- Players 9-12 have the capacity to learn motor movements, but only one at a time. Players should be isolating one specific skill, for several training sessions/games at a time.
- Players often need to be encouraged to "take risks" (especially when they are breaking previously formed habits).
- Because the majority of players learn visually, coaches will need to model skills for the entire group, and then again individually for most players. Remember, when modeling the skill, explanations should be (1) brief, (2) concise, and (3) purposeful.
- Because repetitions are important for muscle memory, practices built around a single topic (warm up, technical instruction, small-sided focus with variations, play, etc.) will create an environment which will provide players with the opportunity for the necessary repetitions they require to begin to acquire a skill.
- Players are beginning to learn through others, so they will learn by observing other player's successes. Provide players with positive reinforcement and allow others to learn what their peers are doing correctly!
- Finally, players begin to understand and see that repetitive practice of technique yields improvement. This serves as a natural motivational tool and an avenue for a coach to promote success, since players can now connect the two concepts (practice as it relates to improvement).
We encourage all of our coaches to keep the above points in mind as we move through the beginning part of our summer schedule. As we follow our Road Map for player success, if we notice a player who is struggling with an essential technical skill, that is a tell-tale sign that the player requires (1) more repetitions and (2) more demonstration.
Interim U9-U12 Development Director
www.bysc.org • email@example.com