I've coached informally (and without qualification, if truth be told) soccer for about 5 years. Last year I took the Grassroot and Junior certificate courses from Football NSW and became a "real" coach.
While my son went through the different soccer schools and academies I'd sit on the sidelines, notebook in hand, and poach all the good drills they had.
Turns out it was, for the most part, a waste of time.
I'm half way though the training for the Youth Football Certificate (2 of the 4 Sunday's down, two to go) and the focus, now, is a flip from what was taught in the past.
o teach the technique
o go through drill to reinforce the technique
o game play to practice the technique.
Seems like a great idea, but (and I know this from personal experience) drills are boring, kids have sort attention spans and the only fun they have is at the end of the session when the small sided game kicks in. By then, they're not interested in listening to what you are saying, and in reality, it's the application of the techniques in the game
that really counts.
So, what is recommended now:
o start with small sided game play
o modify to reinforce a technique to score (i.e., if you want to work on crosses, stipulate that goals can only
be scored off a cross.
o stop the play if the technique that you're coaching is going astray (and it will be). For example, if the crosses aren't getting loft, or goinging wide, or if the player doing the cross is stopping the play to set up the cross (an opportunity you would never get in a game), stop it, demonstrate how it's supposed to work, let them go through it slowly a couple of times without the time pressures of game play, then continue the game.
The 'drills' end up being an integral part of the game. And if you think about it, there's a huge gap in a kids mind between the drills you dthemo in a grid, and how to set up in game play. Reversing the order keeps the fun from the beginning and lets you set up development within the games.
I'll add some ideas through the weeks ahead -- if anyone else has any ideas, feel free to share them.