Steps to choosing the lesson plan for the day:
Step 1: Choose the topic of the day:
Step 2: Choose what part of the field you want to focus on - Your own half, your opponent's half, or goal scoring.
Get there 30 minutes before the start of practice to set up the cones and get the equipment ready so there is no wait time for your players. Slow start to practices lead to slow starts to games. Make sure to read through your lesson before practice.
Play-Practice-Play sessions are broken into three stages. Divide the amount of time you have allotted to your practice by 3 so that you can cover all three stages.
STAGE 1: PLAY
Set up two small 4v4 fields using cones. As your players show up hand them a training vest and put them in a game with little to no instruction. Just let them play. Once all of your players arrive, gather them to explain the topic of the practice, give them the keywords you want them to focus on, and ask them to think about the guided questions as they play. Let them play again. Once you have completed the first play phase, gather the players again and ask them for their answers to the guided questions. Help them get to the correct answer.
STAGE 2: PRACTICE
In your session plan you'll see a Core Activity, Less Challenging, and More Challenging activities. You should always start with the Core Activity. From there, if your players are succeeding too often and the activity seems to easy for them, move to the More Challenging activity. Explain the rules and the purpose of the activity to the players. If your players are struggling with the Core Activity and are not succeeding often, move to the Less Challenging activity. Halfway into the practice stage, without bringing them in, introduce the keywords and guided questions. Once your time is up discuss the keywords and gather the answers to the guided questions from your players.
The role of the coach during this phase is to guide players while using teaching actions. While it's during this phase that targeted learning takes place, there should always be an emphasis on keeping the atmosphere fun and enjoyable for the players.
STAGE 3: PLAY AGAIN!
The final stage of Play-Practice-Play is a full sided scrimmage. The purpose of this stage is to assess that the players have learned the topic of the practice. Make sure that the players are using the keywords of the day amongst themselves. Halfway through, bring the players in and remind them about the keywords and ask them the guided questions again. At the end of the practice ALWAYS gather your players and recap everything that you did that day. Ask them every single guided question from all three stages so they walk away having played a lot of soccer and learned something new.
When you recap all of the questions of the day and your player's parent or guardian asks them what they learned, they now have several talking points for their ride home. The next time your players show up to practice they'll get out of the vehicle and come running to get into a game.