Match Week 4: U8 Pre-Session Planning

7 Oct

We are quickly approaching the halfway point for our season.  Our U8 team will practice again Friday night.

We didn’t have a match last Saturday – so in my assessment, we are still at the same place we were last week.  We need to work on 1v1 play on both sides of the ball, game awareness, and lowering the fear and panic level in all of the players when they are on the field.  I’d also like to start working on adding players in our 1v1 game – moving it to 2v1 and 2v2 to give the players a feeling for how to play alongside a teammate.

1v1 Free-For-All

All players are paired off with a teammate with whom they will play 1v1.  I’ll remind the players about proper defending distance, closing shooting space against the opponent, and using their turns, cuts, and feints to fool their opponent.  We’ll shorten it up and play about five minutes.

1v1 Lightening Round

We’ll break and start on the lightening round – but after a couple of turns for each player, we’ll start making modifications to the rules.

Modification 1 – Turn to Win: When the ball is served to the middle, player must turn the ball and take it back towards the direction they started.  (Normally they go straight ahead to the goal.)

Modification 2 – Turn or Feint Before Shot: Player must perform a turn or feint before shooting.  It doesn’t have to be perfectly executed, but I want to see an attempt under pressure.

Add a Player

After the modified play, I’ll add a player to one side and introduce a 2v1 version.  I’ll give a chance for the advantaged side to be on defense and offense.

Key coaching points as we play through several rounds of 2v1:

  • If you are the sole defender, what is your role?
  • If you have the advantage and the ball, what are your decisions?  What is the role of the off-ball player?  What’s the timing for a pass?
  • If you have the advantage and are on defense, what are the roles?
At that point I’ll add another player and make it 2v2.   Key coaching points in 2v2:
  • Role of second defender in the presence of second offensive player.
I’m guessing we’ll end up being 1 short again this week – so a 3v3 match up to end practice.  If we have a full 7, I may try to introduce a 3v3+1 (1 permanent offensive player.)  It depends on time.

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