When kids participate in soccer camps or soccer training programs at a young age, their love of the sport will likely continue throughout their lives. But teaching soccer to kids does have its challenges, especially when you’re dealing with young children. The key is to make soccer programs for kids fun and focused. If you’re looking for soccer training tips for kids, here are five to get you started:
- Keep it fun
Surveys have shown that 62% of kids who play organized sports in the U.S. to do because they get to interact with their friends. Soccer certainly has a number of social aspects and it’s important to keep the focus on the fun, especially in the beginning. Rather than highlighting soccer training drills for kids, frame these same activities as games instead. Make sure that the activities you do will make kids want to keep attending.
- Maximize contact with the ball
The more contact a player has with the ball, the more connected he or she will feel to the sport itself. You can encourage kids to build on their skills simply by making sure each player has the maximum amount of touches on the ball in each practice.
- Think small
Keep games on the small side. Instead of a big game involving two larger groups, smaller groups allow for more individualized coaching and more contact with the ball. If you can manage it, several games of 3 vs. 3 will be a lot more effective than 11 vs. 11.
- Highlight individual skills
You can make each practice about improving one particular skill like shooting, dribbling, or getting around an opponent. Having to worry about all of the components of the game at once can be overwhelming, but if players can build on their skill set one game at a time, it’ll be a lot more manageable. Don’t feel like you have to force skills like passing, as they’ll often happen naturally if you foster an environment filled with teamwork.
- Emphasize safety
When you’re running soccer programs for kids, it’s your responsibility to make sure they stay safe. One of the most effective ways to do this is to enforce safety rules and stress the importance of wearing the proper equipment. You should also make sure that kids stay well-hydrated and that guidelines and safety tips are communicated clearly to parents.
If you’re interested in learning how to coach soccer programs for kids or want to get your children involved in a youth soccer league, get in touch with us today!