What are your best fun practices?

Hi,

I coach an U8 girls team.

Although I feel pressure from parents and other coaches to actively "teach", I much prefer sessions that are just fun.

My question for other coaches is - what drills/games/ssg's do you have in your back pocket that you can pull out and know the players absolutely love?

Parents
  • Thanks for all the suggestions :-)
    Some of them I use and they are fun, but I like the little changes - like making king of the ring a game of fortnite (we call it queen of the ring!), and being able to get back in the game after doing a skill. I also like the idea of including music - I think that will go down well.

    We have training tonight, and I think we're going to do the sharks game, followed by the coconut game (if anyone knows that one - it always goes down well). Then we may just play 2 games of 3v3, depending on numbers.

    Cheers
    Steve :-)

Reply
  • Thanks for all the suggestions :-)
    Some of them I use and they are fun, but I like the little changes - like making king of the ring a game of fortnite (we call it queen of the ring!), and being able to get back in the game after doing a skill. I also like the idea of including music - I think that will go down well.

    We have training tonight, and I think we're going to do the sharks game, followed by the coconut game (if anyone knows that one - it always goes down well). Then we may just play 2 games of 3v3, depending on numbers.

    Cheers
    Steve :-)

Children
  • Well, there's a bit of queuing, so this may be frowned upon, but I think it's offset by the fun.

    You split the players into teams of no more than 4 players (I find 3 to be optimum).

    Each team has a "lane" as long as is appropriate for age/ability. Players line up at one end of their lane, and at the far end you balance 3 balls on top of 3 cones.

    Players in a team take it in turns to shoot at the balls, the object being to knock them off their cones. Once a player has taken a shot, they must run to retrieve the ball they are shooting with and dribble it back to their next team mate so they can have their turn.

    The winning team is the one to knock all 3 balls off first.

    To progress, play the game again, but this time have 5 cones, 3 of them with balls on. If a player knocks a ball off they are allowed to place it onto an opposing teams cone. This really heats up the competition!

    There are several variations of this game, but this is the one I've found players enjoy the most.

  • Steve

    It does sound fun. To perhaps avoid the queuing you could have a ssg and line the coconuts up on the goal line (maybe 3). Have an exclusion zone where the players cannot kick their ball from at the coconuts (say 3 yards). To score the team has to knock over a coconut. The winners are the team that knocks over all their coconuts first or the ones who have most left if you run out of time. Just a thought.

    Pete

  • Stephen, this sounds fun but to avoid queues why not play a small format game (2v2 or 3v3 or similar) and have the cones with a ball on behind each goal with the aim to score AND knock a ball off the cone for extra points. Just a suggestion. Pete

  • Thanks guys - 2 suggestions the same!

    I get why you would want to do this, and I will give it a go, but my feeling is you will take something away from the original game.

    I really want my sessions to be varied and fun, because to me at U8 the fun is what will keep bringing them back. It will also help create an environment where they feel relaxed and confident enough to try new things.

  • So I tried this tonight and, I got to be honest it didn't really work.

    The game had lost the drama and excitement of trying to be the first team to knock all the balls down. Instead it was just another game of football that wasn't quite as good as using real goals.

    I appreciate that playing it this way is more in line with the England DNA, but I think there is something to be said for doing things differently and occasionally accepting things like a certain amount of queuing or elimination for the good of the game.

  • Stephen, I am all for trying different things and if another approach gives you the desired effect then go for it.