U12 player needs help

Discussion in 'Player' started by BigD_D, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. BigD_D

    BigD_D New Member

    Atlético Madrid
    United States
    May 21, 2018
    Start with my lil'warrior's history and a bio. 4'2" 58lbs. (Smallest kid on the team in size and weight). He is little and on top of this he is the slowest kid on the team in terms of top end, but has quick feet. Best shuttle cone times and ladder quickness; full speed in 4-5 steps.
    He has asthma ( doctors did not think he could play any sport) and my son was a 2lbs 10 week early baby that has constantly battled to maintain his health. He has ADD and disgraphia along with the rest of his hurtles. Oh yeah...one more hurtle; weakest kick on the team.

    He is tenacious and still maintains a positive attitude (becoming a concern). His u10 spring season was break out for him. Played all minutes only resting during big leads. Played 10 of 11hrs during tournament time as a CB.

    The problem:.
    He is u12 now, still the smallest and slowest and now headers are introduced. He is no longer CB; no verticle jump to compensate for his small stature. He has been moved to Fullback/Wingback and is struggling with the mindset and the offensive demand.

    He worked very hard to get to where he was in u11 spring to be considered by his coach as the best defensive player and top 3 on the team. Now....he is on the bench struggling to understand his role.

    I train with him constantly and use soccer vids to try and help. He is progressing slowly. The coaches style is very aggressive and the fullbacks play high up the pitch. He has to dribble a lot more and his small size gets him knocked off the ball. He is pound for pound the strongest on the team, but kids 15-20lbs heavier are bumping him off the ball too easily.

    His cross to switch the field is low, inaccurate, and without any type of velocity. Hits maybe 1 out 11 nicely.

    I am looking for any insight to help with training and to help maintain a positive attitude. He is currently using k-bands and on a high protein diet (his choice).

    If anyone has some good literature, videos, or general insight please let me know.

    The coach is going to play him u13 for the rest of the season so he sees and experiences higher level of play and to hopefully hear more chatter from teammates, learning under fire approach.

    Coach really has taken an interest in him due to his work ethic and man on defense. He also is trying to tap into him. Coach's advice is to be patient. He is having to develop his mind first and that is a good thing (I agree). I am more concerned about my child's attitude; I am in no hurry.

    Thank you for reading and again, I welcome any insight.
  2. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    I dont understand. If he is struggling with his position at U12, why is playing U13 going to help?

    Some observations. For his height, he does not seem underweight. I'm not sure what a high protein diet entails, but I would think that a regular healthy diet is best for an 11 year old. If he trains heavily, he should naturally eat more. Good tasting meals dont hurt either.

    Struggling with new position. That's very common. A young player needs to understand positioning with respect to where his teammates are first (not so much playing a particular position on the team). Basically, attack by finding space and defend by taking away space from opponents ... but in consideration to the rest of the players on the field so moving the ball together as a unit.

    Slow speed and getting knocked off the ball. Work on dribbling (both feet). Work on turns (both sides). Do a lot of keep aways with him with focus on staying balanced and keeping the ball where the opponent cannot reach it. Progress intensity so that he always being challenged.

    Weak and inaccurate passing. Likely due to technique. Likely not getting his body weight behind it. A simple thing to do after contact with the ball is to step forward with the kicking foot towards to the direction of the pass instead of keeping the foot mid air and placing it back beside the planting foot. Heck, take a couple of steps if it helps. Forward movement (momentum) is good. Once he gets used to it, he should naturally have his bodyweight behind passes and shots.

    Speed and strength training. If within means, consider joining a track & field club. Or hiking, rock climbing. Something fun but good work out. If he's really intent on training, just go to the track and do a few sprints every day. Have him time himself to track progress.

    Just note that all the forementioned sounds easy in theory, but I've found that my kids usually hate doing this stuff one on one because they get bored easily. So change up, dont force it. Long term instead of short term gains.

    Lastly, dont forget to use the asthma meds. I've got mild asthma and I know the difference it can make.
  3. BigD_D

    BigD_D New Member

    Atlético Madrid
    United States
    May 21, 2018
    Re: weight, they moved up from C division to A div and the kids are huge. Most outweigh him by 15+ lbs.

    High protein...he said that he he wants more strength. He always just ate grains, fruits and veggies Never that interested in protein rich foods. We tried. Meat was always left behind on the plate. He focuses much more now on getting protein.

    Momma is a crazy good cook and so tasty is there.

    Re: playing up, Coach and I talked and he wants to take a different approach. Lord knows that he has tried everything.

    The CB on the U13 is a smart and vocal captain. Coach feels that the on field instruction and on the fly training will hopefully be the break point my little guy needs. I agree with the coach.

    A little update:. Last 2 days the little guy is kicking with more power. I want to say around 8 yards further and more accurate. He went to the fields and kicked for 4 hrs and told me that he was working with the u17s. Either way I am pleased that he is pleased.

    I agree 1v1 is boring and their is a disconnect. Coach had him practicing with the u13s yesterday. He inveited him to run with the u14s also. I am on board.

    My little guy loves ninja warrior....I like your suggestion about rock climbing and hiking. Definitely something I will research the area for.

    Thank you sir
  4. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    thanks for sharing. That's an interesting approach to put a struggling player with a higher group to allow him to learn from the other players. I hadnt even considered that. I like that the coach is thinking outside of the box. Sounds like your child has a real passion for the sport and is very determined!

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