Here are some items that should be included in a training session:
A brief warm-up is appropriate in order to get the players thinking about soccer and to prepare them physically for the time ahead. This should involve individual or small group activities that involve the ball. Since there can be one theme to the session, hopefully, the warm-up will lead into the theme of the day. The warm-up should get the players ready to play. It should be lively, fun, and engaging as well as instructional. There is nothing like a good, fast-paced activity to grab the player’s attention and make them glad that they came to practice. Individual or Small Group Activities
Follow the warm-up with some kind of individual activity, not necessarily a real 1v.1 game, but some kind of activity where players act as individuals or cooperate in small groups in a game environment. An example would be a kind of keep-away game, or small-sided games that bring out or emphasize a specific skill or topic. Keep players in motion at all times. Avoid having them wait in lines. Play games of “inclusion” instead of games where the “looser sits”. Be creative. These players like “crazy” games with a lot of action.
Play the Game
Small-sided soccer can be used to heighten intensity and create some good competition. Play 4v.4 up to 9v.9. Be creative. Play with 4 goals, or 2 balls. Perhaps play to emphasize a particular skill (can only dribble the ball over a goal line in order to get a point). Use cones if you don’t have real goals. Keep players involved. Have more than one game going on at a time if necessary. Switch teams often, give everyone a chance to win. Also, it is important that every player has a chance to shoot on goal as often as possible. Finish this stage with a real game with regular rules. Players need to apply their newly learned abilities to the real game.
Cool Down & Homework
Finish the session with a cool down. Give them some more stretches to do with the ball. You may want to review what they learned during the session. Also, give them some homework so that they practice on their own or learn something about the game. Homework only works for the older kids and remember to keep it simple and fun because they probably already have homework from school. Maybe share a video with the team that you want the players to watch before the next session.