This weekend I video taped Darci, a U12 soccer player for Youtube, marketing, and product development. I hadn’t worked directly with kids at her level before and it brought back a lot of things I had forgotten. (Doesn’t that always happen?)
First, I want to thank Darci and her parents for letting me video and use the tape (should be up by the end of this week). She was very smart, helpful and easily coach-able. I think we made a lot of progress.
One of the things I wanted to do was to have her run a 100 yard dash for time. Then we would work on her running skills and then re-time her. I wanted to show how much faster running correctly is.
Now Darci is a pretty good runner. She puts a lot of power into her strike and did not overstride (one of the biggest mistakes kids do). Her arm swing was fair. I thought she could do a better job of leaning forward from the ankles as well as improve her leg recovery. She also landed a little flat footed.
So we worked on the running drills I cover in P.A.S.S. running. Some of them came very easy to her. But when we combined them, oh boy, was it tough for her. The combining brought forth all sorts of coordination problems. At slow speeds or broken down she was fine. As soon as we picked up the pace and started moving it got very difficult.
So the first lesson I learned was that these drills are not learned quickly or overnight. Even outstanding athletic kids don’t pick everything up right away. It takes time.
I should have known this from when I was doing personal training with young athletes. What Darci went through, we would spend a month on (once a week with daily practice).
So the take-home lesson for you as parents (or coaches) is not to cover too much at one time. Do a little, let their bodies and minds process it and use it. Come back a few days later and work on something else.
Soccer fitness is not developed overnight. Rushing it does not help. Stay tuned for Part 2 and what happened on the timed run.