Don’t teach falling over. Teach the players to bounce themselves and therefore the ball off the ground and back into the game. It reduces the fear of falling by making the players embrace the ground as part of a skill for continuity. MORE
Catching comfort for minis and juniors
With younger players catching the ball can be a major issue, even without pressure and opposition. Use this graduated exercise to improve their confidence to catch.
This activity looks to make your players much more at ease catching the ball and in the longer term, excellent handlers that can cope under pressure. This graduated exercise can put different pressures on players, and you can adjust each to suit the abilities of the players you have.
- When you start the activity ensure its coaches that are feeding the ball to the players.
- This means that the weight of pass is consistent and the players quickly get used to this.
- One player runs to the other group and while doing so takes and gives a pass.
- This is then continually repeated with players from each side taking turns.
- Develop with the coaches giving low or high passes.
- Add in tackle tubes to act as obstacles. Again keep varying the passes for better players especially.
- Finally develop with a defender coming forward to pressurise the catcher – but only if you think the players are competent.
- Catch the ball in their hands, not against their body.
- Make a target with their hands and try to encourage them to reach for the ball.
- Hands, fingers and arms are relaxed and not tense.