Junior athletes are an exciting group! The improvement in skills at this level can be astonishing. Players in this age group have more mature motor skills and their eye-hand coordination and balance is more developed. Their tracking vision is also improving. During these vital years, players thrive on an increasing level of instruction and improving individual skills. They love to outperform their coaches!
Players are still gathering the experience necessary to interact with their surroundings and with others. Empathy and the capacity to consider the thoughts and feelings of teammates is still developing. For these reasons, drills that stress team dynamics are a critical part of their development.
The i9 Sports instruction plan for Juniors focuses on strengthening the basics while teaching more advanced skills appropriate for this age group. Our coaches and instructors lead activities designed to develop your child’s individual skills while building a greater appreciation for playing as part of a team. Since repetition builds familiarity and confidence, drills are repeated from week to week while gradually layering in more advanced skills instruction. With the increased attention span of this age group, practice times are increased to allow for more in-depth instruction.
While practice time activities are geared towards strengthening your child’s individual skills, game time emphasizes each player’s understanding of the structure of the sport, game rules, and how to compete as a team. For our Juniors, game rules are enforced and scores are kept while coaches find teaching moments to build the skills of every player. The combination of our player rotation and effort to give each child equal playing time provides all kids the chance to experience multiple aspects of the game.
By the end of the season your child will have gained a better understanding of the sport, it’s rules, and the basic skills of the sport. Athletes in this age group should be able to execute drills with more speed and accuracy, show better ball control and improved decision-making, and pay more attention to multiple game elements happening at the same time (i.e., anticipate ball position, location of opposing players, etc.). Their large motor skills will continue to develop as they demonstrate better eye-hand or eye-foot coordination.
Our main goals for the Juniors age group are to refine player’s individual skills, increase their understanding of the game, and further develop a sense of teamwork in a setting that encourages fun, healthy, age appropriate competition. Beyond improving kids’ mastery of the sport, we help them learn the importance of good sportsmanship. Character development is one of the most important lessons in sports!