Following are several practice plans formed from US Youth
Soccer activities. The practices are designed for specific ages. In
general, activities that are designed for younger teams can be used
for an older team as well. However, it would not be a good idea to
take a practice designed for a U12 team and try to make it work for
a U6 team.
Often, activities for the younger children can be manipulated
or changed to make them more complicated and more appropriate for an
older age level. The game Ball Retrieval is a good example. With 8
year olds, many of the tasks that the children are asked to do are
not directly soccer related (bring the ball back with your elbows).
In addition, the activities are done individually or possibly in
pairs. For 12 year olds, the activities require more soccer skill
(bring the ball back in six passes) and are done in groups of four
rather than individually. Something as simple as placing a
restriction on the activity like, “You can only dribble with your
right foot”, would make the activity more challenging and
appropriate for an older team as well.
In addition, I have written down some commonly asked questions
many coaches have. I would suggest reading all of them as they
contain some valuable information. Soccer has some distinct
qualities that make coaching it different than any other sport. In
addition, an incredibly large amount of research has been done to
find out what is the best way to teach soccer to children. Some of
the questions deal with that concept.
As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to
contact me. Or, if you do not agree with something or do not
understand why something would be done that way, please let me know
and I will go into more detail why US Youth Soccer believes soccer
should be coached in that manner.
Thank you for all the time and effort that you put in to be a
youth soccer coach!