Structure of our Sessions
Structuring our sessions.
There are many ways for coaches to structure a session. Traditionally coaching sessions will start off with a warm up before including a technical and skill based drill. The session will then finish with a game at the end. At DJ Sound of Soccer we don't always follow the text book. Of course coaches are more than welcome to structure their session in this way but why not start with a small sided game as a warm up? We like to experiment but always ensure we learn from what we do in order to become better coaches.
Of course our session structure at our Soccer Schools are a lot more relaxed and less intense as our Friday evening session. See below.
MONDAY EVENING DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS.
DJ SoS coaches decide if they want to use a topic, and if so which one. The traditional way of coaching is to focus on one topic and work on that for the entire session when in fact, especially when working with younger children it may be just as useful to do little bits of lots of things instead.
Coaches need to think about what they want players to learn during technical parts of the session, and what the key learning points are in skill activities and small-sided games. These need to be relevant to the needs of the children. Rather than interrupting a whole class, our coaches will pull children to one side to go through learning points relating to them. This gives the other children more active learning time.
Ball each / small sided games.
Throughout our sessions we want to maximise learning and we strongly believe this will happen through play and through constantly touching and feeling the ball. Our technical practices which focus on skill development will near on always require one ball each or one ball between two with our small sided games being no more than 5 v 5. These intense games will always put the children in game related situations where they are involved 100% of the time, even if they are not touching the ball. All of our sessions will include games which keep the children focused and involved. zero line drills.
Players will only need 2 or 3 drink breaks during an hour’s session. Keep them snappy, don’t waste 5 mins on a drink break, 30 seconds is more than enough.
When sending players for drink breaks, how can we ensure they spend minimum time away from learning? Give them something to practice when they have finished. Show them, demo, then send them for a drink – asking them to practice as soon as they’ve had a drink. This gives the keen players something to be doing rather than waiting for others to return. (e.g. ‘Who can do “throw-bounce-trap”? Get yourselves a drink, and then come back and show me!’)
In the Whole Part Whole method of coaching the session starts off with a game. This is something I picked up on whilst doing my FA Youth Modules. The ability of the group can be assessed in relation to the learning outcomes of the session. This works especially well when working with a new group. Players who are struggling and those who are excelling can be identified and the session can then be moved on to an activity which directly relates to the learning outcome, for example the learning outcome is defending when outnumbered) The coach can then aim to improve each players ability and confidence in the specific area they are focussed on. After this, the session goes back to a game and the learning outcome that has been worked on during the middle stages of the session can now be taught in the small sided game situation.
Skill Development - Decision Making.
Skill development needs children to be exposed to challenging situations, situations where success requires good decision-making. In order to make these challenges relevant to football, we need to include opposition. However, very young or inexperienced children will be limited in what opposed situations they can be successful in therefore it is important they develop their ABC's - Ability, Balance and Co-ordination.
At DJ Sound of Soccer we take children on to our sessions from the age of 5.
5-8 year olds
- Major themes – ABC, Decision-making
- Minor themes - Technical
- At least half the session should contain game-related decision-making.
9-11 year olds
- Major themes –Decision-making, small-sided games
- Minor themes – ABC, Technical
- At least three-quarters of the session should contain game-related decision-making.
Of course, technical work is essential at all ages/stages up to age 12.
Holiday Soccer Schools.
Our School holiday Soccer Schools are well organised, well planned and extremely enjoyable.
10AM - Registration.
10.15-11.15 - Technical ball games (Skill Development)
11.15 - 11.30 - Snack Time in the Clubhouse
11.30-12.30 - Fun Team games such as Football Rounders, Shooting games, Small Sided games.
12.30 - 1.15 - Lunch which will include a Football Quiz or Ultimate Team competition.
1.15 - 3pm - Afternoon Tournament.
3pm - Home Time.
This is how a general day would work at our Soccer School. Plenty of enjoyment, loads of laughter and non stop Football.