There are a lot of programs that specialize in working with very young kids and soccer. For the most part, I’m impressed with their curriculum. They instructors have a lot of energy and keep it fun. The kids are active and enjoying themselves.
And parents keep bringing their kids back, so something must be working.
Not everyone has access to a preschool age soccer program. Perhaps you have a 3 to 5 year old of your own. Or maybe you’re thinking about running a camp.
1. Keep instruction very very short and specific. No explanations or lengthy details. “Run over here. Kick the ball to the blue goal.”
And if you can add something concrete and fun they will love it even more. “Run like a cheetah to the blue cone and then jump like a kangaroo to the red cone.”
2. Have lots and lots of different activities, games, balls and stuff to play with. If you are having a 30 minute class, then you need at least 10 things that you can do quickly. If one does not work, then do another.
This works great for a variety of reasons. First, preschool soccer kids don’t have a long attention span. Second, they need to be generalists; not specialists. Don’t think of your class as for soccer only. Have them catch balls, hit balls, and do general movements.
3. Teach social skills as well as physical skills. Kids at this age are learning how to take turns and be nice to each other. Have some time where they work on developing these skills or tie social skills in with the activities themselves.
3 1/2. I put this in because it probably aroused your curiosity. It’s off beat…even a little weird. Kids love different things. Have unexpected surprises, whacky names or just silly stuff. It will keep them focused.
This also works great for soccer players of all ages. As humans we love the unexpected. Having a routine is great, but we also need things that arouse our curiosity and make us laugh.
For more soccer tips, techniques, skills, drills and soccer exercises consider picking up Athletic Skills for Soccer. If you need some ideas on what and how to work with your child or a team, this is a great resource. Click on the link to get there.