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12.07.2007

How to teach toddlers to play soccer

Well, we made it through a season of soccer. Our team was for 4 year olds but, we had 3 1/2 year olds up to kids turning 5 in a couple months. Age seems to make a BIG difference in understanding the game. I've compiled a short list of tip for any budding soccer coach.

1.) You can't teach kids under 5 to play soccer. You can teach them a game played with a soccer ball where they travel in a herd and sometimes kick the ball randomly in the goal.

2.) Snacks are a great motivator.

3.) In practice you need to be able to explain any drill in under 15 seconds. Any longer and you will lose half the team.

4.) Invest $2 in a whistle. It will save you lungs.

5.) Forget teaching passing.

6.) Teaching kicking the ball in the goal is straightforward. Teach them to kick the ball away from the goal when it's going the wrong way. It's easier to kick it out of bounds that to turn it around.

7.) Teach them "run to the goal" when a player from the other team is running with the ball. Kids rarely travel in a straight line when kicking the ball. You can beat them to the goal if you run straight to it.

8.) You will probably have one kid on your team that is fearless. Use that to your advantage. That kid will run into the pile and start kicking until the ball is free. Just make sure they don't get too aggressive.

9.) You will probably have one kid that is faster than the others. Use that to your advantage. If you get them to understand not to stay in the herd but, stay a few feet away they can usually get the ball and out run the other kids and score.

10.) Don't forget to have FUN. Everyone gets to play (even if they don't want to).