Age Group: 
Age 6-7

In this session, we are beginning to lay the foundation that empowers young children to take risks, learn how to deal with setbacks, and grow in confidence. We do this by dribbling the ball, not just kicking it, and setting the environment that promotes taking a player on and trying to beat them on the dribble. We’ll need a soccer ball for each player, 24 cones, and some small goals.

Theme of the Week: 
Warm Up: 


Bulldog is a fun warm-up game played on a rectangular field. (A 30x20 yard area is good for a youth team.)


Small goals are placed on the end lines, and players line up on one sideline with their soccer balls. A Bulldog is selected (can be the coach for the first game) and the Bulldog stands in the middle of the field and tells the players to “go”.  Each player must dribble his/her ball to the opposite side line without allowing the Bulldog to steal their ball and score a goal. If your ball goes into the goal, or if you dribble it out of bounds, you become a Bulldog. (If a Bulldog shoots your ball and misses the goal, you get a “free pass” to the other side.) Game continues until the last person is caught and that person is the winner. We sometimes play this game 2-3 times as a warm-up activity.


Stretching Week 1

Hold each stretch for 8-12 seconds. Make sure to alternate sides.
Soccer Activity: 

Slalom Course and Figure 8's

For this age group, the slalom course should have about 7-10 cones, placed two steps apart.
Players dribble through the cones using the inside of the foot, the outside of the foot, right foot only, and left foot only. Players are looking to find a good rhythm and improve their speed with each effort.
For the Figure 8 course, the two cones should be about 3-4 steps apart, and players use the same parts of their feet as they did in the slalom course.
Running Activity: 

Slalom and Giant Slalom Course

Slalom course should have about 7-8 cones in a straight line. Cones should be about 2 steps apart. Giant Slalom course is about 4 steps wider than the slalom course.

We are stressing footwork, direction of the hips, bending the knees, and leaning the body in the direction that we wish to move.

Players are asked to go through the two courses without crossing their feet, shifting their hips, and bending their knees as they push off in a new direction. 

When they finish one course, they go to the other course.

Game of the Week: 

3v3 No Passing

Because our theme is dribbling, we want to encourage the players to take on an opponent every time they have the ball.

In our 3v3 games, we always like to encourage our players to "take on" an opponent and develop a comfort level with dribbling.  It is important that we, as coaches, support this dribbling and do not admonish players when they are unsuccessful.  Over time, we will see an increase in confidence.



Coaching Tip: 
In this week’s session, we are trying to get the children to learn to take risks (by taking on opponents) and to become more comfortable with the ball at their feet. If you watch most children in this age range, they typically run up and kick the ball. If you can get a 6 or 7 year old to dribble past a defender, a magic light goes on and their confidence begins to soar! Any coach can teach a child how to pass. It takes years of effort, both successes and failures, and lots of positive reinforcement to create an exciting player. Let’s start the process while they are young!

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