"Soccer coaching tips for coaches working with U6 - U12

Finding good soccer coaching tips means staying on the look out for the latest and greatest. I am always looking for little coaching nuggets that can help me communicate better with the kids, make my soccer practices flow or incorporating new sessions into my philosophy.

I would like to share some of the nuggets that have helped make the teams and kids I have coached successful. I believe that my responsibility is to make sure that my kids are ready to play when they move to another coach or team or just stay and play for my club.

Below is some of the philosophy that I have adopted in learning from the coaches that I played for as a youngster, coaches I have worked along side and clinics I have have attended .

So what motivates kids to play soccer?

Soccer coaching tips: The number one reason that kids quit soccer is they were not having fun. So, how do we as coaches put the fun into the game? The coach needs to look for little ways to make it fun and combine the fun with skills and small sided games to teach the soccer.

No technique no tactics

Why is technique in the game of soccer so important?

Young soccer players that cannot dribble, pass, control the soccer ball, head or shoot have very little chance of putting together any meaningful play at a decent level. The players have to be able to keep the soccer ball by dribbling and passing the ball inside the soccer field to be successful. We as coaches can work on tactics all day, but if the kids can't play they will eventually run into a team that can play.

So, what techniques should we focus on with players that are U6 -U12?

Soccer coaching tips: There is nothing like playing against a team that can possess - keeps the soccer ball - with your kids chasing the other team around trying to get the soccer ball back - not much fun!

"Practice does not make perfect it only
makes permanent. Only perfect practice
makes perfect."

Perfecting technique is a never ending process through out a soccer players career, not just at the younger age groups.

The most important thing at the younger age groups is that the players build a solid base to work from so, the coaches that come down the line can build on what the kids have learned, as I stated earlier.

We have now established the fact that kids need to learn the basic skills and get better with the soccer ball. So, how do we combine teaching skills and teaching the game? Teaching the game and learning technique all goes hand in hand...once the players have learned a technique they should have a chance to experiment with the technique in a small sided game.

Soccer coaching tips:

Once the players have learned how to use the technique against and opponent it is now a skill in my book. How long this takes is normally up to the individual player. Some players get it very quickly and it takes some players a little longer. This requires some patience on the coaches part.

" The game is the teacher
therefore the greatest

Kids at the younger age groups U6 - U10 are smaller physically, building skills and still trying to grasp the game mentally. The soccer field was made for adult males so the kids have to do a lot of running just to stay in the game. On a big field the kids get fewer touches on the soccer ball, which means less development.

So, this is why the other countries and the US and more specifically USYSA has gone to smaller fields with smaller #'s on the fields. Lots of associations and States have followed suit and this is benefiting our kids.

Enough with the history lesson lets get into some of the reasons why the kids benefit from smaller fields.

  • The kids get lots of touches with the soccer ball on the smaller soccer field.
  • Play with smaller #'s so they can learn a shape like a triangle - 3v3 or a diamond shape like 4v4.
  • Make lots of decisions with the soccer ball.
  • Kids have lots of fun because they are involved in the game meaning they get to play with the soccer ball.

Even at the older age groups most games are small sided when the players practice. The players get more touches on the soccer ball, which leads to more decision making, which is the key to teaching kids how to play soccer. Here are some fun games that kids will love.

Soccer coaching tips: The coach should take into consideration the age group and skill level of the kids.

U6 players - U8 players

U10 players - U12 players

Now we have a basic understanding of small sided games and how they fit into soccer practice and help players develop as players. Checkout how to set up a soccer practice.

"Coaches are successful by
design, not by chance."

Setting up a good soccer practice requires a little bit of thought on the coaches part. Now that the coach has learned what skills to teach he or she can combine the soccer skills training with small sided games like the ones listed above. Here are a few areas of consideration...

Soccer coaching tips: Determine what age group you are working with and decide how you are going to set up the soccer practice. Age appropriate exercises for the kids are important, but remember the coach will always get varying degree of skill levels at the younger ages. So the coaches job is to figure out how to challenge the better players and bring the less experienced kids along.

The coach will be given a space for the soccer practice by your association or club depending where you live. A couple of things to consider...

  • Try not to share boundaries with other teams.
  • Try and face your goals so balls do not drop into another teams soccer practice.

Here are a few more tips on the how to set up a good soccer practice soccer practice.

Soccer coaching tips:

Soccer equipment is pretty easy to find and not very complicated if you are in need of ideas and suggestions on soccer equipment check out my page on soccer equipment.

"Soccer is a game of opposites,
attack/defense, art/science"

Soccer coaching tips: Now the coach has all that he or she needs to run a successful soccer practice for kid soccer players. Once the players have had a few soccer practices they will be ready for the first game.

Here are a few tips on soccer games...

The soccer game is the report card to see where the players are in their technique, shape and psychology.

  • Find a soccer shape.
  • Run the kids through a fun warm up.
  • Keep the half time talk to 3 points or less.
  • Teach the kids how to organize themselves. How to push out of the back.Winning the 50/50 balls.Encouraging the players to beat players 1 on 1.

Soccer coaching tips: At the younger ages getting to carried away with coaching shape or positions can stifle the kids - give them a basic foundation and let them play. For more tips on the soccer game visit my page on soccer game day.

I hope this was helpful in getting you going coaching the game of youth soccer? Please leave me some feedback below or on face book or through one of my forms on my contact me page.

Thanks and happy coaching!

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Coaches soccer equipment.

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Coaches, do you want to make soccer fun and motivate your players? Soccer patches are a great motivational tool that can be used for goals, assists, good defending or skills competitions. The kids love patches!!