How do we get more kids involved in the youth soccer practice?
This happens weekly, where you will a kid that is just out of it and not into practice, maybe even giving you a hard time. In youth soccer we must remember there is a lack of maturity and singling out a player will only prove the coach’s lack of maturity. We don’t reinforce bad behavior so why would we example it?
Players that are having a bad day need “attention activity”, which always include fun activities. How do you fix the bad behaviors? Have fun! Put those players in a situation where they are important, such as the one who is passing in the ball to start a drill. This increase in importance is an increase in attention and fun. That is exactly what players who are out of it or giving problems need; fun activities full of excitement, if you get excited then they do. Bring emotion and fun into the activities to get those kids back into practice because when it is fun and exciting kids don’t even know they are working hard.
Parents want to join in the fun and drills? In youth soccer we must take advantage of changing up the practice, because otherwise kids will get stale and bored. Parents would be a great addition to not only get the kids having fun but is another set of eyes and can bring a new skill level to the game. Most parents are willing to help and it can be easy to get parents involved once or twice a week. Even if it is just to start up a drill during a rotation of drills, the change of pace will excite the kids.
Make the game memorable, because kids won’t look back and remember the figure 8 drill we ran, but they will remember the people and the fun. Make the most memories as possible and make sure they are the good memories. To ensure this we as coaches must: make it fun (most important), change the scenario (not the same practice over and over), make sure everyone is treated with respect (includes coaches, no yelling), make sure everyone is involved. Coaches will be remembered by their players so be sure your actions and the way practice goes will leave the type of memory you want.