MYS Coaching Philosophy/Practical Guide to Coaching
1. Age appropriate activities.
U8 make it fun, make it fast, listening time to a minimum, lots of encouragement, set
boundaries, transitions are important-once you lost them you are in trouble. Also,
no heading ball at U8 if possible.
U10 gender split, gender differences. Boys want praise and can become tougher on
teammates. Girls start to behave as part of a group-singling them out for praise or
criticism is not always well received.
U12 cognitive and basic skills should allow more concentration on tactical elements
2. Plan your practices-use the resources available (1 Skill per practice)
Warmup activity, can be tied to theme of your practice
1st activity, explain briefly, get into practice quickly
2nd activity, advanced activity, more game like, use goals or ways to score
Scrimmage, can use 1st 5 or 10 minutes to reward team for correctly executing skill.
(pressure cover done correctly=goal)
3. Use your resources-two coaches is better than one
1st coach can be preparing the practice grid whilst other coach greets the players
and gets them into their 1st transition activity (juggling is perfect, then dribbling and
finally shooting is least preferable-why?)
Wait time between activities invites behavior problems
Number of touches per player can be increased by running two simultaneous drills
(shooting one end, defending corners the other)
4. Gauge the energy level of your players and adjust your practice accordingly
If kids have been in school all day they might need a little more running or longer
warmup before they are ready to listen to instruction
If your kids are not fit enough to practice they are not fit enough to play, increasing
the amount of running in early season practices will help prepare them for games
(you can run WITH the ball)
5. Teaching the basics
Break each skill down into 3 to 4 simple steps, Use visual cues (step on Mickey
Emphasize practice at home, especially wall passing and juggling
Have kids do the demo’s as much as possible
Use sample drills, choose your space and size for practice carefully, maximize ball touches.
Coaching Corner >