First day nerves and Full of excitement I couldn't wait. Lots of new kids booked onto my G8soccerschool football course, 14 to be precise, all coming to try out the soccer school coaching for the first time.
I must give a special mention to returning coach Tom, back only for a few days in the first week due his full time commitments of being a professional football scout for Stoke city, he came back for second week to help with coaching but also to assess the young players,along with him new coach Mark, who had just returned to England after his around the world trip, both their coaching styles kept the kids smiling. we got a lovely surprise for the final two days when former G8soccershool pupil Lewis joined us for the trip and football golf Friday.
As we all know, the sun always brings a smile to anyone's face. There's nothing better than meeting and greeting in the sunshine. The forecast for the first week was to be sunny, it lasted until the presentation on the Friday when the rain started. Parents arrive with a nervous anticipated smile while the kids are a little scared because they do not know what to expect when they meet you for the first time.The forecast for the week 2 was to be mixed during the week but at least it was sunny for the presentation on the Friday
Introducing all the kids to each other in the changing room at the morning meeting was fun, I introduce myself then each kid stands up and introduces their selves as they say their name. I get the coaches to do the same so everyone gets to know each other quicker. That's what G8soccerschool is all about, learning football the proper way but also making new friends with other kids that you would only occasionally see if you play football in the same age group.
With the age groups ranging from 8-13 it sometimes takes a little longer for the quieter kids to come out their shell,on this occasion there was lots of little groups of kids so the coaches we had to mix amongst them getting the kids to mingle with each other in the hope that new friendships would be made.
Trying to sort out the different levels of each player happens in the first hour of the coaching session, generally in the warm up with passing, control and juggling being a major part along with some fun games like King of the Ring looking into their shielding ability on the ball and their physical ability to get the ball back.
As friendships blossom so does the players abilities. You will see older players helping out younger kids with small things like the best way to keep the ball up or sharing skills and tricks that they have learned themselves while doing keep ups.
On the second Thursday I hired a bus for the morning and managed to take the kids down to Blackburn Rovers Senior Training Centre. I wanted them to see in comparison the work that i do with them to the work that the professionals do.
There was a lot of happy faces when the Manager (Owen Coyle) came and had a chat with them, then he joined in a match alongside them. Owen arranged a Penalty shoot out against goalkeepers Jason Steele and David Raya, with all the concentration and excitement of taking the penalties the players exhausted themselves and so it was time we moved over to the sidelines to watch the Pros at work.
Watching and listening with intent, the kids were analyzing everything that was being done, from the set up of the warm up session on another pitch to watching the goalkeepers training on the next pitch to us as we stood watching the players go through different routines all this while the coaches asked them questions on the comparisons between my coaching and professionals coaching. when the first team finished it was rush time to get some autographs.
Friday football golf is a great way to end the week, turning the football pitches into a golf course,by using cones to line out fairways, goals as obstacles like bunkers, respect barrier poles for tee beds and slalom poles with cones for holes.
The kids put into groups of 4 or less and off they go. using all they have learned in the last week, passing,chipping, striking,bending, inside of foot, outside of foot and of course on the odd occasion their weaker foot.
At the end of the day we ask the parents to arrive a little earlier and invite them to take part in the football golf with their child escorting them around as the coaches prepare for the presentation.