Updated Sunday August 20, 2017 by Dave Benson.
In order to make practices run smoothly and be fun, it is important to have a basic understanding of the intellectual, emotional, and physical developmental stage of the players we are coaching. Here are some typical characteristics of the Under 8 player:
- Enjoy playing in pairs
- Are now able to take another’s perspective.
- Still unable to think abstractly – be patient.
- Cooling system still less efficient than adults – still make sure to give frequent water breaks.
- Still prefer playing to watching – keep everyone active during practice.
- Limited attention span
- Have an understanding of time and sequence – “if I do this, then that happens”.
- Some now have a third or fourth speed in addition to stopped and as fast as possible.
- Very aware of adult reactions – be very aware of your reactions.
- Seek out adult approval and need reassurance – be supportive.
- Begin to become aware of peer perception – a social order is beginning to develop.
- Wide range of abilities between children at this age
- Beginning to develop motor memories
- Some become more competitive
- Less active imaginations than U6 players