It’s all crafty ball skills and fancy footwork at the moment at IQ Football at Craighall Sports Club.
With schools and clubs closing for the season, coach Sean Szabo is well aware of the need to keep the youngsters on their toes.
“Without clubs, the children only have one practice a week with me,” he said.
“So we are trying to get as many touches on the ball as possible and building skills.”
He said before friendly matches, he gets the children to do their share of drills that promoted control, keeping the ball on the foot, balance and dribbling.
Despite their young age, the players demonstrate great skill in the drills and tricks they do.
The ‘IQ’ in the football involves doing these drills in the sequence Szabo calls out or moving to cones he calls out by number.
“When the players have to think while they are doing the drill often the skill drops a bit. But once they get used to thinking at the same time they are doing the drill, their skills improve.”
He said thinking about other things while doing a drill helped a player learn to do drills subconsciously, and better.
After two years, the academy has grown to more than 40 players.
Group classes are held for children aged four to 12, while Szabo gives individual training to older children.
A three-week holiday camp held recently saw 120 children play games and do drills with Szabo.
“The academy is growing,” he added.
“What has been nice is seeing the children who have been with me for a while improve. Seeing the difference in skill is amazing.”
The academy is also preparing for players versus parents matches, which will be held at the end of November and in December.
Details: IQ Football 079 607 6101.
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