Number Of Ball Touches To Develop Skill
The key to developing soccer skills as a young kid is the number of touches you get on the ball. I heard it said long time ago that 4000 ball touches per week are a good number. So let's do the soccer math:
As a kid, we used to play 3 hours a day, 6 days a week. Half of it was 1v1 , 2v2 or 3v3 games with lots of individual action. The other half was full field scrimmages. At an average of 5 touches a minute, this translates into 5400 touches a week or more.
Contrast this with what you see on soccer fields today. First of all, kids tend to only play in organizations, i.e. clubs. If they are fortunate, they practice twice a week for 1.5 hours and play one game. Let's observe practices. The absolute killer to soccer skill development are line drills with many kids sharing one ball. You can tell by kids standing around waiting. Next are long set up times the coach uses between drills. Then you see warm-up runs without a ball and fitness work without a ball followed by full field scrimmage. If the kids are lucky they get 200 touches a practice and maybe 20 in a game. Total is 420 per week and you wonder why kids aren't as skillful as they used to be? As they grow older, it becomes more and more difficult to make up for that lost time.
That is why our practices at www.soccerpracticebooks.com are based on maximizing the number of touches on the ball. The key principles is to work in small groups of 2-4 players for most drills. Warm-ups quite often involve individual ball work. Fitness drills involve a ball as well. Players never wait for their next touch of the ball. We also have designed the entire practice sessions such that a coach can set up cones for all the drills before the practice starts, so that there is no time wasted between drills. We focus on continuous action with the ball. In our typical 90 minute practice session, we estimate a player gets between 700-1000 touches. At two sessions per week and a game this gets you to 1420 to 2020 touches a week or five times what you see around the parks.
We believe we are close as possible to delivering the skill development of earlier generations. Try our practices - you won't regret it.
ABOUT SOCCER COACHING
Soccer coaching is probably the most complex coaching assignment in all of sports. Soccer coaching involves an understanding of soccer specific skills, soccer specific fitness training, and soccer specific nutrition.
But that's not all. In coaching soccer , a coach also needs psychological skills to deal with all aspects of individual and team mental preparations. Soccer coaching involves a tremendous amount of
data analysis and problem solving during games and practices. Soccer coaching requires visionary, strategic and tactical thinking skills.
And all of the above requirements change with age groups and gender being coached.
It is impossible for a novice or experienced soccer coach to develop all the knowledge and skills from scratch. That is why there are soccer coaching schools and seminars.
Not all aspiring or established soccer coaches can afford time or money for that training.
Our site, soccerpracticebooks.com has been developed to provide you with key resources to become a better soccer coach!