Discovery Phase Model Sessions
Here are some useful tips to help you perform the important role of ‘kids coach’:
•Two weekly training sessions of 45 minutes and one game during the weekend is a maximum safe workload for U/6’s and U/7’s
•For U/8’s and U/9’s the length of the sessions can be increased to 60 minutes
•Plan your sessions in advance
•Arrive early and set up the area
•Give clear, short instructions
•Vary the activities but keep it simple
•Be enthusiastic and give lots of praise
•Encourage after mistakes
•Have fun (both the kids and you!)
•Keep everyone active, avoid having kids standing around
A training session for kids this age consists of 3 components: The Beginning, The Middle and The End.
The purpose of The Beginning (better known as the warm-up) is to get the kids in the right frame of mind and activate their bodies. It’s unnecessary to run laps also help develop the children’s basic coordination.
The Middle is the section of the training session where we conduct fun football
exercises such as dribbling, passing, shooting, etc.
The last part (The End) is allocated for playing all sorts of Small-Sided Games
This leads to the following session timeline:
1 Welcome (5 minutes)
2 The Beginning (10 minutes)
3 The Middle (15 minutes)
4 The End (20 minutes)
5 Wrap up (5 minutes)
for the Discovery Phase. This 6 week cycle is based on the assumption that the weekly training sessions are on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the weekly game on Saturday.
If your team trains only once a week, or on different days, you can of course adjust
this schedule accordingly.
For the next 6 week cycle(s) the coach can:
•Repeat the sessions in the same order 1-12
•Repeat them in a random order
•Combine the various session components of the 12 Model Sessions differently (i.e. The Beginning of session 1; The Middle of session 2 and The End of session 3; etc.)
•Attend the FFA Grassroots Football Certificate course, and use the accompanying resource ‘Football for Kids’ to gain more ideas for session content.
Explanation for relays
•Each player starts with a ball, dribbles around the marker (as shown in diagrams 1 and 2) and returns to the start
•Upon returning to the starting point, the next player starts the same pattern with their own ball
Guidelines for relays
•Avoid long queues
•Keep players as active as possible (don’t keep them waiting in line for too long)
•Give the group a quick break for a drink when necessary
•All relays in this section can be performed with and without the ball the relays early in the session)
•The more skill your players acquire, the more the ball should be used and the greater the challenges can be
•If there are more than six players, make another lane of cones and keep it to two players in a line (this avoids long queues)
Middle: Feather the Nest
Mark out a triangle with sides 10m–12m long. Three teams of two players are positioned at each corner with a cluster of balls in the middle of the triangle. The object of the game is to gather as many balls as possible for the corner or ‘nest’ within a set time period.
One player from each team runs to the middle of the triangle to get a ball and dribbles it to their corner, or nest, and leaves it there. Their team-mate then does the same. When all the balls in the middle of the triangle are gone, players can take them from someone else’s nest.
Players are NOT allowed to stop others from taking balls from their nest
– no blocking, defending, tackling, etc. No hands! Feet only.
End: 3 v 3 (or 4 v 4, 5 v 5) Training Game
• "Just let them play”
• You can play with or without goalkeepers
• Short games - 3 to 5 mins in length (with regular drink breaks)