The first full weekend of Futsal for my teams is always interesting because it’s first time some of my players have been in a Futsal game. Some are surprised how much they enjoy the new experience while others aren’t as sure. It’s just too different than what they were used to with arena soccer.
I think most coaches would agree that they’d like to start the season with an easier game so that they can really work on the new skills and tactics that they’ve been teaching in training. A couple of my team had this opportunity while others were thrown into the deep end against tough teams right from the start. We don’t get to pick our opponents so we have to focus on getting the best out of every situation.
This week’s question comes from Ryan. He asks about the appropriate amount of training time and finding the right competitive level. Ryan gives me some background on his team and then asks,
“What is an appropriate practice schedule at the U10 Competitive age bracket, and what is the best way to assess if you are in the right level of competition with your team where they are being challenged but not frustrated. Obviously we have parents pushing in many directions, and some that want to be playing top talent but also are frustrated when we lose.”
Thanks for your question Ryan!
If you’re going .500 in league then I think you’re in the right place. The players are getting some success but are also being challenged.
There are always going to be coaches that focus on the ‘W’ more than the development that will make you question your approach. There’s nothing wrong with those coaches striving to be successful but far too many put winning ahead of proper development in their list of priorities. You’re never going to change that so just recognize when you’re playing those types of teams and focus on teaching your players how to deal with it.
As far as training time and frequency goes, I think that anything more than two ninety-minute practices in a week is overkill. They need to have time to do other things (or nothing at all). Training four days a week starts to sound a lot like work to me. There’s a reason we say that kids, ‘play soccer’; it should be fun more than anything else.
In This Episode
How we prepare our teams obviously has a huge impact on their performance. The last chance we get to prepare them for a game is the pregame warm-up. Today I’ll discuss the four key elements of an effective warm-up.
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Next week I’ll share how I’m using movement patterns in training to show my players the importance of creating and filling spaces on the field.