progression (extension) of the preceding technique practice takes place: goalkeeper serves ball into one end grid to initiate 1 v 1 game. As soon as possible, a player shoots at goal. If ball reaches other end-grid, two other players immediately begin a 1 v 1 game there. If goalkeeper saves ball, he turns to serve ball into facing end-grid. And so on. Score may be kept. If desired, rotate goalkeeper after so many shots, goals, minutes.

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Coach, emphasise: 1-2 touch play

Related Game (15 minutes) 5 v 5 plus one "free" player. Other players act as retrievers and rotate-in as "free" player every 1 or 2 minutes. "Free" player plays for team in possession, thereby giving attacking team numerical advantage. Emphasise quality and quantity of shots on goal.

Mini or Maxi Game (20 minutes)

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Warm-down (5 minutes) Relaxed running and stretching.

Practice is over!
As the end of the season approaches, it is a good idea for the coach to “take stock”. Ask yourself: *Am I well prepared for practices? *Do my practices involve lots of activity for each child? *Do I promote respect for the officials and the rules? *Do I actively assist players who are having difficulty? *Am I making practices fun for everyone?

If you have any questions, comments or feedback about this document, or anything involving the Coaching Centre, please send an email to: info@soccercan.ca

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Description: coaching at the grass roots