need help getting kids to keep their heads up

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need help getting kids to keep their heads up

New postby spenny on Thu May 03, 2018 9:11 pm

many of my offensive players will look at the ground when carrying the ball. especially under pressure. looking for team and individual drills that can help. 7th and 8th grade.

I reject your reality and substitute my own

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Re: need help getting kids to keep their heads up

New postby cfllax on Fri May 04, 2018 12:12 pm

I used to run small drills where I would move around in the offensive zone and have the ball carrier tell me how many fingers I was holding up. Do this in 2v2, 3v3, 3v2 etc. it forces them to play with their heads up and scanning the field. Not to mention the benefit of you getting the blood flowing while running around. :)
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Re: need help getting kids to keep their heads up

New postby McMonkey on Sat May 05, 2018 3:36 pm

Good question.

A few things that have helped me.

Whenever we do our dodges -- 50/100 a day at least in the middle school -- for warm ups and for conditioning and in drills, we always have our head up looking at something -- the church, the school building, the old coach yelling at them. So, practice the skill, methinks, sans the pressure, first, ad nauseum. I do, though, really believe in having kids run the patterns that they will run in a game. The O Coordinator for the Pats told my friend, a fb coach: "We never practice any patterns or movements that we do not see from up above." Interesting point, one that would obviate weave drills, star drills, etc.

As well, I like to model crease play, so I will often float in the crease to space and put my stick up at times. While it is hard for kids to dodge, be physical, look to outlets, it is hard to look at the crease; therefore, if they miss me with my stick up a few times, they sub or give the ball up.

Last, in the words of a coach who has been at it for 50 or so years, "McMonkey, NEVER run a one-v-one without a crease; i.e., we dodge to drag and dump.

Gotta run. My son has a baseball game!!

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Re: need help getting kids to keep their heads up

New postby miketherider on Thu May 10, 2018 2:04 pm

Shooting drills I sometimes will hold fingers up or use a white board to write something on it (letters, numbers, etc.) In stick handling drills, incorporate more dodging and have coaches stand behind a line and hold up fingers as one suggested. I would also incorporate skip drills (dodge from an alley, throw it through to a cutter, vice versa).
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Re: need help getting kids to keep their heads up

New postby umnlaxcoach on Thu May 10, 2018 6:03 pm

Divide group into random units - by position, by age, by jersey number, by height. 3 groups per playing area is optimal.

Limit the time a ball can be in the stick and a coach counts out loud. Forces ball carrier to have head up AND teammates to work harder getting open. Run out of time = turnover. Play best of 3, then switch in a fresh group. Group with fewest turnovers wins.

Add an extra defender or limit the area of play to make it harder.
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