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Expectations of a U6 Player

Expectations of a U6 Player

Achievable Targets

Unachievable Targets

Children will be spatially unaware

Have fun

Understanding positions

Can be afraid of both ball and opponent. Most players tend to cry when they get hurt, some when they just simply lose the ball

Feel a sense of achievement touching the soccer ball

Do not understand about passing to teammates

Short attention span

Concentration period very limited (approximately 2-3 minutes)

Paint the picture. Children will understand a picture or demonstration easier than the coach talking

Children will not sit down and listen to lots of information. KISS – Keep It Short and Simple

Physical characteristics developing constantly

Very energetic, work hard but only for short periods of time. Get out of breath easily

Can only play for short periods of time before needing a rest

Kick ball with no direction

Beginning to learn the process of passing the soccer ball

Directed pass to a teammate

Tactics very limited

Understand they should be attaching and trying to put ball in opposite goal

Do not understand about going to the goal often they will go round in circles all bumble bees around the ball

Expectations of a U8 Player

Expectations of a U8 Player

Achievable Targets

Unachievable Targets

Attention span longer than U6

Can retain small quantities of information

Still cannot retain large chunks of information. Essential to still use the KISS principle

Players still selfish but starting to understand the concept of working with a teammate

Begin to understand the team concept

Understand about passing to teammates but only rough version of passing will be achieved at this age.

Players are very eager to impress the coach they want to be liked.

Children respond to positive re-enforcement and improve quicker through this type of coaching

Children do not understand negative remarks and take criticism personal. This can mean the child stops playing

Cardiovascular system not fully developed

At this age can only work hard for small periods of time

Keep practice moving, cannot work for long periods and get out of breath quickly. Need more water breaks

Coordination and speed have improved

Can now understand about stopping a ball and passing it off

Do not expect combination passes or a sequence of passes

Will begin to ask multiple questions

Tries to understand what is expected of him/her

Verbal answers will not always be understood. Whenever possible, use demonstrations

Expectations of a U10 Player

Expectations of a U10 Player

Achievable Targets

Unachievable Targets

Motor skills becoming more refined

Balance flexibility and strength improving, thus enabling the child to perform more complex tasks. Some children can juggle a ball 100 times.

Strike a ball in the air over a distance of 20 years consistently

Learning will take place at different stages in young children

Everyone will learn and improve as a soccer player

Children learn and develop differently. Do not expect everyone to learn at the same rate. Remember practice makes perfect

Have the ability to stay at tasks longer

Can listen longer, take basic instruction, and begin to understand what is expected of them

Children by now are becoming more deliberate in their recall memory. They still become bored quickly. KISS – Keep It Short and Simple

Have the ability now to think in advance and begin to anticipate where the ball will be

Can now hold a certain position., e.g. if you play on the left wing you should stay on the left.

Only has limited soccer experience, although understands the concepts of positions still gets pulled out of position by following the ball instead of the player

Can identify with a team and begin to make friends. Socialization becomes very important.

Learn new skills, have fun and make new friends.

If situations are left to develop, children form groups and leave players behind as they may not fit socially. This should be allowed to occur

Repetition of skills becomes very important to ensure players can perform certain tasks under pressure

Have the ability to perform the basic tasks of soccer:  dribble, pass and shoot; however, repetition is still important to improve these skills

Under pressure in game situations, these skills break down. Remember practice makes perfect.

Expectations of a U12 Player

Expectations of a U12 Player

Achievable Targets

Unachievable Targets

Children begin to develop complex coordination skill sequences

Children can now transfer techniques learned on the training field onto the soccer field.

Do not always make good decisions when to utilize skill learned. Can also often break down in game situations

Some players have reached puberty; girls generally arrive earlier than boys

All children go through different emotions at this age. The coach must show care and consideration

Behavior traits will be very difference. Some children may become boisterous and uncontrollable while others will be very quiet and not say a word. Everyone is different

Children at this age have developed a conscience and have a sense of moral values

Coach is a role model and should encourage sportsmanship and fair play

You can make the child appreciate your moral values but you cannot control them when they enter the soccer field

Most players can now think abstractly and are no able to understand basic tactics

Can fully appreciate the approach to goal and understands combination play can be a way of getting to the goal quicker

Understands team concepts but can often break down with forwards for example being constantly caught off side

Players love the thrill of scoring a goal

Coach ensures all players have a chance to score a goal. Play players in lots of positions

Success rate on shooting can be less than one in every six shots. This can be due to the fact that children do not know when to use the power shot and when to pass the ball into the net

Realize the importance of attacking and winning the ball back

Confrontation is no longer an issue. Players know the importance of closing a player down and winning the ball back

Some children will still be shy and timid. Be patient with them

Expectations of a U14+ Player

Expectations of a U14+ Player

Achievable Targets

Unachievable Targets

Begins to understand outside factors can affect game situations

Prepare players for different scenarios, weather conditions, early nights, arriving early for games. Taking care of the little things takes care of the bigger situations that happen in a game

Kids will be kids and will time and time again do things they are not supposed to do. Secondly, you have no control over your star player becoming sick the night before a big game. Have a backup plan

To create and take goal scoring opportunities

To understand when to use the power shot and when to place the ball in the net

Children can break down mentally, physically, and psychologically in front of goal. Be patient and build confidence

Players that have been trained from an early age have very good technique of the basic skills

Begin to understand when to use the different techniques on the field of play. For example, when to use the speed dribble or shield dribble

Technique and skill can often break down under pressure; therefore, practice should now contain lots of game related activity

To be able to solve situations that occur in a soccer match

Children now have the experience to recall different situations that have happened in past games. From these experiences, children can adapt to how the game is progressing

The coach still has to have control as he/she will need to decide the tactics and help make the players realize their responsibilities.

Begin to understand the team concept in a more advanced manner

Defending as a unit. For example, defending as a back four and not individuals

Again tactics need to be worked on, and working under pressure will improve play. However, mistakes are common and when defending as unit, players sometimes follow the ball instead of their mark.

The Soccer Association for Youth

USA National Headquarters

One North Commerce Park Drive

Suite 306-320

Cincinnati, OH 45215




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