My new relationship is going well, and living with a 14 year old and nine year old is cool. They get on with their thing mostly, and we cross in interests with indoor stuff like Warhammer, Computer games etc. But this is about outside.
J. is a rugby league and rugby union player. With my busted neck I never got to play those, so J. is left to his devices. I don't know the games well enough to suggest coaching techniques, and he seems QUITE on top of it himself, doing very well at the matches I have watched.
L. played previously, but A. didn't like the team so much. L.'s best friend T. is a soccer player, and talked L. into playing a year up with him for Belnorth. And they seem to be having fun, and I'm helping out with the driving, and the coaching. The attitude is great - encourage the good stuff, and move them towards better skills. They are just emerging from 'we all follow the ball around in a blob' and are moving toward positional play. Crosses occasionally happen, rather than random booting in a roughly forwards direction.
It's an interesting process to watch. My instinct has been to pull it all back to basic skills, in order to have a foundation. I see a lot of people trying to advise on complicated tactics - stuff so complicated that they could not even execute the plans on the pith themselves.
A., L. & I played "The old one - two" Two forwards charge down a goalie. The forward has to be ready to decide - shoot or pass? The goalie has too much room to defend, so he has to charge down the forward with the ball. The receiving forward has to think about space as well. They have to be far enough away from the other forward to a) react to the pass b) trap the pass and c) still have time to shoot before the goalie responds.
It was good sweaty fun, with each of us getting each role in turn. Little mobs fail to get the angles. Good positional play turns it into a win. The plan is obvious - but it needs a good grounding in a dozen skills to make it work. Little steps, and keep it fun.