The technical aspects of my U12 team have improved over the years so this season more focus can be given to the tactical parts of the game.
What the hell does that mean?
Ahh, a new season. A new Spring season. Even better. Spring is where all the bigger clubs in the area move up their best players to another age bracket and leave the dregs to fight with the smaller clubs. Well, actually, the U11 kids get moved up aren’t all bad but…
Anyway, the progression in a soccer players growth involves the leap in ability that appears when they have not played soccer harcode for 4 months. It’s weird. Kids who could only get air on the ball in the Fall by channeling the spirit of Lou Groza and using their toe show up for the first practice being able to chip. It’s cool how their brain works.
To get back to my first statement, heading into a new season, a coach needs a plan. The above statement is my plan in coaches speak. What does it mean?
It means my U12 team can trap and pass relatively well (technical abilities) so now I can focus on how they play the game (tactical abilities). I can help them move beyond the idea that they start the game on the left side of the field and they need to remain on the left side of the field. We can talk about switching positions, overlaps, confusing runs, acting like they are tying our shoe in the middle of a corner kick… lots of things that will help them learn to play the game beyond just trying to score.
Sure, I’ll still work at least once a week on some technical skill, but I’ll also add in a more technical aspect. My fall back is when one player tosses the ball to another player and they trap it and pass it back. This season, we’ll do that, but the player will be moving in various directions with other teammates involved.
And yes, I have worked on tactical ideas before. This season will be epic on the amount of knowledge I will try and transfer to them. Sure, some of it will stick and they’ll perform it to the confusion of their parents in the game. And some of it… well, it won’t stick this season, but in the Fall…
The girls will be practicing 3 times a week with a possibility of a optional scrimmage on a 4th night. They will be playing in 3 tournaments which they should be favored to play more than the three game minimum. It’s going to be a good year.