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Make it fun and have fun yourself. Whether your child continues to play soccer will depend on whether it's fun.

It is very important that your child have their own ball. Your objective should be at least 100 touches (passes, kicks) for your child per session and to be doing something with a ball at least 50% of the time (as opposed to watching you or listening to instructions).

Have your child dribble and kick the ball a lot so they get used to using their feet. Excellent ways to develop these important skills are to have your child dribble through an obstacle course (such as cones, but any objects will do) and simply passing the ball back and forth. Be sure and vary the course. Add the excitement of "beating the clock" or a race when their skills are up to it.

Start teaching your child to use the inside of the foot and top of the foot (i.e., where the shoelaces are) to kick the ball. In soccer, the toe is only used to "poke" the ball (on defense as a way to take away the ball from the ballhandler or on offense as a way to take a short shot near goal). The toe is an inferior surface for kicking the ball because it is smaller than the laces area. It is easier to kick the ball accurately for long distances by using larger surfaces such as the top or the inside or outside of the foot. The instep can be used to kick both low "power" drives or for "lofted drives". Don't expect U-6 (under 6 years old) players to become great at kicking the ball, just try to get them to start kicking with the inside of the foot and the "laces".

Teach the following concepts and rules:

Not using hands (except for the Goalie and on throw-ins) and not tripping, holding, pushing or hitting other players (it is good to "fight" for the ball, but not to use hands to hit or push).

A "field" that has lines (or is outlined by cones) that you should stay inside.

"Attacking" and "defending": how we try to kick the ball into the other team's goal while trying to kick it away from our goal.

Encourage teamwork, passing, getting open for a pass, passing to space, constant movement when on offense (to support the attack by pushing up) and marking the other team on defense, talking, and keeping the legs slightly bent for quick reaction.

Harrah Soccer Club
PO Box 804
Harrah, Oklahoma 73045 USA

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