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ClubFootball Skills Courses Introduction
Skills Courses are Level 1 of ClubFootball's 3-level Development Programme and run after-school and at weekends at venues across Beijing and Tianjin.
Courses run for boys and girls aged 4.5 to 16, with MiniSkills sessions running for students aged 3 to 4.5. Sessions are generally 50-75 mins long depending on the age of the players and are delivered in English with Chinese translation available where required.
Courses give students the opportunity to acquire the fundamental skills through fun games, drills and small-sided matches. As per ClubFootbal policy, students have a ball each to maximise contact time with the ball and develop familiarity and comfort on the ball. Maximum group-sizes is 16, with smaller groups occasionally required due to the size of the venue.
The curriculum is designed specifically for children in China by ClubFootball's Director of Coaching to ensure consistency across all venues, and coaches supplement it with their own ideas and influences.
Above all, courses are fun and are designed to inspire a passion in football!
Skills Course Sessions are divided into 3 parts:
Warm-up (10 mins)
ClubFootball’s Skills Courses always begin with a warm up activity for the children. These are designed with 3 main aims: preparing the children for the session both physically and mentally, making sure the children feel safe and comfortable in their surroundings, and perhaps most importantly getting them smiling and enjoying the start of the session! The coaches, especially at the start of the course, make sure that all of the children get to know each other and get to know the coach. This involves lots of fun football-related games which involve lots of interaction and communication.
Body of Session (35 mins):
The middle part of each session is always planned meticulously by the coach as this is where most of the quality learning takes place. This part of the session is split into two parts. In the first part, the children will be given a task or number of tasks to complete with the goal being to improve their technical proficiency – basically making them more comfortable with the ball at their feet (this is the ‘Technical Phase’). They almost always have a ball each and plenty of opportunities to practice and improve. The second part is usually where defenders are introduced – making the session more challenging for the players and really developing their skills (we call this the ‘Skill Phase’). For younger students in particular, 'disguised-learning' is key, as the students learn skills and techniques without realising it! One of the main things which characterises our sessions are the freedom which the children are given to explore new ideas, to make mistakes without fear, and to make their own decisions about what / why and when to do things. We strongly believe that this is positive for the players development both on and off the pitch.
Small-sided games (15 mins):
At the end of each session, players are given the opportunity to play small sided games or matches. These are 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4. This added element of healthy competition at the end of each session gives each child a perfect environment to practice what they have learned that day and test their skills out in a realistic match-like situation. The small number of players on each team allows maximum touches of the ball for each player and lots of time and space so players can express themselves, make decisions, and practice. Coaches ensure that all players have achieved success and leave the session feeling positive and having enjoyed their football!