1 Iowa Soccer Association U10/U12 Recreational Coaching Manual
2 Table of Contents 1 What is Recreational Soccer? Pg. 3 2 Recreational Player Development Pg. 5 Under 10 Developmental Characteristics Under 10 Practice Objectives Under 12 Developmental Characteristics Under 12 Practice Objectives 3 Recreational Coach Development Pg. 8 US Youth Soccer Youth Module U10/U12 ISA/USSF State E and D Coaching Courses Coaching Development Resources 4 Team Management Pg Planning Your Coaching Session Pg Game Day Responsibilities Pg Games and Themed Lesson Plans Pg. 15 U10 Activities and Lesson Plans U12 Activities and Lesson Plans 8 Additional Resources Pg. 30
3 1 What is Recreational Soccer? You have heard the term before, but do you really know what recreational soccer is? There are no legal definitions, no US Youth Soccer rules, policies or regulations therefore, for the purposes of this manual, let s use the following basic definition: Recreational soccer is a soccer program primarily devoted to the enjoyment and development of soccer players without the emphasis on travel or high-level competition. The purpose of recreational soccer is to provide an opportunity for the participants to have fun, learn the sport and develop life skills including a lifelong love of the game. Therefore: Access is open to all who desire to participate (The Game for ALL Kids). Emphasis is on active participation (minimum of half game playing time). Objective is for the players to enjoy the experience. Success and excellence are measured in players attracted and players retained. Recreational soccer is all about fun, recreation, love of the game, and winning is not a measure of success. Model Emphasis Excellence Body Decisions Opponents Children benefit in many ways from participating in recreational soccer and the chances are good that the children you coach will have fun and a very positive experience. However, it is also important that you understand some of the characteristics of recreational play and recreational player. Those characteristics are as follows: Almost every player and parent will start out in recreational soccer. Two-year age groups are typical of recreational teams so there is a wide range between the most skilled player and the least skilled player. Wider age gaps create greater differences in physical, mental and social development. Players new to the sport are constantly being introduced into the mix. Enthusiasm and dedication varies widely from the highly motivated to the socially involved. Soccer, for the child who wants to play, is an outlet for energy and enthusiasm. For others it is an imposed activity, something selected for the child by the parent. Fit and unfit players play together. Participation stretches from always there to when it is convenient.
4 The game is played for enjoyment and not necessarily future playing opportunities on college or elite teams. Many young children try out many sports at a young age and may jump from one activity to another during the year or even during the same season. Some of the main characteristics of recreational coaches are as follows: Virtually every recreational coach will be an unpaid parent volunteer. While an increasing number of recreational coaches played soccer growing up, many others are first time soccer coaches with little or no coaching experience.
5 2 Recreational Player Development Recreational Player Development takes place most effectively in environments where coaches facilitate learning in two main ways. The first is through the use of developmentally appropriate activities and games; the second is through the coach displaying a thorough understanding of how young players learn and the developmental characteristics of those players. Coaching in the Under 10 Age Group Game Application Game Form 6 v 6 GK Status Goalkeeper should be used. Field Size Recommended field size is yards long by yards wide. Ball Size 4 Offsides No U10 General Developmental Characteristics Lengthened attention span. Still in motion but not so busy. Psychologically becoming more firm and confident. Begin to comprehend team activities. Boys and girls beginning to develop separately. Motor skills becoming more refined. Start to understand pace (ability to think ahead) U10 Age Group Practice Objectives Coaching Emphasis Individual technical development, small group decision making and fun. Technique Dribbling: Running with the ball, how to beat an opponent, changing direction while running with the ball. Passing: With the inside and outside of the foot. Receiving: Ground balls with the instep and outside of foot; receiving bouncing balls. Heading: Introduce attacking and defensive heading in a user friendly manner. Shooting: Finishing with different surfaces including volleys. Psychology Working in-groups of 3, 4 or 5; stay focused for one entire half; how to win or lose gracefully; sportsmanship; emotional management. Fitness Endurance; range of motion, flexibility. Tactics 1 v 1 attacking 1 v1 defending - Do players dive in or delay? Do players recover the ball after losing possession?
6 Vision: Players should be encouraged to play with their head up, Transition: Does the team transition quickly from attack to defense after losing the ball and from defense to attack after winning the ball U10 Coaching Considerations Players in the U9 U10 age group are beginning to develop technically and now have a basic understanding of tactics and begin to anticipate the next play. A good coach will help facilitate this development by encouraging free flowing soccer, guide instead of directing the players toward improvement and make transition from offense to defense and defense to offense a major part of their practice sessions. Players can now be asked to play in a position and should be exposed to different playing positions throughout the season. However, coaches must remember that positions are fluid not fixed and that developmentally, many children will still have a difficult time playing a position. ISA recommends a 3-2 formation with 3 defenders and 2 attackers but there are a number of other formations that can be considered. Tactics and formations should not be a major part of your practice session and coaches should not sacrifice a players technical development in order to win games. Technical sessions, tag games, small sided games and scrimmages should make up 90% of your practice time. Coaching in the Under 12 Age Group Game Application Game Form 8 v 8 GK Status Goalkeeper should be used. Field Size Recommended field size is yards long by yards wide. Ball Size 4 Offsides Yes U12 General Developmental Characteristics Enjoys competition. Psychological development has progressed. Teamwork has improved. Coordination has improved. Technical competency has improved. Development of speed and strength. Problem solving can take place with teammates. Self- appearance and peer pressure is a concern. Varying stages of puberty for both boys and girls.
7 U12 Age Group Practice Objectives Technique Feints with the ball, receiving air and ground balls, receiving with the in-step, attacking and defensive heading, chipping, driven passes, inside and outside of the foot passing, crossing to near and far post, volley and half volley. Psychology Teamwork, confidence, desire, intrinsic motivation, handling stress, sportsmanship. Fitness Speed, strength, aerobic exercise, warm up and cool down are now mandatory. Tactics 2 v 1 defending 2 v 2 attacking and defending Roles of 2nd attacker and defender Combination passing Verbal and visual communication for all positions Defending and attacking at corner kicks U12 Coaching Considerations Coaches working with U11 and U12 players are responsible for encouraging players to play attacking and thoughtful soccer, placing an emphasis on a players role in attack and defense and more specifically getting players to recognize numbers up and numbers down situations. The characteristics of a good coach in this age group are enthusiasm, knowledge of the basic technical skills, the ability to demonstrate or utilize someone who can paint a good picture and most importantly a coach who understands that player development is more important than winning. Players should be able to play in a position but should still be exposed to different playing positions throughout the season. However, coaches must remember that positions are fluid not fixed and that developmentally, many children will still have a difficult time playing a position. ISA recommends a formation with 3 defenders and 2 midfield players and 2 attackers but there are a number of other formations that can be considered. Tactics and formations should not be a major part of your practice session and coaches should not sacrifice their players technical development in order to win games.
8 3 Recreational Coach Development Coaches open to the new will always create, grow and improve their understanding of coaching and the player development process. A coach s influence on a young child is very important. The effect that a coach has on a child s development can last for an extended period of time and a lack of effective coaching is one of the main causes of player attrition. Therefore, it is vital that every coach improve their understanding of coaching and the player development process. The best way to achieve that is through participation in a variety of coach education courses. The Iowa Soccer Association (ISA) and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) offer a number of coach education courses. The ISA strongly recommends that every ISA coach undertake a coach education course prior to the start of their first season of coaching, and take additional training courses as the coach progresses through the age groups with their team. This recommendation is true for beginning through experienced coaches. Iowa Soccer Association recommends that every U10 or U12 coach take the U10/U12 Youth Module. An outline of the curriculum is listed below: U10/U12 Youth Coaching Module Curriculum Course Length: 3-4 hours Cost $15.00 Philosophy of Coaching and Characteristics of U10/U12 Children Prevention and Care of Injuries Team and Risk Management Laws of the Game Field Sessions for U10 Players Field Sessions for U12 Players All candidates receive a coaching manual, games book, rule book and certificate upon completion of the course. Other coach education opportunities for coaches who wish to expand their knowledge of the game are as follows: E-License The E'' certification course consists of eighteen (18) hours of instruction. This course normally includes three and one-half (3½) hours of theory (tactics, methods, team management, Laws of the Game, prevention of injuries) and thirteen (13) hours of practical sessions (technique, tactics, principles of attack and defense and goalkeeping). The emphasis of the E License is toward coaches working with players U10-14 years of age.
9 D-License The D'' certification course is a continuation of the E course and offers more advanced training in all areas. The D License is a pass/fail course. It consists of thirty-six (36) hours of instruction. This course normally includes ten hours of theory and twenty six hours of practical sessions. The emphasis of the D course is geared toward coaches working with players U12 U18 years of age. ISA Coaching Course Registration Online registration for all ISA coaching courses is available at: Coaching Development Resources Coaching information is abundant on the internet and is usually the easiest way for coaches to access additional coaching information. Some of the better websites with information relevant to coaching in the U10/U12 age group are as follows:
10 4 Team Management Effective communication and coordination with the parents of your players will make the job of coaching a lot more enjoyable. The first step is to organize a parent-coach meeting prior to each season. Your parent/coach meeting should include the following: Identify your Philosophy of Coaching and Goals for the Season At the U10 and U12 age group your philosophy should be something similar to, Success and excellence for this team will be measured in the number of players who continue playing next season, how much they learn and develop during the season and how much fun they have. Winning is not a measure of success. Collect Player Information Medical information (asthma, allergies, etc.), family situations that may affect the child s participation or the ride home. Collect Parent Information It is important to be able to reach a parent in case of inclement weather or an injury. Coaches should obtain work and cell phone numbers and addresses of all parents. Identify Player Responsibilities Players must bring an inflated soccer ball and water to every practice. Discuss expectations of the players concerning attitude and sportsmanship. Identify Parent Responsibilities Discuss expectations of the parents concerning communication with the coach e.g. what is required if their child cannot attend a practice or game. Emphasize that although you will always remain behind with players if a parent is late; the expectation is that parents pick up their child immediately at the end of practice. In addition clarify schedules, snacks, uniforms, etc. Address Communication Issues If parents have concerns, encourage them to call or you on a non game or practice day and definitely not immediately after a game. Appoint a team coordinator and determine how all team communication will be undertaken. Parental Sideline Behavior Identify appropriate and inappropriate sideline behavior and decide together how inappropriate adult behavior on the touchlines will be addressed. Some topics of conversation concerning sideline behavior are as follows: Children want cheerleaders to applaud their success, not adults yelling instructions. Think of the soccer field as a playground and not as a sports venue. What s appropriate at a sport stadium with adult athletes is NOT appropriate for young children at play.
11 Focus on the process of playing and not the outcome. Unlike the adult game, kids playing soccer do not see the other team as the enemy. The other team is full of their friends friends from their school or their neighborhood. They are likely to be playing together in your backyard or in your den after the game. Cheer ANY and ALL success on the field. It DOES NOT matter which player OR team. Don t keep score, the kids don t regard it as that important. Don t care who wins or loses, they are having fun and that is the objective NOT winning or losing. Sportsmanship Here are six things you can discuss with your parents to show what sportsmanship really means: Cheer for all the children, even those on the other team. What a surprising difference it can make on the sidelines and in the stands when parents make an effort to applaud a good effort or a fine play no matter who makes it. Talk to parents of the other team. They are not the enemy. Be a parent, not a coach. Resist the urge to critique. Children dread their parents going over their performance in detail, pointing out all their mistakes. Sometimes just being there shows your children what being a good parent is all about. Leave the coaching to the coaches. Thank the officials. Find a few moments to compliment the officials for their hard work after a game (especially if your child's team loses) you will be rewarded with the pleasure of seeing a surprised smile in return. Keep soccer in its proper perspective. Soccer should not be larger than life for you. If your child's performance produces strong emotions in you, suppress them. Remember your relationship will continue with your children long after their youth soccer days are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child's experience. Have fun, that is what the children are trying to do! Four Red Flags for Parents Living Out Dreams A parent who is continuing to live personal athletic dreams through his/her child has not released his/her child to the game. Too Involved - If a parent tends to share in the credit when the child has done well in sport or has been victorious, the parent is too involved. Trying Too Hard If a parent is trying to continue to coach his child when the child probably knows more about the game than the parent does, he has not released the youth athlete. Too Serious A parent should realize that he is taking everything too seriously and has not released the child to the activity when the parent: is nervous before his/her child s game. becomes verbally critical of an official. has a difficult time bouncing back when the player s team suffers a defeat. makes mental notes during a game so he can give his/her child advice at the conclusion of the game. is evaluating his/her child s performance on the car ride home. Your child is playing to have fun, not to earn a grade! If he or she had fun, the day was a success
12 5 Planning Your Coaching Session The U10 Coaching Session Session duration: minutes 2 session per week All players must have a ball Necessary coaching equipment Cones, pinnies, pump, extra balls Session progression Warm up, match related or small sided activity, the game. Player equipment Ball, cleats, appropriate clothing, shin guards, water bottle Children in the U9 and U10 age group are entering the golden age of learning. They have the ability to remember complex instructions, which enables them to become better problem solvers, they also develop an ability to focus longer and stay on task. These factors need to be taken into consideration when designing your coaching session. The improvements in a child s cognitive and psychomotor abilities mean that coaches can, and should focus on teaching their players the key fundamental soccer techniques dribbling, passing shooting, heading, tackling, receiving and place a special emphasis on 1 v 1 activities. Your coaching session can follow two paths: 1. Non-Themed Session: In a non-themed session you can pick a variety of activities to be included in your session but still follow a progression of warm up, match related or small-sided activity and game. 2. Themed Session: 60% of your sessions in the U10 age group should have a technical theme and you should try to include all the key fundamental techniques during the season. Your choice of a theme may also be determined by what happens on game day especially if there is an obvious weakness in your team s play. You will still follow a progression of warm up, match related or small-sided activity and game. The U12 Coaching Session Session Duration 90 minutes 2 3 sessions per week Necessary coaching equipment Cones, pinnies, pump, extra balls Session progression Warm up, match related or small-sided activity Player equipment Ball, cleats, appropriate clothing, shin guards, water bottle Children in the U11 and U12 age group are still in the golden age of learning and it is vital that technical development be maintained as the focus in the majority of your coaching sessions. Children in this age can follow complex instructions, have enhanced tactical understanding (compared to younger players) and more importantly they now have the ability to come up with their own ideas of how to solve problems within the game.
13 U12 players must be exposed to as many-game like situations as possible during training therefore, much of your coaching session should consist of small sided games with various playing or field conditions placed upon the players. Examples of playing conditions can include: two -touch, one -touch only, cannot pass forward, cannot pass backwards etc. Examples of field conditions can include: smaller training area to make players play faster, long and thin training area to encourage players to play longer balls, short wide training area to encourage players to use width. U10 and U12 Coaching Session General Considerations The coach should arrive prior to the players and set up the practice area. Decide on a themed or general session. Ensure that you have a set coaching plan and know what you are trying to achieve in the session. Bring a cheat sheet of coaching points if necessary. Make sure the size of your training area is appropriate to the number of players at training and the physical capabilities of the players. Make sure you have pinnies, cones, ball pump, flags or larger cones for goals (or pop up goals), extra soccer balls, cell phone and a first aid kit. Your session should end with a non conditioned game. The final game at U10 should be 4 v4 without GKs or 5 v 5 with GKs. The final game at U12 should be 6 v 6 or 7 v 7 with GK s. U10s do not need to do plyometric or stretching movements during the warm-up, although it is beneficial to set good habits at such an early age. A warm-up for U12 players should include short stretches and lots of plyometric movement. Always end your U12 session with a cool down. Coaching Session Checklist Are the activities fun? o Players learn better in an enjoyable environment Are the players involved in the activities? o Players enjoy activities that present an achievable challenge. Activities that are too difficult will frustrate players and activities that are too easy will cause boredom. Players should be engaged at all times, and not waiting in lines to perform an activity. Are the activities specific to the game? o Sending the players to run around the field to warm up prior to the practice is not developmentally appropriate and, in addition, boring. o Warm up activities should include lots of movement and numerous touches on the ball. Is the coach s feedback appropriate? o It is important to encourage young players. Positive feedback will encourage players to continue to try.
14 6 Game Day Responsibilities Arrive at the field at least 15 minutes prior to the time you told the players to arrive. Make sure you bring player cards, emergency medical information and medical release forms for each player. A link to a sample medical release form is listed in the additional resources section on page 32. Check the playing surface and equipment for safety e.g. objects on the field, goals are secured. Make sure you have a game ball that is properly inflated. Confirm the number of players available. Organize a warm up for your players lots of movement not just kicking on goal. Organize the players for referee check- in. Provide information to your players concerning the formation you want them to play and expectations for that game. Coordinate your player rotation to make sure all players receive equal playing time and experience different positions. Make sure all your comments are very positive. Make sure each player drinks water and stays hydrated. Under no circumstances should children be made to stand in a position, stand on a line or in a certain area. Players must remain fluid at all times.
15 7 U10 and U12 Games/Activities and Themed Lesson Plans The following chapter includes games/activities and themed lesson plans for U10 and U12 players. The games/activities and lesson plans shown are age specific but in many instances the U10 examples can be used for U12 players and vice versa. Therefore, coaches are encouraged to review both sections to find appropriate content for their coaching sessions. Adjust the size of the training area accordingly to make sure your practices work. Activity Key:
16 U10 Games/Activities 1. 1 v1 Dribbling to Multi Goals Organization: Players in groups of 2 with one ball per group. Create a circle of goals around the players. Attackers try to beat defenders and score in any of the goals. Goals can only be scored from the inside of the circle outwards and never in the back of the goal. If a player scores they must then attack another goal. The same goal cannot be attacked twice in succession. If the defender wins the ball they become the attacker. Play for 60 second and whoever scores the most goals wins. 2. Multi Goal Passing Organization: Set up random goals (cones 2-3 yards apart) within the playing area. Divide the players into pairs with one ball between each pair. On the coach s command the players try to score as many goals as possible by passing the ball through the goals to their partner and then moving to the next goal. Play 60 second rounds and then tally up the goals. Progression challenge the players by asking them to pass the ball through the goals in different ways e.g. outside of foot, heading, diving header, feed and volley.
17 3. Target Ball Organization: 40 x 30 training area. Divide players into two equal teams. A set number of target balls are balanced on cones and distributed randomly throughout the training area. An additional number of balls are placed outside of the training area. One team attacks and one team defends. The attacking team tries to dislodge as many target balls as possible. The defending team tries to protect the cones and win possession of the ball. If the defending team wins the ball they play it outside of the training area. The attacking team has a set number of balls to dislodge as many target balls as possible but there can only be one ball in the training area at any one time. After a team has used all their balls the teams switch roles. The team that s knocks over the most target balls wins the game. 4. MLS Shootout Organization: 40 x 30 training area with large goals, GKs and two balls placed in the center of the filed. Divide players into two equal teams, numbered 1-4 and stationed diagonally opposite on each end line. The coach calls out a number and those players must run through the cone gates before entering the field. The first player to score wins.
18 5. Olympics Organization: Three teams of 3 players plus a GK. Game is played to one goal. The coach has a number of balls ready to play in. Each team of three picks a country name. When team scores they run off the field and yell their country name. The first team to score gets a gold medal. The remaining two teams play for silver and bronze. Play five or six times and see who is at the top of the medal table. 6. Partner Pass Tag Organization: Players pair up and share a ball. One pair does not have a ball and they hold a pinnie between them. They are it. They try to tag anybody that has a ball. Pairs that have a ball can only pass to each other. If someone that has a ball gets tagged, they, along with their partner become it and the it players now take their ball and try to prevent being tagged.
19 7. Balls Galore Organization: 4 v 4 plus GKS in a 40 x 30 training area. Play a normal small-sided game with the exception of playing with multiple balls fed in by the coach. 8. Four Goal Game Organization: Play 5 v 5 in a 40 x 30 training area. Players defend and attack two goals.
20 9. Get Outta Here Organization: 30 x 20 training area. Divide players into two equal teams. Each team stands to the right and left of the coach outside the field. The Coach has all of the balls. Each team sends two players out at a time. Two small goals are on each end. Coach plays ball in. Whichever team scores stays. If the ball goes out of bounds, they are both out of there and two players from each team step on. If a team has too many players on the field when the coach plays in a new ball, then it is a penalty kick. 10. Boss of the Balls Organization: Play 4 v 4 or 5 v 5 to small goals in a 30 x 40 field. The coach is in the middle of the field and on the side. Coach is the boss of the balls. Anytime the ball goes out, the players simply leave it and the coach plays in another one. Coach continues this until all of the balls are gone. The coach then tells the players to retrieve them as fast as they can.
21 U12 Games/Activities 1. Tail Tag Organization: In a 25 x 25 training area. Each player has a tail (pinnie tucked into the back of their shorts). On the coach s command, each player tries to steal the other players tails and if they win a tail they throw it on the ground. When a player loses their tail they continue to play as the winner is last player left with a pinnie. A variation is for player to keep the pinnies they steal and see who can collect the most pinnies. Players cannot steal a pinnie from another player s hands. Progression: Play the same game while dribbling a ball. 2. Defrost Tag Organization: Divide players into two equal teams. One team starts on the outside of the training area, each player with a ball and the other team starts inside the training area without a ball. The team outside the area dribbles into the area and tries to hit players from the other team below the knee.. Once a player is hit, they become frozen and must stand with their legs apart. The objective is freeze the entire team as quickly as possible. A frozen player can only get defrosted when a teammate crawls through their legs. When a player is crawling through a player s legs they are safe until the crawl is over. See which team can freeze the other team fastest.
22 3. Ball Retrieve in Threes or Fours Organization: Players in groups of 3 or 4 with one ball per group in approximately half a soccer field. Each group dribbles their ball to the coach who tosses the ball away. The groups of players must return the ball to the coach with each player touching the ball at least once. The coach then asks the groups to return the ball in different ways e.g. juggling, passing outside of foot only, heading etc. Variation: The coach may move and change position which encourages players to look up. 4. Pacman Organization: One player with a ball (Pacman) outside the area and the rest within a 25 x 20 yard area. All the other players run freely within the area. On the coach s command the player with the ball dribbles into the area and tries to hit the other players below the knees by passing the ball at them. Once a player is hit, they go outside the area to get a ball and become the second Pacman. Game continues until all but one player is left who is the Pacman for the next game.
23 5. Elbow Tag Organization: Players in pairs with their elbows hooked standing in a circle. The other hand is on the waist and elbow bent. The coach separates one pair and gives a pinnie to one player, while the other runs free. The player with the cone/pinnie chases the free player and tries to tag them. If the chaser tags the player being chased, they must throw away the pinnie and the player that was tagged must pick up the pinnie and then they become the chaser. The player being chased tries to stay safe by hooking onto the elbow of another pair. Once this occurs the player on the opposite end must leave and is now chased by the chaser. Players must stay within one step of the outside of the circle and can go anywhere inside the circle. 6. Pong Organization: Two players play against each other and share a ball. They place two cones anywhere from 2-8 yards apart. They choose! Players pass back and forth to each other. The ball must never stop, must always stay on the ground, and must go through the two cones without touching them. Whenever this is violated the other person receives a point. Players must play 1 or 2 touch. The closer the two cones are, the closer the pairs are probably going to be. The farther apart they are, the more they will have to move laterally and look more like the old arcade Pong game. Play to see who can become the PONG Champ!
24 7. Triangle Game Organization: Divide players into two equal teams with three GKs. Using cones or flags create a triangle in the middle of your training area with a GK on each line. The sides of the triangle should be approximately 8-10 yards apart. Use up to half a field with no out of bounds. A goal may be scored on any side of the triangle below the shoulder height of the GK. 8. Multi Goal End Line Game Organization: Divide players into two equal team on a 30 x 40 yard fields. Place three goals on each end of the training area. Players score by dribbling through one of the multiple goals on the opponent s end line.
25 9. Corner Gates Organization: Divide players into two equal teams on a 30 x 40 yard filed. Make diagonal goals with flags or cones in each corner of the field. When a goal is scored or the ball goes out of bounds, the coach plays in a new ball to keep the game flowing. The object of the game is to score through any of the 4 corner goals by passing or shooting. Progression: Assign each team two goals to attack and two goals to defend. 10. Kick The Can Organization: Divide players into two equal teams. Use up to half a field with no out of bounds and a trash can in the middle of the field. Score a goal when you hit the barrel. The game is continuous and continues even when a goal is scored. If players congregate around the can place a 2 yard circle around the can that players cannot enter. Condition: Can only score with a first time finish.
26 Topic: U10 - Dribbling To Beat an Opponent Warm Up- Multi Goal Dribbling Organization Set up random goals (Cones 2-3 yards apart) - 25 x 25 yard training area Each player has a ball Players try to score as many goals as possible by dribbling through the goals Introduce moves: Step-over, Matthews etc. Players must perform a move before going through a goal Key Coaching Points Close Control Change of Pace - Accelerate through the cones Change of direction Body fakes/eye fakes Small Sided Activity 1 v 1 Training area 20 x 15 yards with small goals Organize the players into two teams of five, numbered 1-5 on opposite end lines The coach calls out a number, feeds a ball and those two players play 1 v 1 to two small goals Coach can call 2 numbers or 2 numbers from one team and 1 from the other to create numbers up situations All previous coaching points Go directly at the defender Try to make the defender commit to the ball When and where to fake Vision and awareness dribbling with head up Accelerate into the space past the defender Small Sided Activity - 5 v 5 to End Zones Divide players into two equal teams. Training area 30 x 40 yards with end zones A player scores by dribbling and controlling the ball over the other teams end line There are no throw-ins or kick-ins. If the ball goes out of bounds the coach feeds in a new ball Condition Cannot pass forward All previous coaching points Positive first touch Recognize 1 v 1 situations quickly The Game 4 v 4 + keepers No conditions Encourage players to recognize 1 v 1 situations and to dribble at opponents in appropriate areas
27 Topic: U10 Shooting Warm Up Organization Set up two goals and two 10 x 10 yard boxes yards out from the goals. Divide the players into two teams of four in each box with GKs and number them 1-4 The players dribble in their respective boxes until the coach calls out a number. Those players then dribble towards their designated goal and the first one to score wins 1 point. First team to five wins the game. Conditions Specify which foot to shoot with. Key Coaching Points Selection of surface - Inside placement v instep - power Position of non kicking foot Ankle locked Hips to goal Follow through to goal Body weight over ball Match Related Activity Double penalty box training area. Each player with a ball. Groups of players at each diagonally opposite post. Train different kinds of shots: 1 v 1, distance, off the dribble, off the turn, combination play etc All previous coaching points Finish quickly but be composed Power v Placement Vision and awareness GK position Small Sided Activity 3-1 To Goal Double penalty box training area. 3 v 1 in each half. Players must stay in their own half of the field. The 3 try to score on the GK at the opposite end. If the defender wins the ball they must pass to their teammates in the opposite half. Defenders cannot score. Condition - 2 touch. Condition defenders can score. All previous coaching points Preparation touch Recognize shooting opportunities Body shape facing goal Proper pass to set up teammate Combination play to set up yourself The Game 5 v 5 + Keepers Encourage a shooting mentality.
28 Topic: U12 - Receiving Warm Up Organization Split group into 2 equal teams Half on the outside start with a ball Players in the middle check to a ball The receiving player takes a touch and plays the ball directly back to the serving player After the pass the player must check to the center of the grid and then receive the ball from another server Rotate inside and outside players regularly Key Coaching Points Change of speed to meet pass On your toes to receive the ball Cushion the first touch Communication Eye contact between passer and receiver Match Related Activity Small Sided Activity 6 v 6 To Targets As above, but two more players on the outside than on the inside Two servers on the outside start without a ball The inside players check to receive a ball, they turn or take their first touch to space and then pass to a player on the outside without a ball After each pass, players check back to the middle Progression - Players in the middle now tracked by a defender Progression - Feed the balls in the air Rotate inside and outside players regularly 40 x 30 Training Area 6 v Targets. Target players may run the whole length of the end line Players score by passing the ball to the hands or feet of their designated target player If a target player receives the ball they must then pass to an opposition player Condition - Can only play to the target in the final third of the field Condition - 2 touch restriction Get into the line of flight of the ball Receive side-on or square on dependant upon the pressure Check behind as you receive the ball First touch into space Check to create space Encourage the server to lead the player and pass the ball to the correct foot Awareness of where the defender is Selection of surface to control the ball All above coaching points Set up forward pass with your first touch Play to the target as early as possible The Game 6 v 6 + Keepers
29 Topic: U12 Long Passing Warm Up Organization Divide players into groups of three Two players on each end line and one in the middle An end player (1) passes long to the other end line The receiving player (2)takes a touch and plays the ball to the central player who is providing support The central player makes a short return pass (3) to the end player who plays it long to the other end and now takes on the role as the central support player Start the sequence with shorter passes to warm up the players Key Coaching Points Selection of surface (inside for short and instep for distance) Good preparation touch out from feet Placement of non-kicking foot Follow through to target Approach ball at an angle Small Sided Activity Small Sided Activity 6 v 6 To Targets 3 teams of 4 players in three marked training areas Play 4 v 1 in one end grid with the defending player coming from the central training area Attackers have to play three short passes and then play a long ball to the furthest training area If the long pass is successful the team scores one point and different defender from the central training area must now defend If the pass is unsuccessful or the defender wins the ball, the players from the central training area switch with the team that lost the ball and the game restarts in the furthest training area Progression Play 4 v 2 40 x 30 Training Area 6 v Targets. Target must stay in the coned area and can be GKS Players score by passing the ball to the hands of their designated target player. If a target player receives the ball they must then pass to an opposition player. Condition Target must receive the ball above head high from a lofted pass Condition Target must receive the ball above waist high from a driven pass Condition Successful passes made form within the defensive half count as 2 goals All above coaching points Selection of pass Driven or lofted Driven passes Toe down and strike through the ball Lofted pass Strike the ball below center Vision and body shape to play the pass early All above coaching points Set up forward pass with your first touch Match Condition Activity 6 v 6 + Keepers
30 8 Additional Resources U.S. Soccer: Best Practices for Coaching Soccer in the United States U.S. Soccer s Coaching Education Department has released a new publication designed to give youth and junior level soccer coaches in the United States a set of fundamental tools to help open up the game of soccer to young players in ways that celebrate the sport s spontaneous qualities. The 70-page Best Practices for Coaching Soccer is available at: Iowa Soccer Association Resources A medical release form and coaching code of ethics, as well as many other team management resources are available at: Rule books, additional lesson plans, and the opportunity to order a free Positive Parenting DVD is available at Iowa Soccer Association U10/U12 Recreational Coaching Manual By Ian Bradley, State Director of Coaching, Iowa Soccer Association Special thanks to Sam Snow, Director of Coaching US Youth Soccer Association and Frank Trovato, Director of Coaching Alaska Youth Soccer Association for their help and assistance with this manual. If you have any questions, please contact Ian Bradley at or by at Updated January 2007
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