There is a tendency in American youth soccer to emphasize winning and losing at all costs and at the earliest ages. This tendency should be combated in order to develop players who have the emotional reselling is to try things out and who have an innate love of the game.
The only way to develop players with these qualities is to emphasize the enjoyable aspects of play and innovation in practice. By structuring your practices to ensure that each player gets to touch the ball 1000 times with their feet, over time you will develop players who are confident and relaxed with the ball and are willing to try new things. This will lead to a love of the game and excellence on the soccer field.
Although most youth soccer practices last between 60 and 90 minutes, there still is plenty of time to get 1000 touches of the ball in every practice by ensuring that everything you do features contact with the ball in some way. You should never have your players running for fitness without a ball.
Your warm-ups should include many hundreds of touches with both feet. Her passing drills in receiving the ball drills allow them to quickly accumulate their touches.
Small sided games and high intensity short duration passing drills allow you to get your touches in early in the practice while still leaving time for scrimmaging at the end of the session.
It’s extremely important that our players are not intimidated by the sight of the ball coming to them. We want them to have a positive attitude towards possession of the ball. We want them to seek out the ball and to fight for it and we can only get there if they have confidence in themselves that they know what to do with it once they have the ball.
By structuring your practices to feature 1000 touches a day, over time you will develop that love of ball possession that is the hallmark of the truly exceptional player.
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