A Word From... is a new series of monthly articles from Alaska Rush Soccer Club's Techinical Director and Directors of Coaching. Each week, a different Director will submit an article pertaining to Alaska Rush, Rush Soccer or even world football in general. It's an opportunity for our readership to gain more insight on the sport and understand further what Alaska Rush Soccer Club is about and what Rush Soccer offers it's Members.
A Word From... Director of Coaching Boys
Part of every good training session should have some kind of competitive aspect. Players can compete as an individual towards personal goals, against teammates, and as part of small-sided teams in training. Competition makes your training sessions more game like and enjoyable.
Simple ways to integrate competition into training are technical skills tests such as juggling and dribbling. I like doing this at the start of training. One vs. one tournaments are also a great way to emphasis fitness and individual defending/attacking in a highly competitive environment.
The next stage in creating a competitive environment would be small-sided teams competing on technical challenges and of course, finally, playing games to goals. There of course needs to be appropriate consequences and rewards for losing or winning and these need to be age appropriate. A coach would not want to make the losing team do 100 pushups, but 10 might work.
The coach should form the teams to ensure they are competitive. The coach should also be very creative in developing a fun and competitive environment where players will learn to deal with losing appropriately, but not enjoy losing. Additionally, coaches must be very enthusiastic and vocal during these competitions to increase the level of effort and intensity.
Competing in a positive environment makes training more fun and affective for all players.