Week 1Updated Wednesday March 28, 2018 by Mike Rugnetta.
The training session should involve fun and imaginative game like activities.
Light coaching on simple technique is appropriate (dribbling, passing and receiving)
Small-sided directional games such as 1v1, 2v1, 2v2, 3v2, and 3v3 should be included as well.
Training should always conclude with a 4v4 game without goalkeepers. The duration of the training session should be 60 minutes.
Some Recommended Games for U8 Players:
1) Free Dribble---Everyone with a ball, use inside, outside, and sole of the foot. Have players dribble with speed (outside of foot), change direction, and perform moves. Coach calls out moves or changes in direction and sets the pace as the manipulator of the session, kids carry the ball towards someone and try a move. Version 2: As players get comfortable, coach can walk around and put pressure on players as they are performing dribbling tasks. This adds fun and interaction.
2) Knock Out---In a space similar to free dribble, have players dribble balls while trying to knock other player’s balls outside of the grid. Players can never leave their own ball. If their ball gets knocked out have them retrieve it quickly and get back into the game. (You may wish to have them perform a skills task before re-entering such as 10 toe touches or juggling 5 times).
3) Shield-Steal---Half of players in the group have a ball and half do not. If you do not have a ball you need to steal one from someone who does. If ball goes out of bounds, person who touched it last does not get possession. You can teach players the technical points of shielding as a group at start of activity. Show technique with body sideways, arm providing protection, ball on outside foot, knees bent, turning as defender attacks, using feel to understand where defender is going. Fix technical shielding errors throughout this activity and make sure entire group knows how to properly shield.