The hour includes a 25 minute skills session and a 35 minute match. In order to maximize game time, it is vital that coaches know:
Who – which team are you playing?
What – what will you team groupings be?
Where – which field are you playing on?
The U8 age group coordinators will be available during the warm-ups to help.
Each team should be split into two balanced groups of 4-7 players each. They will play 2 “split squad” matches against the assigned team for the week, with at least one coach following each of the “split squads”.
Minimum # of players for a match: 4 vs 4 (may need to move goals closer)
Maximum # players for a match: 7 vs 7 (not recommended; you may want use subs at coach’s discretion to keep sides smaller)
No goalies (we don’t teach this yet and may lead to injuries)
No throw-ins, restart from sidelines with a pass to reinforce ball striking skills
Don’t keep score
Reinforce skills from warm up sessions & be concise with coaching points during games
Get creative to even out matches:
Use pinnies to modify team members
Swap players among the split squads
Simulate a goalie with “pug goal” inside the larger net (force shots to the outside)
Introduce rules for certain players or one of the teams:
2 passes before a shot
shoot with the weaker foot (typically left)
Keep the energy high and the session moving, however, adjust to conditions. Give plenty of breaks when it is hot, and keep moving (avoid subs) when it is cold.