Street Football

Street sport has many qualities: It’s flexible, it’s inviting and easily accessible, and helps kids exercise their creative muscles. As the community becomes built up around the sport and the games, it is the participants themselves who help define the framework and create the feeling of family and team. More, street sport is available to all youth, regardless of their background or their gender, their economic situation or their physical prowess. It can easily include those in vulnerable and underserved housing areas and those who are new to the sport. By participating in these flexible and accessible activities, integration and well-being – physical and emotional – are improved.

GAME Street Football gives young people of all different backgrounds in many places around the world the opportunity to come out and get some fun training in technical skills and learning skills. Street Football practices make them better at their sport while also giving the possibility of having healthy fun with their neighbors.

As a Playmaker with GAME and with our partner organizations, it is important to set a good example for the kids around you both on and off the field. The task is to give the young people around you a good experience AND a good workout.

It is important for the coaching team to develop some routines within the practice so that the kids get a sense of security and familiarity with what is going on. Kids will often use their first training with a new group to just see what goes on a little bit: who are all these people out here playing? What is the practice like? Is it fun at all? Do I want to come back for a second practice?

It is important to remember that those kids coming to your practice are all coming for different reasons. Some are Football crazy and want to get better. For others, the social aspect of friends and community is more important. Yet another might come because he or she has nothing else to do, or because something ‘big’ went down at a practice the other day and they want to be a part of it. Some perhaps come just because their friends come and they follow along. Regardless of their reasons for being there, GAME Playmakers should work to give them as rich of an experience as possible. So that means a mix of jobs: the football-driven kids need a good and innovative training; those looking for social inclusion need to have a fun experience interacting with others (even though their sports skills might not be so high). As a Playmaker, you should work to ensure that there is room for everyone – boys and girls included.

STREET FOOTBALL IN THE DRILL BOX

These drills are designed to create a fun and exciting practice for the kids, no matter what their motivation in showing up. You should always be able to find a drill that is appropriate, no matter what the level of your participants is, and as a coach you should try structure the practice to suit the level of the players involved. Even if your players are just beginning, it is a good idea to have a clear structure and a continuous theme for the day.

Each practice should include a fun warm up that gets the brain and body ready, one or two competency drills that focus on a specific aspect of the game, and should end with either a game / scrimmage, or a drill that is a variation on a game situation. It is also helpful to designate a particular theme to each training – for example, passing, or attacking. The Drill Box is set up in a way to allow you to search according to the theme you wish to work on.

If time allows, it is helpful for the coach and team to spend the first 10 minutes of the practice talking about how the school day was, and then shifting over to what the day’s practice will be about. It is important that the kids learn, before getting their pulse up, what the structure and theme of the next hour or two will be. This is helpful because most often, kids will just ask to play a game / scrimmage – so it becomes the job of the Playmaker coach to get the kids to understand that if they put in time and effort in the beginning, they will be rewarded with new skills and abilities in game time. If the players know that a game awaits them at the end of the practice, they are more likely to keep their motivation up as they look forward to playing.

THE WARM UP

The warm up is preparation for the body and the mind to have a good practice. It is injury prevention, as it is important that the players’ muscles and joints are warmed up, and if the Playmaker can guide the kids through a fun warm up, it will set a good mood for the work that lies ahead. A warm up should both work on some skill or physical aspect while also motivate – so do not forget to praise your players during the warm up, too!

You can search the Drill Box for different warm up exercises to do. And if you want to have some fun to change things up one day mid-season, you can search for a dance or parkour warm up as well.

THE COMPETENCY DRILLS

Street Football calls for players to master a lot of technical skills, such as passing, first touches, turns, fakes, etc. In street Football – a small space on a surface that moves the ball faster – these skills are even more important than on a normal, grass field situation. Thus, the drills in GAME’s Drill Box are geared toward the Street Football game as opposed to the more classic grass game.

An important element in the development of players is that training of specific skills are repeated and worked on many times. At the same time, Playmakers need to keep things fun! So do not do the same drill over and over – find different drills to practice the same skill.

Even though street Football is famous for its tricky tricks and delicious details, games are still won by the team that scores the most goals. So do not forget to add some finishing drills in where players can learn the feeling of getting the ball into the net.

THE GAME / SCRIMMAGE

In general, practice should always end with the kids playing a game / scrimmage. This gives them a chance to relax, lose some structure, and see if they can work any of the new things they learned in that day’s practice. Change it up and have fun – one point for a goal scored; two points if a player completes a particular trick learned in the previous hour.

The structure GAME has recommended above is based on many years of experience, within our organization and from outside. But remember you are the coach, and you will need to decide what your practice and players need. Factors such as number of people in attendance, or a day when one or some kids are in a very bad mood all make a difference. Or perhaps after starting a drill you’ll see that the drill does not match the players’ skill level and you’ll need to figure out a change. So as Playmakers you should arrive at each practice with a place to start and a structure to follow, but at the same time you need to be flexible and expect the unexpected.

SOME TIPS

Some tips from the GAME family:

-Make competitions with a winner a loser

The goalie against the rest of the team, The team should say how many goals they can get (they usually say too many), and if they do not score that number of goals, then they lose and the goalie wins.

The classic – one team against another. Before the game begins, both teams agree on what the losing team must do at the end (for example, 10 push-ups)

  • Split the teams into clubs or players that the kids know and look up to. For example, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United, etc. Or Ronaldo’s team versus Messi’s team, or Alex Morgan’s USA versus Marta’s Brazil. This gives a fun competitive environment.
  • Ask the kids who their favorite teams and players are, or about a game they saw on TV. Talk about who they think is the best and why.
  • There can often be fighting over who gets to take free kicks. One rule can be that whoever had the penalty committed against them gets to take the kick.
  • Be sure to rotate who is goalie
  • Celebrate when they score! A team must do a wacky dance after scoring, but it should be positive for their achievements as opposed to negative against the other team. This creates a fun environment, but also encourages self-esteem and confidence around scoring the goal.
  • Playmakers and teams can agree before the game that the team that is most positive and encourages its players the most receives an extra point at the conclusion of the scrimmage
  • Encourage the kids to invite their friends to come along to the next practice
  • Compliment, encourage, and positive feedback! Kids grow and learn based on their positive experiences, and will gain an even greater desire to do better. Remember also to praise kids for respecting each other, looking out for one another, and complimenting each other.
  • Be flexible
  • SHOW SOME GOOD MANNERS

    -Be open and welcoming

    – Say ’hello’ and ’good-bye’. Shake hands or high five with every player that comes to practice

    -Work hard to remember each player’s name. Sometimes it is not easy, but you should make it a priority.

    -Create a good atmosphere: Compliment and encourage all the players whenever they do something positive.

    -Bring some good music that the kids like and that will motivate them. Ask them to recommend songs to you that you can add to the practice playlist.

    -Be sure that the kids understand the concept of Fair Play

    -Teach them to shake hands after the game

    -Decide which rules are flexible and which rules must always be adhered to, and adhere to them. Be sure the players understand this and do as well.

    -Zero tolerance for bullying or fighting / hitting

    RULES OF THE GAME

    HOW TO PLAY

    • Three field players and one goalie per team are on the field. (In some cases it could be an idea to play with four field players and one goalie; it can depend on the size of the court)
    • Game length is decided by the Playmakers. A game is usually 6 – 8 minutes long.
    • A win is 3 points, a tie is 1 and a loss is 0 points.
    • All games should begin and end with both teams shaking hands.

    GETTING THE GAMES GOING

    • Decide which team starts with a round of rock-paper-scissors.
    • Goal kicks should be taken from within the goal box
    • After a goal is scored, the play is restarted from the middle. The other team should stand 2 meters away for the kick-off.
    • Throw ins are replaced by kick ins.

    GOALIE

    • The goalie is free to move around the whole court
    • However, the goalie may ONLY touch the ball with his/her hands within the goal box
    • If the goalie uses his/her hands outside the goal box, the other team is awarded a free kick

    FREE KICKS

    • The opposing team should be at least two meters away from the ball on a free kick
    • Slide tackling and excessive physical pushing are not allowed
    • A warning or ejection is given for violent or dangerous play, foul language and / or unsportsly behavior
    • A warning means one player is ejected until the next goal is scored. That is, one team plays with a player down.
    • Do not over-use ejecting a player from the game. Think hard before doing so – if it is done too often the lesson of consequence can instead be seen only as punishment; or, it might cause kids to lose interest.
    • A red card means that a player may not come back in at all to play in the game and the team must finish the game with one player less

    THE CODE OF FAIR PLAY

    • Say thank you / good game to the other team and the referee after the game
    • Practice Fair Play on and off the field
    • Avoid protesting calls by the referee, cheating, and yelling
    • Help create a positive environment for all around you
    • Behave out on the field and clean up after yourselves

Drills

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GAME Academy is a free, online, educational platform for Playmakers, other volunteers and all those who want to use street sports to empower young people. It was co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union as a part of the Youth-Led Street Sport For All project.

Contact

GAME, Enghavevej 82 D,
DK – 2450 Copenhagen SV

 

Global HQ: (+45) 7020 8323
GAME and partners have activities in
Denmark, Ghana, Greece, Italy, Jordan,
Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta and Somaliland.

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