Recreational Coaching Sessions


Fun Activities to Begin Practice

Small Sided Games

Final Game Activities

In order to make practices run smoothly and be fun, it is important to have a basic understanding of the intellectual, emotional, and physical developmental stage of the players we are coaching. Here are some typical characteristics of the Under 4 player:

  • Focused on themselves – reality to them is based on what they see and feel
  • Unable to see the world from another’s perspective
    • They cannot comprehend “pass to your partner”
  • Everything is in the here and now
    • If you say “we will do that in 5 minutes” they do not understand that time value
  • Cooling systems are less efficient - need frequent water breaks
  • Enjoy playing, not watching. Every player should have a ball in practice
  • Limited attention span – Keep directions short, concise and change the activity often
  • Effort is performance – if they try hard, they are doing well
  • Active imaginations – utilize their imagination in activities.

For example, use cartoon characters to describe a game (Sharks and Minos, Dory and Bruce). Make practice fun and they will want to participate!

  • Look for adult approval – be encouraging when they say “Coach, look what I can do!”
    • Do not ignore their effort to ‘show off’. Try giving them an area during warm up ('the stage', skill circle')they can go to and show coach their skill
  • Unable to think abstractly – spatial relationships are a mystery
    • “spread out” does not make sense
  • Typically have 2 speeds -- extremely fast and stopped
  • Usually unaware of game scores –work to keep it that way
  • Ratio of Player to Player per age group
    • U6–1:1
    • U8–1:2
    • U10–1:3 or 1:4