Why is Agility, Coordination and Balance Important in Soccer

What is

Agility is one of the main determinants of performance in soccer. By working on agility and improving the balance and coordination, soccer players will be able to move faster and change directions more quickly while maintaining control

 

Game 1

Boomerang

   Boomerang

Players spread out around the field.

Coach has all the balls.  They will tell the players how they should bring the ball back to the coach.

Try a variety of ways. A) Running, B) Skipping, C) Hopping, D) Dribble ball back

How many other ways can you think of?

 

Game 2

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

   Head Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Players each have a ball.  Coach tells them 'how' to stop the ball when he yells stop.

Players will dribble until coach yells stop.  Then players will stop the ball with certain body parts (ie elbow, knee, foot, bumper (butt), etc)

Variation:

Move around the field so they need to look in different directions to find you. 

This time point on your own body what they should use to stop the ball... don't verbally tell them.

Variation 2:

You choose the body part to stop the ball.  Have a player decide when they want to yell stop.  They will need to yell loud enough for all players to hear.

 

Game 3

Sleeping Flamingo

  Sleeping Flamingo

Ask players if they know what a flamingo looks like when they are sleeping?  After they've had time to respond, demonstrate that a flamingo stands on 1 foot to sleep - and they close their eyes.

Have players pair up - each having a ball. 

Have them kick the ball to their partner.  As soon as they retrieve their partners ball (they should try to use their foot to stop the ball), they should immediately stop and pretend to sleep - by lifting 1 leg (balancing) and closing their eyes (some people have a harder time staying balanced if they close their eyes).

Don't make them stay in this position very long - as this is sometimes a very difficult manuever for the U6 age group.  Practice doing it several times.  Tell them they can practice being a flamingo at home - even if they don't have a ball nearby.

 

Game 4

Side Shuffle

   

Side Shuffle/ Toy Solider/ Run Backwards

No ball is needed for this excercise. 

Side Shuffle - Watch video to get a better idea of what this entails, however it's basically trying to run sideways.  Demonstrate to them first - but players should shuffle sideways in 1 direction.  When they may it to a line that you've chose, they should shuffle back the other direction.

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/stretching-vd.html

Toy Solider - Watch video to get a better idea of what this entails, however, players should take 1 step, lift their leg as straight as they can.  They should try to touch their toe while leg is in the air (or their knee if their arms aren't long enough yet).   They will look like a bunch of toy soliders.  Have them "march" from point to point on the field.

https://kidshealth.org/CookChildrens/en/teens/stretching-vd.html

Run Backwards - This one should be self explanatory.  Make sure the space behind them is open and safe for this activity.  Try "walking" backwards at first and then see if they can speed it up slightly.  At this age they don't need to be terribly fast - they should just be getting the "feel" of running backwards.

 

Game 5

Pick and Old Game

Go back to weeks 1-3 and choose your own favorite game or see if they kids remember any they liked.