First 10-12 minutes (warm up stage)
Coaches are the captains; players are the mates (deckhands). Captains command; mates follow commands. The ship’s surface is the area between the cones. If you go outside the coned areas, you fall off the ship. You will want the players to complete each task left footed, right footed and both feet.
Objective: We want to introduce players to moving/dribbling/advancing/running with the ball and turning (moving away from an opponent) with the insides of their feet and the soles of their feet.
“Swab the Decks” use insides of the feet and move the ball about, slowly at first, gradually developing more movement and range.
“Smash the Water Out” with fifteen quick toe taps, quickly touching the ball with the top of your feet.
“Shine the Decks” use soles of the feet and move the ball about, slowly at first, gradually developing more movement and range.
“Cannon Balls” throw the ball up and yell “boom” when the ball hits the ground and then go right into another command. (Cannon balls is a good transition)
“Big Wave” everybody leaves their ball, runs together, holds hands, and crashes down. Afterwards, back to balls and clean up the deck! (Any coaching points?)
“Stormy Seas” players face coach in center of grid; Coaches have their hands over their head and begin to rock hands gently to their right and then gently back to their left. Players are watching the direction of their coach and trying to stay on the same side of the grid as the hand moves. As players gain proficiency, coaches should speed up their hand movements and make left/right foot, different parts of their foot restrictions.
“Invaders” coaches and additional parents can begin to come over the deck; players must move away from the parents and coaches. After about 1 minute, have all players and parents walk off the field for a rum break
Second 10-12 minutes
Red Light, Green Light
RED light= stop; GREEN light= go (Throw in different commands and vary the intervals between RED and GREEN lights). When players hit an end line, they can stop (the first few times through) or turn the ball and proceed back to the start.
Objective: We want players to move the ball with the tops of their toes and outsides of their feet while remaining in control of the ball and keeping it close. In a game, it will be highly evident what will happen if the ball is not kept close. At some point, coaches should demonstrate the importance of keeping the ball close to you. Show what NOT to do; then, show what to do. Wait for that teachable moment!
Walk Speed, Jog Speed, Run Speed, Race Speed (10 second countdown)
GREEN Light “go” YELLOW Light “slow down” RED light “stop”
“Head lights” – look up, not down at the ball until you get to an end line.
“Reverse”- execute a turn with the inside or sole of foot and switch direction.
“Single lane”- two coaches form a small lane between them and all players must quickly line up and get through continuing on to an end line.
“Bridge out”- all players must make their ball leap over the broken bridge. (CREATIVELY)
“Bumper cars”- players move around the grid freely, and remain in control of their ball. When they are about to bump into an end line, a coach, another player, they execute a quick turn and move away. Start slowly with this one!
Third 10-12 minutes
Players are partnered. Player ONE is the Ghost; Player TWO is the Ghostbuster and has the soccer ball. ONE is trying to lose the Ghostbuster by moving away from TWO. TWO must move the ball at speed tracking down ONE.
When the coach says GHOSTBUSTER, all players must freeze and the coach measures the distance between the players to see who the best trackers was.
This session can be adjusted so both players start without a soccer ball; then one player has a soccer ball; then both players have a soccer ball. Players should look up between touches
Fourth 10-12 minutes
Players versus Zombies
(recruit as many parents as possible to act as zombies)
Players line up on one side of the grid; parents (zombies) and most of the coaches (zombies) on the other. The coach shouts: “the zombies are coming” and players have their balls close to their feet. The zombies enter the field in columns of two to start spaced out so the next group of two enters once the first group is half way across.
In each sequence, the first time through, the players run with their balls (brains) and avoid the zombies by weaving through them. The second time through, (players and zombies are again on opposite sides) players repeat and get through. If a zombie gets a ball (brain) they eat it, of course! All parents and coaches should start off easy and work towards adding more numbers and increasing the level of difficulty by moving faster and taking a lunge at a soccer ball that is too far away from the player.
What to Emphasize:
- keep the ball close in traffic; in open space, move the ball farther ahead of you - push the ball sideways or diagonally to get around something
- if you run with the ball in a straight line, it can get taken away
- change direction with cuts and pushing the ball sideways
- change speed (accelerate- celery)
- heads up; not just looking at the ball all of the time and...HAVE FUN!