Dave's Second Best Idea Ever!
Fans of this blog may recall Dave's Best Idea Ever, and might even be familiar with some of Dave's Bad Ideas, and so-- because Dave is a humble man who responds to the opinions of his readers-- I will let you decide which category this new idea of mine belongs, but-- not that I mean to sway you-- based on empirical evidence, I think it should be in the former . . . and I will warn you that this is a Soccer Idea, but I think that even non-soccer folks will appreciate its brilliance . . . The Problem is this: it is difficult to get very young soccer players to pass the ball to their teammates, or even to remember that their teammates actually exist, and so I wanted to create a drill that not only encouraged passing, but also had an element of immediacy to it, and not only that, I wanted the drill to reward passing instead of dribbling, which is difficult to do when the players are young and the skill levels are various, but I figured out the solution to this insoluble problem and I present it to you free-of-charge because I consider this blog to be my public service to the universe (because there's no way I'm ever going to serve hobos at a soup kitchen) and so here is the answer: zombies . . . little kids know how to act like zombies, and so I made one child be the "zombie" in the drill, and this "zombie" must hold a ball out in front of them (which is a bit mummy-like, but no one questioned it, and it slows them down) and then I instructed the zombie that all he or she desires is to zombie-walk at the ball and tag the person with the ball at their feet with their "zombie-ball" and so I put three kids in a box made with cones and told them that they have to keep the ball inside the box and away from the zombie-- but they can't get tagged by a zombie or kick the ball out of the box, or else they become the zombie-- and the zombie moves slow enough for just about any player to have enough time to look up and make a decent pass, but the zombie is fast enough (and usually making scary noises) and this encourages the player to get rid of the ball quickly and to pass it to a teammate . . . instead of just dribbling aimlessly . . . and the drill certainly makes them realize that there are other people on their team, and they understood quickly enough that the best way to defeat the zombie was to stay spread out and kick it far away when the zombie approached, and, for once, they were doing something that approximated actual soccer, passing a ball around from person to person-- and even though they were only avoiding a zombie, it still made them behave in a totally different way than they normally behave on the pitch-- and one group got good enough that I had to introduce a second zombie . . . and now I am dreaming of an entire side of zombies, forcing the children to spread out and knock the ball around like a miniature Manchester United . . . so all I can tell you is, give it a try and enjoy the results, and I am positive you will admit that this is in the running for Dave's Second Best Idea Ever.