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Transition Juniors into Mens League

My club has a 5s team which is predominantly young lad (15 upwards) but as of next season the juniors team will have 13 year olds who will be joining the mens league. as an older player (Compared to them anyway) myself and another player are going to start a kind of mentoring program to get the youngsters ready for the mens league. what is the best way and any tips what we should be taking note of etc?

If nerves for them is the issue, then reinforce the simple and slow game play style. This helped me when I moved a few years ago. It is sometimes intimidating coming up against larger, faster players. This tactic of course relies on the speed and style of the division, but getting them comfortable with possession and calling for passes is crucial. When they take a free hit or receive a pass, encourage them to look back and go for the short ball. In a stressful moment it is really easy to try and smash the ball forward but the simpler and more intelligent move is to pass it back and switch.

This primarily works for midfielders and defenders, if they are an attacker than this may not be as effective. However, another thing that helped me was immersion in training. Get them used to the pace, passing and style of play. At the end of the day it is experience which makes them comfortable, this is not suggesting smash them at training, but don't go gentle, treat them like any other player (if they are going to be dealt a shoulder in the game then introduce it at training where the conditions are more controlled).

In my experience the best way is to just gauge their ability and roll them into a men's side as a substitute. The only way to completely feel comfortable with the physical changes I.e. Strength and speed is to be playing in the men's comp. the will be standing off and not attacking 50/50 balls as other would but after a season or 2 they won't even know they have changed levels. Experience is key as long as they are in a grade or division they will be capable to play 


Answered using Sportplan on Mobile

Tom,GoodMorning,

Just a thought for you.

Dont the english mens leagues specify that you have to be 14 to play in them?

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