10 basic principles for learning to play football

Dad of two children footballers for 2 years, the principles that I expose below are based on:

– the observation of the training of different clubs
– the observation of training and qualified trainers
– the observation of the teams during matches
– the discussion with several coaches
– the observation of the players and professional teams (during the meetings to television)
– reading websites

These rules are so obvious and basic that you do not have to be a graduate, or an expert to understand and accept them.
But yet, many trainers do not seem to know and apply them.

1) 90% of playing time WITH ball. Do not run without balloon

– Have one ball per child in training AND warm-up matches.
– Handle the ball from the beginning to the end of the training.
– Avoid long queues and periods of inactivity. (The queues must be done with a balloon so that the child can start his exercise immediately, without waiting for him to return a balloon.)
– Invite the children to handle the ball regularly at home ( foam ball in a room of the house for those who have no room around their house)
– Avoid long speeches during training, before a match. It is better to show than to explain theoretically.
– During “time out”, while waiting for the coach, wait for the placement of the cones, let the children handle the ball, juggle.
The best technicians are the children who play every day with a ball, at home, against a wall, at school, on the street, at the playground, …
– The only times when the child has to run without a ball, are the times when the child asks for the ball, stands out to receive a ball
– Even the warm-up and the “traditional” rounds of the field must be done with the ball.

2) Turn exercises into games, into challenges.

– Time the exercise and try to break his record
– Do the exercise as a run (relay)
– Count the number of successes in as many minutes.
These challenges motivate and increase the player’s desire to apply and excel.

3) Favor duels and dribbles in training as in the match

– Nothing is easier than making a pass. On the other hand, nothing is more complicated than to dribble a man. That’s why it’s important to learn from the youngest age to dribble before teaching them how to pass. A technician will easily become a good smuggler. On the other hand, a good smuggler will not easily become a good technician.
However, what is most lacking in Belgian football are players capable of passing a man (like the Spanish, Italians, Portuguese, Brazilians, Argentineans, Dutch, Africans)

– Each training must offer dribbling exercises, duels where the child is to dribble.
– Each match should encourage players to dribble a man, especially when no player is available forwards.

4) Touch the ball with ALL parts of BOTH feet

A good technician is someone who can touch the ball with any part of the foot, in any position.
Indeed, the situations of games force players to play fast and do not take the time to place to shoot or get off to a good start.
That’s why you have to know how to play by being misplaced.

– Each exercise must be offered in both directions, once to the left, once to the right of the field, once with the left foot, once with the right foot.
– It is necessary to force the child to handle the ball with his bad good.
– The child must learn how to handle the ball with the inside, the outside, the bottom, the top, the heel and sometimes even with the tip of the foot.

5) Lift your head

To make good passes, at the right time, it is important for the child to learn to play by raising his head regularly.

6) A ball near the foot

Teach the child to run with the ball close to the foot.

7) Lots of play time

The game of imps takes place at 5 against 5 and 2 x 25 minutes.
Registering too few teams or selecting 10 players prevents children from playing and therefore learning.
Selecting 6 players (5 to 7) is enough to make a team and give a lot of play time to everyone.

Similarly, training of 1 hour per week is far too little, especially for children who do not handle the ball home.
1h30 to 3h of training per week is a good average + the handling of the ball at home

8) Know how to lose and want to win

It is by losing that we learn. It is by making mistakes that we learn.
It is, therefore, necessary to teach the child to want to win by knowing how to lose.
The coach needs to look for performance, surpassing himself by facing stronger teams.
The coach must put his team in a slightly stronger category than his team so that the players do not get bored so that his team will never win with more than 5 goals apart.

For this, it is important to PREPARE children and parents to lose by explaining to them that it is important to learn.
Too many players give up when they lose. Too many parents criticize the coach or the kids when they lose and make mistakes.
A team that knows how to lose is a team that will learn and becomes very strong afterward.

9) Control and control oriented

Throw the ball and stop it next to you. Make long passes and cushion the ball. Deviate the trajectory of the balloon by accompanying it.
Here are some useful exercises to develop control.

10) The placement

Learn as soon as possible to never go to TWO on the ball.
Learn to place yourself in the free zones of the field when you have the ball
and in the recovery zones (close to the opponents, or behind the teammate who attacks in case he is dribbling) when you do not have the ball.


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