How to Get Your Players to Hustle and Fight for the Ball
How to Help Timid or Scared Soccer Players Become Brave

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Hi SoccerHelp,


I just signed up for Premium and I really signed up for my daughter who plays U8 soccer. She is 6 and plays timid and isn't aggressive but scored 15 last year on breakaways. Moving up to U8 seems to have made her timid and I was reading your "brave" and aggressive soccer drills.


Could you point me in the right direction to the problem I want to solve?








Hi AJ,


Your daughter obviously has talent - 15 goals on breakaways is impressive.


A lot of kids get timid when they move up to an older age group.


Here are some ideas that I know work: 


1. Perhaps most important -- Make a BIG DEAL out of Bravery. Every kid can't be fast, but all can be brave. Buy some B for Bravery patches  and ONLY give that patch for bravery. Give the patches at a special Patch Ceremony after each practice in front of the players AND after each game in front of ALL players and parents - make a BIG deal out of how the players have EARNED their patches. When a player does something brave during a game or practice, make a point of getting their attention ASAP and giving the praise in a visible way so the players see you (a thumbs up or something they know means they did good and you're proud of them). If the players can iron the patches on their jersey, Great! But if not, put them on a practice shirt or punch a hole in them and put them on a chain. The point is to give them a cool, special reward and public recognition for being brave. That will let everyone know that bravery is important and will be recognized and rewarded. Use the word "Brave" instead of "tough" or "aggressive" -- it motivates kids better - heroes are brave. Read a letter from a soccer coach about how he got his players to hustle and fight for the ball.     


2. Play the Premium "Strength on the Ball & Shoulder Tackle" soccer drill several times. This teaches players how not to get pushed off the ball. You can see a video of it at Videos of Soccer Drills 


3.  Play "Dribble Across a Square soccer drill" as a warm-up to start each practice. This will get your daughter used to chaos and getting bumped and it will improve dribbling, reactions. We are also adding a video showing this. You can see a video of this at Videos of Soccer Drills


4.   Play "Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race" at each Practice and use it to teach "Aggressive Receiving". This is VERY important. You can see a video of this at Videos of Soccer Drills


Here is a coupon for 5% off the patches. The more you buy, the cheaper, so if you get together with other coaches and order together you will save money.




Thanks for being our customer,


David at SoccerHelp