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Organization of a Practice

Posted Jan 24, 2015

Organization of a Practice

As described in the sections above, each practice can be organized into distinct phases. LIJSL has defined these phases as:

! Warm Up

! Fundamental Phase!

Match Related Phase

! Match Condition Phase


Before anything else though you need prior, proper preparation, sometimes known as the 3 P’s.Every practice should have a plan, even if you just scribble down some notes ona piece of paper about the things you want to work on. Always have more thingsplanned for a practice than you can do in the time allotted. There will be drillsthat you think will work, that just will not. Instead of forcing the issue, beprepared to move on.The coach should have definitive rules for practices. It is usually good to putthese in writing at the beginning of the year. Have a definitive start and end time.Always be there 5 to 10 minutes before practice time. If your players and parentssee that you are serious, they will tend to be that way also.Always have your equipment with you, extra balls (great for shooting drills, not forplayers that forget theirs), pennies and cones.If possible have an assistant. And don’t be afraid to ask parents to stay and helpyou out. You are not a baby sitter. If possible get a player 2 to 3 years olderthan your charges to help demonstrate skills. There are a lot of travel playerswho would love to work with the younger ones if you would only ask them.Warm UpThe warm up phase has been described in the age characteristic sections above.A good warm up phase should include exercises with the ball and, if practical,exercises that deal with the particular skill you are working on that day.However some coaches like to warm up the same way no matter what thepractice goal is for the day and that is all right also. Some coaches, such asFrank Schmidt of Sachem (LI Class A Champions 1997 and 1998) like to startout each practice with a 10-10-10 scenario. 10 minutes of foot skills, 10 minutesof coervers and 10 minutes on 1 v 1. This type of practice will be discussed inmore detail further on in the manual.Fundamental PhaseThe fundamental phase which can be described as learning the basic skill. Thebasic skill can be broken down into different steps so that the player knows whatto do from his “toes to his nose”. The basic skill can further be divided intosegments so that there is a progression from the least difficult to the more difficultaspects of the skill.Match Related PhaseThe match related phase is training the skill to be used in a game situation.Again progression can be used. For example adding a passive defender to thedrill simulates a game condition at the lowest level. Making that defender semi-active makes the skill being practiced a little harder. Adding an active defendermakes the skill even harder still.Match Condition PhaseReiteration of the match related phase into a scrimmage like situation.Progression can again be used. For example, practicing team shape of atriangle with basic passing skills using 3 offense and one defense. Progressingup to 3 on 2 and finally 3 on 3. If passing and receiving was the basic skill awardpoints for completed passing, combination passes, etc. not for goal scoring.Teaching TechniqueIn a practice, especially with the younger levels, teaching proper technique isextremely important. The basic steps for teaching technique are as follows:1. Introduction - Keep it short2. Demonstration - Break down step by step, - “toes to nose”3. Convincing and repeated demonstration. Don’t let mistakesperpetuate.

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