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Coaching tips

Soccer coaching and the very young child

1. Overview Coaching children under six years of age presents some additional challenges due to their immaturity, short attention span, and less developed muscles. You will also need to deal ...

Give your players confidence!

How a coach can build respect and long lasting relationships in women's soccer Giving players your confidence builds theirs. Being the first to consistently show confidence in and respect for ...

Five ways to streamline your practice

Many of today's youth soccer clubs are limited to between one and three practices per week. Although there are a few clubs that are fortunate enough to train more than ...

Characteristics of ten and eleven year old soccer players

They begin to develop the abilities to sustain complex, coordinated skill sequences. Some of the players have reached puberty. Girls, in general, arrive earlier than boys. Most players are able ...

Coaching style

Being a coach, like anything else, is a matter of "wearing a different hat." It is not the same thing as being a parent, a fan or a role model. The ...

Characteristics of twelve to fourteen year old soccer players

Training Boys and girls at this age ... "shoot up" in height when they enter puberty. This rapid growth creates an imbalance between the length of their torso and legs; ...

Characteristics of six to ten year old soccer players

Six to eight...the wonder years Attention span is a not at a "competitive" stage. Inclined towards small group activities. Always in motion: scratching; blinking; jerking; rocking.... Easily bruised psychologically. They ...

What makes a GOOD soccer coach?

Introduction It's a subject that we think we know a lot about - how to coach youth soccer. But what do parents look for in their son or daughter's team ...

What sort of soccer coach are you?

Do you ever wonder how to evaluate yourself and your coaching style? This test - provided by the National Institute for Child Centred Coaching - should give you some idea ...

The craft of coaching

Adapted from an article published by The National Soccer Coaches Association of America Bill Beswick, renowned sports psychologist formerly of Manchester United and now with Middlesborough FC, said: “A good ...

Key objectives for 8-10 year olds

A lot of coaches write to me asking what they should teach their players and in what order. This article summarises what I consider to be the eight most important ...

Are you coaching? Or directing?

Introduction We've all been there. The whistle goes for the match to begin and the shouting starts. "Don't pass it across your goal!!"..."move!"..."pass the ball"..."get wide!"...."kick it OUT!!!" Even (shudder) ...

15 top soccer coaching tips

Coaching junior and youth soccer is a tremendous honour. Watching young players develop their soccer skills and grow into confident, young people is a very satisfying pastime. So to help ...

Introducing the concept of space to young soccer players

by Bob Christensen Since I assume you are playing on a smaller soccer field, and likely with fewer players, space can be a rare commodity with young children. Add that ...

Coaching tips and advice

Coachig tips and advice

Coachig tips and advice

Soccer coaching and the very young child

1. Overview Coaching children under six years of age presents some additional challenges due to their immaturity, short attention span, and less developed muscles. You will also need to deal ...

Give your players confidence!

How a coach can build respect and long lasting relationships in women's soccer Giving players your confidence builds theirs. Being the first to consistently show confidence in and respect for ...

Five ways to streamline your practice

Many of today's youth soccer clubs are limited to between one and three practices per week. Although there are a few clubs that are fortunate enough to train more than ...

Characteristics of ten and eleven year old soccer players

They begin to develop the abilities to sustain complex, coordinated skill sequences. Some of the players have reached puberty. Girls, in general, arrive earlier than boys. Most players are able ...

Coaching style

Being a coach, like anything else, is a matter of "wearing a different hat." It is not the same thing as being a parent, a fan or a role model. The ...

Characteristics of twelve to fourteen year old soccer players

Training Boys and girls at this age ... "shoot up" in height when they enter puberty. This rapid growth creates an imbalance between the length of their torso and legs; ...

Characteristics of six to ten year old soccer players

Six to eight...the wonder years Attention span is a not at a "competitive" stage. Inclined towards small group activities. Always in motion: scratching; blinking; jerking; rocking.... Easily bruised psychologically. They ...

What makes a GOOD soccer coach?

Introduction It's a subject that we think we know a lot about - how to coach youth soccer. But what do parents look for in their son or daughter's team ...

What sort of soccer coach are you?

Do you ever wonder how to evaluate yourself and your coaching style? This test - provided by the National Institute for Child Centred Coaching - should give you some idea ...

The craft of coaching

Adapted from an article published by The National Soccer Coaches Association of America Bill Beswick, renowned sports psychologist formerly of Manchester United and now with Middlesborough FC, said: “A good ...

Key objectives for 8-10 year olds

A lot of coaches write to me asking what they should teach their players and in what order. This article summarises what I consider to be the eight most important ...

Are you coaching? Or directing?

Introduction We've all been there. The whistle goes for the match to begin and the shouting starts. "Don't pass it across your goal!!"..."move!"..."pass the ball"..."get wide!"...."kick it OUT!!!" Even (shudder) ...

15 top soccer coaching tips

Coaching junior and youth soccer is a tremendous honour. Watching young players develop their soccer skills and grow into confident, young people is a very satisfying pastime. So to help ...

Introducing the concept of space to young soccer players

by Bob Christensen Since I assume you are playing on a smaller soccer field, and likely with fewer players, space can be a rare commodity with young children. Add that ...

On your bike!

This drill was  adapted from a game in The Ultimate Football Warm-Ups Manual.

Objective: To practice passing and receiving skills.

Set-up: Put your players into pairs. One ball per pair.

Place three flat cones in a short line.

How to play:

One player is a server and his partner works round the cones.

The player working must go forward to receive a pass then back-pedal up and around the cones in order to receive another pass on the opposite side.

The players work for 30 seconds on the following:

1. First-time pass back with left foot.

2. First-time pass back with right foot.

3. Bouncing serve and a half-volley return with left foot.

4. Bouncing serve and a half-volley return with right foot.

5. Aerial serve and a volley return with left foot.

6. Aerial serve and a volley return with right foot.

7. Aerial serve and head the ball back.

When the sequence is complete, swap the players round.

Coaching notes: Players should work at speed but accuracy is also important.

  • Make the game competitive by seeing which pair can get through the entire sequence without making a mistake.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.

Walking the dog

Walking the Dog is a great way to introduce ball control and dribbling to very young football players.

It also encourages the development of spatial awareness and soccer vision.

Even children as young as two or three will learn how to keep the ball close to them while running and I’ve used this game with children as “old” as 10!

Set up: Scatter lots of flat cones in two different colours in a large playing area. In this example, I’ve used green and white cones.

Every player has a ball.

How to play: Tell your players their ball is a dog.

Now ask them to give their dog a name. Have some fun with this! Who can think of the silliest name for a dog?

Now it’s time to take the “dogs” for a walk.

Tell your players the white cones are lamp posts and the green cones are trees.

To begin with, the dogs want to sniff every lamp post. This means players have to run with the ball and pause beside every white cone.

Then: “It’s raining! Get your dog under the ‘trees’!”

Now the players run with their ball to the green cones.

Variations:

  • Dribble with both feet (or just their weaker foot).
  • Who can get under a tree the quickest? You don’t want to get wet!
  • Who can let their dogs sniff the most lamp posts in 20 seconds?

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.