Four to six year olds!
Are totally committed to having fun, love playing simple games and are totally uninterested in score-lines. All they want to do is kick the ball!
It's easy to spoil their fun by expecting them to play "proper" soccer.
Are only aware of their own feelings or thoughts. They're unable to see things from your point of view or another child's and they can't imagine how a person may feel or think.
They simply haven't matured enough to "put themselves in the shoes" of another person so we explain why they shouldn't kick / push another player and talk to them about the benefits of sharing.
For example: "Hitting hurts so I can't allow you to hit anyone. If you're angry with someone, you need to tell me so we can talk about it."
Don't enjoy watching other children playing so we make sure every player has a ball and every player is always playing.
Are unable to think abstractly - it's unreasonable to ask them to make runs off the ball or play the ball into space or even pass to another player.
They cannot see "invisible" lines.
Have vivid imaginations and spend a lot of time living in a make believe world. They can "see" dragons under the bed and can build fairy castles out of empty yogurt pots.
So, we cross imaginary rivers and try to escape from friendly monsters while dribbling a ball.
Have a limited attention span - on average, 7-10 seconds for listening at the field and 8-10 minutes when doing something they enjoy.
We try to play new games every ten minutes, max.
Have two speeds - stopped and flat out.
"Look at me!" - for a very young soccer player, effort is synonymous with performance. If they have tried hard, they believe they have done well. This is to be encouraged.
Need lots of water breaks - their immature heating and cooling systems need frequent water breaks (every 8-10 minutes) or they will run until they can't run any more...
Wishing everybody a healthy and successful 2018!
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What to expect:
Mike Parsons, former Director of Coaching Education for the National Soccer Coaches Association:
"God forbid that all of the kids chase the ball - that would mean that every child would be having FUN!! You see, that is what every player at this age likes about the game - they can run anywhere they like - no adult is going to tell them to walk - and they love the challenge of touching the ball all by themselves! We tend to forget that there is very little organization in the mind of a 5-6 year old and that sharing is not on the top of the list of their favorite things to do...It's my ball! So let them chase the ball. They will spread out as they learn to play with their team-mates."
What is next for BAMBINI SOCCER?
Thank you to everybody for letting your children enjoy the
world's most popular sport.
New Paltz Recreation Soccer is taking over this program, as my aging knees have a tough time doing the sessions.
The new program name is called FUTURE STARS.
NPRS only plays in the fall, so please contact them (click on link below) if you want to find out whether there will be a spring program.