As a youth soccer coach you should always take time to design and plan your practices. Soccer practice planning can be completed a week or so in advanced and will make your life as a coach easier, and will make your practices flow much smoother. A soccer practice plan should a “one-pager” that contains short notes that you can fold up and put in your pocket or clip onto your coaching board.
When planning a soccer practice, you should design a session to improve a skill or tactic in which your team needs to improve. Whether it’s on the team level or individual level, you should have a clear, defined goal of what you want to achieve. To do this, you must first have a good idea of your team’s deficiencies. This can be discovered by analyzing the team during scrimmages or games.
Now that you know the goal of your practice sessions, now you must figure out what drill or game to use. Make sure the practice is in line with the age and ability of your players and make the relevancy clear and apparent to the players. Be sure to choose drills that keep the kids moving. Stationary drills with lines will only bore kids. Also, be sure to have enough soccer balls so that each player has a ball as this will assure more touches on the ball.
When creating your soccer practice plan, make sure to include organizational items such as field size, placements of goals, and the number of goals to facilitate a particular skill or tactic. Keep in mind that larger grid size allows the players to have greater success, where the smaller grid makes the area tighter, decisions must be made quicker and is more challenging. Also, make sure your coaching points are clear and you understand how or who can demonstrate the skill or tactic.
Next, make it fun. Remember that the drills chosen and how you design your practices will directly influence the kid’s enjoyment. Try to organize your practices where kids will look forward to your practices.
Remember as a youth soccer coach, you can be more than just a coach. Realize that these years are impressionable years and you have the opportunity to impact these kids’ lives in other areas. Take this time to teach kids respect, responsibility, confidence, desire, work ethic, commitment and confidence.