Great passions for small champions: training a child to play football is not easy or obvious. We discover techniques and exercises to do it better.
Football training for children
Football is a complete sport: requires that they are trained to better the strength, speed, quickness, and endurance. We have dealt with how to structure a football training and we have dedicated a particular focus to speed up, but it must be remembered that the preparation for practicing this sport starts from when athletes are only children!
Training small, passionate, future champions is not an easy task: a good coach must be able to teach technique and discipline without, however, extinguishing their enthusiasm and enhancing personal initiative. Speaking in particular of the chicks, that is, the players between 8 and 11 years old, it must be taken into account that the information provided by the instructor must be used by the player to decide independently on the pitch, by virtue of the information that comes to him from the context that surrounds him. The maneuver of the team is in fact conditioned by what the context allows you to do, therefore making decisions in football means constantly seeking solutions. The coach must train his chicks to think and act strategically, in addition to teaching them techniques and exercises.
So how to train a child to play football? First of all, making sure it has the right equipment: inevitable is the adhesive tape to keep the socks still, a water bottleful to avoid dehydration and spray ice in the event of a blow or fall.
Football training for children: coordination
One of the main goals of football training for children is to develop coordination.
Coordination skills are of two types: general and specific. While the general ones consist of the ability to learn, control and regulate a new movement, knowing how to adapt and transform it according to the needs, the specific ones are divided into:
- Combination of movements.
The chicks, by virtue of their age, are in a sensitive phase: that is, they are more predisposed to develop coordination. During this phase, the goals of the football school must, therefore, be more oriented towards the technical-coordinative components and the consolidation of the basic motor patterns.
Football training for children: the structure of a session
A soccer training session for children can be divided into three phases:
- Initial phase – exercises for motor activation with the ball and playful stretching;
- Central phase – exercises for situational games;
- Final phase – a free game.
Football training for kids: exercise 1
When choosing the exercises for training children’s football it is always better to insert a little competition, to make the training fun and stimulating.
The first exercise that we propose is the empty circle, whose objectives are to improve the coordination and guidance of the ball. You will need:
- 4 obstacles to jump;
- At least 6 balloons;
- 6 pins.
Form two teams and place the chicks in two rows, one opposite the other and not frontal. In front of each team, place one obstacle to jump, three pins and then another obstacle to jump. At the end of these paths, place three balls on the ground in a circle.
The game begins when the instructor starts. The first child of each team runs to run the path in front of him and retrieves, with his feet, a ball from his own circle to lead it diagonally towards the opposing team’s circle. He then runs to his row to give the 5 to the next partner who performs the same exercise. The goal is to empty your circle of balls to bring them into that of the opposing team.
The game can end in time (whoever has fewer balls in his circle after 5 minutes) or when a team has completely emptied its circle, even if only for 1 second.
Football training for kids: exercise 2
This second exercise to train football school children aims to improve ball guidance and the ability to change direction.
Form multiple teams, 3-4 children per station at most, and divide each team into 2 opposite rows 8-10m apart. Halfway between the two rows, place 2 pins 2 meters apart.
At the start, the first player in possession of the ball will have to take it to his partner in the opposite row, performing slalom between the pins and moving the ball from one foot to the other.
When the partner in front receives the ball, he performs the same exercise, bringing the ball in turn to the opposite partner. The team that returns first to the starting positions gets 1 point, the exercise must, therefore, be performed 2 times by each player, round trip.