Kids love games. We all love games. Games are play and we are built to love to play.
For some, working out and doing soccer drills is play. This type of child person has learned to associate play with work.
But most kids have not learned this yet. And if you as a parent or coach try to push them into too structured a routine, they will rebel. They might not do it at seven or eight…but they will by time they are fifteen.
The nice thing is there are lots of ways to make anything fun, game and play like.
Here are some rules to follow:
1. Keep it simple. Anything that has too many rules and too much instruction doesn’t work. It’s boring and wastes time.
2. Keep it short. Spend ten to fifteen minutes maximum on the game.
3. Mix it up. Three reasons why you want to mix the games up. First, it prevents boredom. Second, you will develop more overall athletic skills. And finally, kids learn better with mixed practice and repetition.
4. Give it a goofy name. It’s funny how just rephrasing something can make a huge difference in kids attitudes.
Here’s a true story…When I was a swim coach in my early twenties I used to do water push-ups as punishment. A water push-up is a dip done on the end of the pool. The kids hated them; they are hard and it gets cold staying out of the water.
Ten years down the road (older and wiser), I had a group of kids that needed to build strength. So rather than “punish” them with water push-ups, we did KERPLUNKS!
They would line up at the edge of the pool and lift themselves up. They stayed up until I yelled “Kerplunk” and then they would all drop down and sink to the bottom of the pool.
The kids loved it and always wanted to do more.
How could you do this in soccer? Try this instead of doing wind sprints…try SLIDERS.
A Slider is a sprint, but at the end of the run you slide on your stomach, back, side or knees as far and as whacky as possible.
The kids will love making up different ways to slide. They will also get the added benefit of learning to slide tackle and the strength developed from having to get up again.
Using this one idea, be creative and find more ways to make exercise, fitness and soccer more fun.
Your kids and team will improve faster and to greater heights. And best of all the only complaints and whining you’ll hear will be to do more of them!
Coach Ron Usher works with parents, coaches and kids to develop fitness and athletic skills. To discover how you can give your child the fundamental skills for soccer or other sports go to http://www.athleticskillsforsoccer.com