Motivating Young players (U6)

Discussion in 'Coach' started by WNOYES, Oct 18, 2003.


    WNOYES New Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    I'm looking for ways to motivate my team of U6 girls. I have reasonable turnout at practice (typically 9 out of 10 girls) and everyone has fun and seems excited.
    However, come gameday, several of the girls will stand around, watching clouds, etc.

    I know its U6 and a certain amount of this is normal, I just feel that I need to something to get them having fun at games like they do at practice.

    Any ideas, suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. nicodemus

    nicodemus Member+

    Sep 3, 2001
    Cidade Mágica
    PAOK Saloniki
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    U6? Good grief that's young. Next thing you know they're going to have newborn soccer :D
  3. jack921

    jack921 New Member

    Jul 10, 2000
    Are you having oranges at halftime and snacks after the games? That usually makes games more fun than practices, regardless of what they do on the field. Alternatively, if the U6 girls are having fun at practices and not at games, perhaps you should suggest to the league to eliminate games at that level. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about this. Over the years, you'll be surprised by the development in the girls. It's fun to see how some girls go from U6 cloud watchers to U9 ball hogs and scoring machines. And it's got nothing to do with coaching.
  4. Bleacherbutt

    Bleacherbutt New Member

    May 1, 2001
    Rochester, NY
    I am all for dumping the oranges at halftime. It's nothing but a distraction especially when you only have 5 minutes for halftime. Hell, you might as well pull out a TV with SpongeBob on it. Liberate youth soccer teams from the tyranny of half-time snacks!

    Yes, have a great snack AFTER the game if a great idea. If parents feel left out because of the removal of the "orange slice ceremony" Have another parent supply fruit drinks, too. Let'em make a meal of it.
  5. DoorKnob

    DoorKnob New Member

    Sep 23, 2003
    I don't know if what you've been doing to them, but is it possible you have had talks to them about playing their position? Sometimes players that age feel they have to stay put at their position. At that age I think kids should be oblivious to positions and just get out there and have some fun.

    The other things is you might try bribery or rewards for trying their best. Tell them you'll stick up an ice cream truck or they can stay up all night if they do their best.
  6. truthandlife

    truthandlife Member

    Jul 28, 2003
    Houston Dynamo
    I know you want to motivate them because you care but don't worry about it. I played D1 soccer and have coached U6 and if I could have changed anything about coaching this age, I would have just let them play. Don't try to coach just let them play.

    Your accomplishing a lot if they are having fun at practice. Your going to have a few players that are focused and sort of get the game and then the majority of your players are going to not get it and look at airplanes going by and pick flowers. This is what a typical 5 year old does.

    Don't sweat it, just let them play!
  7. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

    Sep 29, 2002
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What I like to do with this age group is to tell them that if they don't start running around during games that their mommies and daddies won't love them any more and will drive away leaving them at the game all alone.

    After the kids stop crying, this works wonders.
  8. seanT

    seanT Member

    Feb 15, 2000
    Washington, DC
    I agree with the less game, more practice at this age.

    In our league we had been practicing for 45 minutes, then doing a "split squad' game for 45.

    We have now gotten it down to only 10-15 minute games. I have now coached both my kids at this age. Its only a few kids at this age who understand or care about the game.

    For the practice part, we play lots of normal, kid playground games: red light greenlight, sharks and minnows, relay races etc. Usually without a ball then with.

    Just gotta keep it active and simple.
  9. Yobbogadaba

    Yobbogadaba BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Nov 29, 2003
    U6 GIRLS?
    You shouldnt expect so much from them.
    But if you want them to be motivated you should ask them why they isnt motivated.
    If that doesnt work you should say that this is only a practice with other players.

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