You know when you have a great idea for an exercise and it seems like you have thought out every possibility then reality hits. One of my sessions each week is with the U6/7s. Now they are a top group but like all groups they prefer certain types of exercises over others.
A few years ago the U6/7s at the club loved relay races. I did a different set up but essentially did a relay race every session and they never grew tired of them. The group I have now love playing ‘Chasey type’ games. I mean games were each player has a ball and someone is chasing them and they have to keep control of their football while getting away from the Chaser.
I have done plenty of different games but lately it has been getting harder and harder to come up with new ones.
This week I took my own advice about being creative (How you can be more creative http://wp.me/p5aQfW-21 ) and set about coming up with something new. I played with lots of ideas and then suddenly it hit me. I have two older brothers who come down every week and both are really sensible. I would use them to chase the players but the twist would be I would make them wear woolly hats pulled down over their eyes and they would have to chase the players under my instructions. I would call it Remote Control Chasey.
I thought what could go wrong
1 – They could just dash around madly and knock over the young players so I thought I will make it so the Remote Control Chasers can only walk.
2 – Possibly being totally unsighted the older brothers would only move very slowly so the young players just wouldn’t need to run with the ball but I checked the woolly hats by putting them on myself and actually you could see shapes through them so they weren’t completely unsighted.
To cut a long story short I thought it was going to work big time so I was excited to give it a go. I was setting up the session and my phone goes unfortunately one of the young players with the older brother was sick so they weren’t coming. No problem I still have the other older brother. I finished setting up the session and the young players started coming but not the player with the older brother. I was gutted but I thought I’ll just use it next week.
About 5 mins into the session a player turns up late and to my joy out of the car pops his older brother who never usually comes to the sessions. I was delighted even though he is not quite as sensible as the other two I thought it was back on.
Anyway we will call the older brother Brian (it is obvious I have changed the name here as I don’t think I have coached a young player called Brian for about 15 years). I explained it to Brian and asked him was he OK helping me and he seemed to think it will be a laugh too.
I got all the players in and explained we were going to play REMOTE CONTROL CHASEY. They all started laughing when I put the hat over Brian’s eyes. I was buzzing I thought this is going to be great. I could imagine the youngsters dribbling up to him shouting then turning away and leaving Brian floundering.
I had a quick check and asked Brian quietly when all the kids were running off to find space could he see how many fingers I was holding up. He said he couldn’t see anything at all. At this point I realised that maybe the fact that my head is bigger might stretch the fabric more than a 9 year old’s head allowing me to see through it but not him. As I am a super experienced Coach I completely ignored this.
‘EVERYBODY READY… YES……IS E_VERY_BO_D_Y READYYYYY……YEEEEEEEESSSSS’
‘Brian go forward… forward… forward…now RIGHT’
Brian went left.
I walked up to Brian like the super experienced Coach I am and said when I say right I mean ‘your right’. As I was walking back I thought I heard the faint sound of a warning bell when I realised we were both facing the same way but as I am a super experienced Coach I ignored that too.
‘Brian forwards….forwards….WHO IS GOING TO GET CAUGHT BY THE REMOTE CONTROLLED CATCHER… forwards… left. No… left Brian the other way. No…. turn around. No not all the way around…..OK go forwards… forwards… right, right…..OK just hold it a second there.’
I walked up to Brain and quietly asked him did he know his left from his right to which he replied no he didn’t with a massive gap toothed smile. I quickly explained that he writes with his right hand and the other one is his left (I coach him as well so I know he is right handed so that is not the next disaster in case you were thinking ahead). Brian didn’t look quite so smiley now but I quickly explained it again and walked back.
Brian forwards….forwards….. WHO IS GOING TO GET CAUGHT….. Brian right (Brian goes to the right. I am thinking wonderful)……right (Brian switches to left thinking he had made a mistake again)……No Brian go back the way you were going…….No back the way you were going when I said right the first time……..tell you what Brian why don’t you tell me were to go and then when you get home you can tell your mum you told your Coach where you go….How does that sound.
Brian is clearly happy not to be doing it anymore as he was losing enthusiasm for this Remote Control Chasey while I was determined to keep it going as despite not having anything to chase them the young players were laughing and running about with the ball having a blast going up to Brian then spinning away.
So I put on the woolly hat. The players are laughing and I can see a few already thinking what a great opportunity this is.
OK Bri ……………………………………………………………………………OK Bri so you just tell me where you want me to go to catch the players. Why don’t you get me to chase your little brother…..forwards (I set off)………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………….(by now I have walked at least 10 steps off the grid) OK tell you what Bri I’ll just chase after them and can you make sure they don’t leave the grid. How does that sound.
It went brilliantly in the end just took a little while to get there.
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Till next time