Thursday, 9 January 2014

2014 training status: WORK UNDER PROGRESS

Well, with the next set of fixtures yet to be released by the Delhi Youth League representatives, the boys have been anxiously waiting to see which team they will be up against next. Meanwhile, our training sessions have almost been taking place every day as the biting cold compelled the Delhi government to postpone the start of all schools. The schooling will continue from Monday and every member of all of the 6 teams has been turning in for training and utilizing the lengthy break to full extent.

As of now, Nitish (left), a 19-year old school graduate residing in the same area as the kids, and I (below) are the only 2 coaches. Our previous coaches, Lalit and Hero have been busy with other things and will return in a month or so.

Nitish and I decided to create a focus on each of the training days so that the kids didn't learn a bunch of unrelated skills, but instead worked on one specific aspect of their game each day. This way, they could not only be devoted to improving that particular aspect, but also connect the dots between the different skills taught to them and use them in more appropriate situations. As as result, connecting the dots would also help improve their logical reasoning side of the brain.

So, Saturday (only our second day of training in 2014), we worked solely on passing. These involved individual drills, like passing to the wall and yet keeping control of the ball, those with 4 people, like pass and run, as well as those with over 10 people, like one-touch passing in a circle. Sunday was allotted for dribbling. This was the most enjoyable day for the lads as at the end of the day, everyone aspires to be kings of dribbling, like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. So, we decided to make it fun on our part as well. We taught them new skills, such as the double scissors and the Cruyff turn. It was a two step process: first, we demonstrated as to how they should be performed and then, we asked them to perform it while shouting out "Ronaldo!", "Messi!", "Ronaldinho!" etc. while they did so. Another interesting dribbling activity was when we put 2 kids in a circle with a ball for 1 minute. For an entire minute, the one who had the ball had to try and keep it away from the other one and the one who didn't have it had to try and steal it from the other. At the end of the minute (or, whenever the ball went out of the designated area), we saw which one of the two had the ball for longer and that one progressed to the next round. We turned it into a competition to make their learning process more engaging. Eventually, the one who remained undefeated was termed "King of the Ring".

Tuesday was allotted for another one of the favourites: shooting. From long ranged shooting, to one-on-one and even penalties, most of the attackers had a wonderful time. Naturally, the defenders weren't as good and were a little disappointed to see their poor conversion rate. However, Nitish and I cheered them up by bringing out their best skill when we played '3 attackers vs 2 defenders'. This is traditionally played with more number of attackers so that there is at least one free person to pass to. Despite the greater number of attackers, only one trio managed to score out of around 17-18 attempts. It was only then that the defenders managed a smile to showcase their dominance. 

Here are a couple of snaps of "King of the Ring":

The kids clearly have no idea of the mighty task ahead of them tomorrow. Nitish and I have planned a full fledged FITNESS day; not a single ball will be kicked. They'll certainly be irked when they come to know, but hopefully they understand the importance of it!

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