Thanks for being receptive to other professionals in considering your best options. I find it validating when I can share from my experiences with another passionate pro!
This age group will always regard your drills as fun when you present with a fun, positive spirit. I really like the suggestion by Susan for recognizing positive remarks made by fellow players. This is one of the guidelines in Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s 1970s book “Kid Fitness” in which I recommend his “Ten Commandments for Motivating A Kid To Exercise”.
Two areas we need to avoid injury for this sport are: explosive rotations and quick, reactive footwork. Remember that explosive rotations are frequent in the sport and young physiques must be conditioned accordingly. Partner drills can be performed with tubes for rotation movements and the creativity is endless.
Quick reaction drill: Try the drill where you set 3 cones in “Y” formation for the runner to gain speed on the straightaway without them knowing which way you will point—right or left as they advance and quickly change direction when you indicate.
Reinforce young, weak ankles for the rigors of the sport activity. If possible, utilize the Bosu for this. Jump rope is also essential.
If you really want to guarantee the fun factor in a sport-specific way, then by all means–incorporate jump rope. See my baseball players’ jump rope skills progression here on YouTube. http://youtu.be/kjtfRZFpZUU Of course it is appreciated when you comment after you view. Share the passion