When is it Time to Teach a Long Ball to Children
Children are like sponges. They will listen and try anything you teach them. From five years old and even younger, kids will be competent at throwing a chest pass and a one handed pass.
It is very important to introduce the correct technique. If you are a beginner coach, please make sure you research your technique before passing it onto your team. Poor technique, taught at an early age, can create problems for future coaches and be a hard habit to break for players.
• Feet as wide as shoulders (players are to have a balanced stance before throwing)
• Ball at the side of the head and close to the body (the further the ball is away from the body the less lower body strength is used in the pass)
• Young players to use target arm (the other arm points to the target before throwing)
• Stepping forward on release (if the player is right handed then the left leg steps out on release. Remember – opposite arm, opposite leg. This enables the players to use their lower body strength rather than just the arm to throw)
• Follow through on release (on release of the ball the players arm should be straight on the follow through. Watch for arm coming across the body, dropping down on release or too high on release. Usually wherever the arm goes that will be the destination of the ball)
I have coached many young children and can say that when playing on a Saturday morning one great satisfaction is watching a target arm followed by a well executed long pass. The ball flows down the court and it stops little players jumping on one spot screaming out the name of the poor player with the ball. It will open the court up and help teach players about space.
Go for it coaches. Teach those young kids how to throw and long pass. Now they have to get it through the ring! Another training session.