I’ve been coaching U9’s at a grassroots club since August. Over the last 2 months, I’ve taken full control of training sessions and the improvement has been substantial.
Players are arriving early because the sessions are more enjoyable and the kids have seen an improvement in their performances on a Sunday. The use of SSG’s has lead to an improvement in technique and decision making and the Q&A after the session has helped to develop their understanding of each session topic. Players are desperate to answer questions, which is a big difference from the early Q&A’s when I first started at the club.
The previous game saw us lose a 3-1 lead in the last 5 minutes to draw 3-3. Although I pay attention to the performance and not the result, the players were despondent after it finished. However, they came to training buzzing and ready to play, which was refreshing and led to an even better session.
The biggest difference that I’ve found since I started taking sessions is in the discipline of the kids. During the early sessions when I first arrived at the club, when I tried to introduce a progression, some of the kids were talking and it would cut into their playing time. However, I’ve always tried to recreate the conditions of a classroom during certain parts of the session. For example, during the Q&A sessions, the kids would have to raise their hands instead of shouting out the answers. Little things like this creates a more teacher/student relationship, where the kids are more attentive and as a result, learn a lot more than in previous Q&A sessions at the start of the season.
On Wednesday, everything seemed to work smoothly. From the progressions within the session to the Q&A at the end of the session. It was the best session of my short coaching career! The topic of the session was shooting because we always seem to create loads of chances in a match but not put them away. The focus was on finishing. A simple 4v4 game. Cones were placed on the inside of posts and if they scored by hitting a cone, the shot was worth 3 goals. Players understood why and how they should aim for corners. “Accuracy over power” when 1v1 against the GK was the main point to come out of the session and hopefully we will see that this Sunday.
Will inform you on what happens in my next blog post.