Players are bunching up
Perfectly normal! Players do not understand space and are totally selfish. Their only focus it to “get the ball.”
Emphasize activities where every player has a ball. Smile, laugh and get ready to say, “Spread out.”
Players dribble with their head down
Well, if you were five do you think you’d be able to dribble without looking down at the ball?
Dribbling is a necessary, but difficult soccer skill. Don’t really expect your players to start picking their head up and seeing the field until U10. Continue to use dribbling as a central skill builder in as many innovative and creative ways. Practice, practice, practice.
Players won’t pass
Players are selfish and want the ball. Plus, they know better than we do at that age the if they give-up the ball there is no chance of them “getting it back” in a pass. They’ll have to run and work hard to be able to play with the ball again. It is completely unnatural to pass at this age.
Don’t worry about passing and sharing the ball. This is why you need lots of ball and activities the put one player with one ball. Do you see a theme here? Understand the mentality of your player and play into it; don’t try and go against nature.
Players seem uncoordinated and seem to fall down a lot
Well, they are uncoordinated – at the very least, these players have a higher center of gravity and are “top heavy”. And, kids at this age are dramatic and do like to fall.
This is why we want to focus on dribbling and agility drills to help these players establish body control. We want to build players who have whole body control and are athletic. We’ll work on agility training exercises that don’t resemble soccer, but will definitely help this group.