Simple. Get the two biggest kids you can find to stay at the back and the quickest in the town to play up front in 3 v 3 soccer. Kick it long and hope. Easy. End of blog.
Lifting the Trophy (i)
First tournament, you’ll win. Maybe the second too; perhaps, if luck shines bright, even the third or fourth might deliver medal success. Admittedly, by the sixth or seventh the other players will have developed technical skills and your team will be seen as easy fodder.
But no problem; time to kick the six-year olds out and find three new ones. Those players did their job, and everybody reaches the football scrap heap some time, don’t they? And, since you are a winner, the pushiest parents will always try to get their kids in your team…the victory cycle begins again.
Real Coaches Focus on Development not Winning
We are reassured, though, that if that is a coach’s attitude to the starting level of the game, the variation designed to develop individual skills and technique, then they will know far too much to read somebody else’s blog. So, the fact that you have got this far, means you are interested in alternative viewpoints.
The coach to three a side teams needs to develop the most important basic skills into their young charges: receiving and giving the pass, shooting and defending. He or she encourages communication and support for fellow players, while instilling a sense of fair play and respect for the referee.
In fact, all the facets of the game which carry through to walking soccer and the most senior players still taking to the field.
Training to Teach Skills and Technique
Training sessions are fun events, with lots of action. Players learn the correct body position for receiving the ball: taking it on the half turn, using arms for balance and protection, head over the ball to ensure it is controlled tidily, and foot firm enough to ensure the ball moves away sufficiently to play a first time pass straight away.
They discover how to pass firmly, and along the ground, striking through the ball with their instep. How it is important to move after passing to receive the next ball.
They learn how to shoot, driving through the ball with the laces, head forward for control, arms out for balance. They begin to know how important it is to follow in shots, looking for rebounds and half saves from the keeper.
These young soccer players of the future learn the importance of defending as a team; of working back to get behind the ball, of defending half turned, and on their toes, so they can change direction easily. They know the importance of not lunging in, but of directing an opponent away from the goal by showing them space on that side.
Lifting the Trophy (ii)
And at the end of the game, the best coach’s players know to thank the referee for taking charge of the game; recognising even when young that this is the hardest job on the pitch and, like them as players, the referee sometimes makes a mistake. These players know to congratulate their opponents, win or lose, and thank them for the game. They know to shake hands with the opposition coach.
So, even though our team might not lift the trophy at the end of the tournament, we know that because we have coached them properly, we have real winners in our side. Winners for life.
(This clip offers some useful 3 v 3 tournament play:
If you liked this post, you’ll like our post on futsal soccer drills.