Teaching The Game To Kids

AYSO National Coaching Program Page 1 of 3
November 10, 2003

All coaches must be able to create an opportunity to evaluate a player’s ability to execute a certain skill or task so that the training required can be achieved.
More simply put, at what level is the player performing a particular skill?

One of the best ways to evaluate the level of competency is to use Free Play.

Good coaches use free play to observe a player’s capabilities.

Free play describes the condition where individuals play without restrictions on time or space.

Players are given general directions on time or space.

Players are given general directions on what they should attempt to accomplish and
then left on their own.

The players should play hard and stop when rest is warranted.

Free play allows players to develop natural abilities.

Free play avoids wasting time in organizing lines, capturing wandering players, etc.

During free play, players avoid others, seek open space, and become more aware of the action around them.

A coaches observational powers will increase as they are forced to isolate individual action in a group.

Provide an environment for teaching solutions (options) to match problems.

Typical methods include:
Training Games (drills) are used to duplicate match conditions.
A training game (drill) requires organization of the players to repeatedly execute a specific skill, tactic or combination thereof.

As a coach you must think static and progress to dynamic as quickly as possible.

Teaching The Game To Kids

AYSO National Coaching Program Page 2 of 3
November 10, 2003

When playing games:
Age and skill appropriate
A reason to play (tactical objective)
A person or team who finish first
Manageable groups (number of groups)
Restrictions (grids, touch, time)
Establishes a match-type situation
Coaching points and corrections
Able to transfer training to the game

The coach must always remember to go from the simple to the complex, communicating in a language appropriate to the age of the players they are working with.
Teaching and Coaching Techniques

So now you are ready to teach.

There are steps that are required that a coach must follow in order to be an effective teacher (coach):
State the tactical objective of what you are trying to accomplish.
Demonstrate the skill or the drill.
Involve new players let the players try it.
Get all remaining players involved.
Analyze level of play and skills being used by players.
Evaluate level of effort, commitment to training.
Teaching The Game To Kids

AYSO National Coaching Program Page 3 of 3
November 10, 2003

Are the training groups balanced?
Circulate and correct (use assistant coaches to supervise play and keep the organization going).
Communicate individual instructions, using concepts of psychological motivation (remember they are kids, don’t embarrass them).

A coach should use a systematic approach to help in communicating with and training players.

Training (practice) is an attempt to duplicate a match in a learning environment.

The goal is to build up to match conditions.

Each segment of training should be communicated in a clear and positive manner.

Feedback is provided to the players on an individual basis.

If a coach uses a systematic approach to training, players will assimilate the material in a rapid and efficient manner.