Skill Game Final Match
For this development group i always finish the game with a skill game instead of a normal scoring match.This is because I have explained in the U8 theory page, the ethos of the program is to develop the players technique and skill and helping them master the manipulation of the ball
The way this is done is by introducing a different scoring method.Instead of having the normal goals players will get more points for using the skills they have learned in direct competition so they are learning these skills against a defender in match situations.
for example i use a scoring system like the example in the diagram and believe me the players will know these scores and know what score they are on and if they do a skill and beat a oppenent they will make sure they let you know !
Although the matches are skill games there should always be the traditional way also of scoring goals so make sure you keep the goals to help them correlate a skill beating an opponent and having an end product but keep that score as 1 goal and gradually improve the number with combo skills leading to a goal etc
The circle field is something i like to bring in because it helps subconsciously to learn to bring the play inside as there isn’t a straight wing to attack so players get more of a chance to use skill to beat an opponent by cutting inside and getting a strike on goal or find a pass.The great thing about it is the coach can rotate sides of the field the players play to teach both left-sided and right-sided cut “inside”.Another element is when a player receives the ball when they are in the center of the field it forces the options that player has by only allowing them inside runs which can be coached to improve awareness of the runs.The reason this happens is because of the shape of the field, the runner naturally arches in field to stop running out of play.
After this, once the matches move to the normal field the players will be more identified with arching runs which will subconsciously set them up for when they make it to the next progression in their development which is Travel Teams.