Benefits of Using A Practice Routine
Routines Eliminate Power Struggles because you don’t need to boss your players around these “9” activities…
Start Practice (Introduce Theme)
Warm-up (Figure 8 Stretch Routine)
1+1 (Cooperative Play)
1vs.1 (Competitive Play)
Break (Relax/Hydrate & Discussion)
Small-Sided Games (Cooperative & Competitive)
Scrimmage (Cooperative & Competitive)
Cool-Down (Physical & Mental)
End Practice (Compliment –Review –Assign Home/Play)
This is just what we do in this sequence and at this time of every practice! You stop being the bossy guy and misunderstandings are greatly reduced.
Routines Help Players Cooperate by reducing stress and anxiety for everyone. We all know what comes next. Everyone gets fair warning for transition through the use of these ‘buzz’ words: “Practice Starts Now!” “Warm-up” “1+1” “1vs.1” “Break” “Small-Sided Games” “Scrimmage” “Cool-Down” “Practice Ends Now!” and no one will feel like they are being pushed-around.
Routines Help Players Learn to Take Charge of the Practice. Over time and with persistent patience players can be taught to: Behave/Concentrate; Warm-up; Lay-out cones/discs/flags; Choose teams; Start play; Cool-down; etc. without constant reminders. Players love being in charge of themselves. This feeling increases their sense of mastery and competence. Note: Players who feel like they are independent and in charge of themselves have less need to complain and be oppositional.
Players Learn the Concept of "Looking Forward" to things they enjoy, which is an important part of making a happy accommodation with the demands of a practice. They may want to only ‘scrimmage’, but they must learn that we always end each practice with a ‘scrimmage’, and they can ‘Look Forward’ to it.
Regular Routines Help Players Get on a Schedule, so that they can go from…
Starting Practice to Individual (Warm-up); to Pair (1+1 and 1vs.1); to Group (Small Sided Games); to Team (Scrimmage); to Cool-down and End Practice activities more easily at each practice.
Routines Help You Build in Those Precious Connection Moments. We all know we need to connect with our players at every practice. If you build little connection rituals into your routine they will eventually become a habit. Try a “secret-team hand-shake” when you first see them coming to practice. Or, a "recognition" ritual when making points-of-refinement like: "Love your shiny red shoes and if you ‘hop’ on one the other can bring the ball under better control”. Rituals like these slow you down and connect you with your players, and if you do them as just "part of the routine" they build security as well as connection and cooperation.
Routines Help You Maintain Consistency in Expectations. If everything is a fight, you end up settling for running more laps, giving more lectures, skipping warming-up, forgetting technique development, ignoring cooling-down, etc.
With A Routine you will eventually stick to healthy expectations for everyone on the team because that's just the way we do things in our practices.
Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien), District 7 Recreation Administrator ,State Director of Coaching - California Youth Soccer Association (1979-2012). Author of the Internationally Published FUNdamental SOCCER Books Series. Producer of the highly acclaimed ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ DVD. Website: www.fundamentalsoccer.com At: email@example.com
Editor’s Note: The D-7 Instructional Staff is prepared to teach YOU how to run a successful ‘9-Step Routine Practice’..! For details write to: firstname.lastname@example.org