This week I worked in two sites: D’Abate Elementary School and Nuetackonecut Rec Center.
At D’Abate, I have three groups for an hour each. three coed groups. The first two are both about 13 five-year-old kids and the third one were six 10-year-olds. All of them were evenly divided in terms of gender. Overall, the kids were very well behaved and even though they were very young, they listened and followed instructions. With these kids, it’s hard to get them to play because we are at a turf field with no shade, and they often forget their water bottles. the school is far away from the field, so if the kids forget their water bottle or have to go to the bathroom, they leave for 10 minutes. If we had a water cooler, most of the issues would be avoided. Also, there are no cones, and since they are little kids they need more clear references if I want drills to work. Most groups are a good size to have them scrimmage, but the 6 member group is very hard to engage them because we cannot scrimmage.
At Neut, the little kids were very hard to handle on the first day, but once I realized they just couldn’t do any organized drills I managed to work around them. With the older kids, they tend to listen more and be more engaged but as time passes (30 minutes) they just decide to sit in the shade. There are basically two groups here. Young group: It varies but between 25-30 5 year-old-kids where only about 6 of them are girls and the rest are boys. Older group: about 30 kids of ages between 9-13. There are about 10 girls and the rest are boys. The girls don’t tend to participate in the games.
In both sites, Whenever we scrimmage, I rotate the goalie position and that has allowed me to keep the game going for longer because they rest. After the second day, the little kids warm up with sharks and minnows and that has been very effective. After that, I go straight into the scrimmage because it’s impossible to get them to comply for any drills. In D’Abate, since the groups are smaller, I can have them play keep away before going into the scrimmage. In Neut, I do not have enough balls for this, but since they are more I can have three teams and one is always resting.