In our last article, we discussed how to improve young players in football through being supportive and including all players in games. We will continue that conversation here with more ideas on challenging your young players.

One way to help young players improve their game is to give them fun homework. Of course, you will likely hear some negative feedback using that word, but when you make it fun for them, they will ask you for homework. Some kids have a hard time getting their parents to help them on their skills when they need to improve a certain area. With this in mind, give them an assignment they can work on themselves. For example, they can simply throw the ball in the air and catch it themselves practicing tucking, or they can find someone else to play catch with. If they need to work on their speed, they can race friends or a pet. There are many options available in this area.

Second, have fun as a way to engage your players. When I work with youth, I tend to give them cool nicknames. You can allow them to choose their own nickname or pick one for them. Something simple such as this can go a long way to help the players have fun.

Last, always have an end goal in mind. The best way to do this is to break down different aspects of playing to address each practice. As a master one thing, you can start adding other pieces of the game to work on. As long as your team is regularly improving, winning is not the end game. Believe in your team from the beginning, even if they are all new to the game.

As you spend time building up your team, their confidence will grow and your investment will be rewarded. If nothing else, perhaps you will be the one to light the spark in them for football. To do so, you need to create an environment that is fun and encouraging for your young players.

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