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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
  • Hi Stephen, I've only just picked up your thread, and there are lost of great suggestions. I agree with you that making the sessions fun (inactively teaching, to borrow your phrase) is the way to go. 'Make it a game, give it a name' was advice I was given and something I still adhere to today. As you get more experience and comfortable in your own coaching style you will start to find ideas popping into your head while planning, or in my case watching players playing the games in the session and how they adapt them to make them more accessible, which will trigger ideas on how to make it more fun. But at the back of your mind always have,'what are we learning today' if its drilling, involve lots of opportunities to travel with the ball, if it's striking/sending having targets or different ways of scoring, but always linked to the learning focus for the session(s). I loved the description of your coconut game, I play something similar but the players call it trophies- this works from 2v2 to 4v4 and higher, you can use Cones (the witches hat type, not small ones) or put spare balls on cones at either end - 8 cones per end, 4 balls on 4 of the cones against each end- the aim to play and knock balls off, if successful the planer scoring has to gather the ball and take back and place at his teams end. This create a mini overload where the team just scoring is  a player down while they collect and can create some interest counter attacking opportunities, the team with the most balls on their cones at the end of the time, wins. a real benefit of this  game is that it is self-regulating, the team having success, finds their target is nor smaller and more challenging, whilst the team not having success, has less balls to defend and a bigger are to shoot at. As I said it works with cones just as well. You can change focus to promoting the team play aspect, or one on one duels, and also defending as they are all outcomes of the game. I don;t normally play it in isolation but as a ladder competition (3 pitches, each with different rules on how to score, winning team moves up to next pitch, losing team moves down, you can then equalise after a few cycles by letting teams play n a game they may have missed while promotion/relegation (not a good description but the players like it, calling the game at one end Premiership and the other end the Football league.  Keep at it, make sure you are having fun, as if you are have a good time, your players will be having a great time. Good luck. 

Reply
  • Hi Stephen, I've only just picked up your thread, and there are lost of great suggestions. I agree with you that making the sessions fun (inactively teaching, to borrow your phrase) is the way to go. 'Make it a game, give it a name' was advice I was given and something I still adhere to today. As you get more experience and comfortable in your own coaching style you will start to find ideas popping into your head while planning, or in my case watching players playing the games in the session and how they adapt them to make them more accessible, which will trigger ideas on how to make it more fun. But at the back of your mind always have,'what are we learning today' if its drilling, involve lots of opportunities to travel with the ball, if it's striking/sending having targets or different ways of scoring, but always linked to the learning focus for the session(s). I loved the description of your coconut game, I play something similar but the players call it trophies- this works from 2v2 to 4v4 and higher, you can use Cones (the witches hat type, not small ones) or put spare balls on cones at either end - 8 cones per end, 4 balls on 4 of the cones against each end- the aim to play and knock balls off, if successful the planer scoring has to gather the ball and take back and place at his teams end. This create a mini overload where the team just scoring is  a player down while they collect and can create some interest counter attacking opportunities, the team with the most balls on their cones at the end of the time, wins. a real benefit of this  game is that it is self-regulating, the team having success, finds their target is nor smaller and more challenging, whilst the team not having success, has less balls to defend and a bigger are to shoot at. As I said it works with cones just as well. You can change focus to promoting the team play aspect, or one on one duels, and also defending as they are all outcomes of the game. I don;t normally play it in isolation but as a ladder competition (3 pitches, each with different rules on how to score, winning team moves up to next pitch, losing team moves down, you can then equalise after a few cycles by letting teams play n a game they may have missed while promotion/relegation (not a good description but the players like it, calling the game at one end Premiership and the other end the Football league.  Keep at it, make sure you are having fun, as if you are have a good time, your players will be having a great time. Good luck. 

Children