Three weeks to go in the season. I have two practices left in my coaching season since I’ll be traveling and returning late on Friday night the final week of the season.
At this point, I’m trying to compare where the players are versus what I had hoped for them to be able to do at the close of the fall season. I hope to close the biggest gaps to some degree before our last games.
This week, we’re also facing down the weather. I’m expecting a low probability of having practice tonight – the forecast calls for rain starting in the morning and becoming steady throughout the day. This usually means the fields are closed and practices canceled.
Our team had trouble with defending last week. Most of all, the kids did not not get in front of the ball regularly and were trying to pursue the ball carrier. So…back to 1v1! We’ll play the mass 1v1 game again, and then continue into the lightning round game.
Playing 1v1 has been our top priority all season, and it was my major measurement going into the season. We’ll revisit it tonight and reiterate the major points – getting in front of the opponent and keeping them in front of you, and closing down their space to move.
The U8 team really has made good strides this season. Last week I provided very little in-game instruction and they played their best game.
So, I think they have progressed well towards their “Autonomy” goal but we haven’t done well in scoring. I think we still lack on confidence with the ball, and head-up play.
During the Fast Track session this week, the coach played a game with the team that involved passing by numbers. The kids were moving around within a grid, passing and receiving the ball. The ball followed a set order – each player was assigned a number, and the kids moved the ball to the next player no matter where each player was. They did a better job of staying in open space, and a better job or keeping their eyes up and finding supportive positions. I’ll give this game a try tonight.
After that, we’ll move on to 2v2 play. My plan is to do a few walk-throughs with the team on offense to help them get a sense for spacing and options in passing to score, as well as movement off of the ball.