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					Baton Rouge Soccer Association




          Under 9 and 10
        Coaches and Parents
             Handout
                            Table of Content
Mission Statement

Age Group Characteristics

A Typical U10 Training Session

Tips For A Good Practice

Things You Need For Your Practice

Basic Information and Tips For Beginning Coaches

Rules of Competition

Training Ideas – Activities/Small Sided Games
Mission Statement:
      To provide our youth membership the most rewarding and fun filled playing
      environment!

Characteristics of a U10 soccer player – Fourth & Fifth Grade

Psychomotor Development:

         Boys and Girls begin to develop separately.
         Ability to stay physically active increased.
         More prone than adults to heat injury.
         Affected by accelerated heat loss, increasing risk of hypothermia.
         Gross and small motor skills become more refined.
         Greater diversity in playing ability.
         Physically mature individuals demonstrate stronger motor skills.
         Children make rapid gains in learning and function at increasingly
          sophisticated levels in the performance movement skills.

Cognitive Development:

         Some children begin moving from concrete operational to formal operational
          stage.
         Lengthened attention span, ability to sequence thought and actions.
         Pace factor becoming developed (starting to think ahead).
         Intrinsically motivated to play
         Demonstrate increased responsibility:
              - Bring ball and water to practice
              - Tuck in jersey & pull socks up
              - “Carry own stuff”
         Starting to recognize fundamental tactical concepts such as changing direction
          of the ball.
         Repetitive Technique very important, but it MUST BE DYNAMIC NOT
          STATIC!

Psychosocial Development:

         May initiate play on their own.
         Continued positive reinforcement needed.
         Explanations must still be brief, concise and purposeful.
         Becoming more serious about “their play.”
         Peer pressure significant.
         Team identification important.
         Adult outside of the family may take on added significance
General Characteristics of Children Nine & Ten Years of Age

         Lengthened attention span.
         Team oriented.
         Still in motion, but not as busy…will hold still long enough for a short
          explanation.
         Psychologically becoming more firm and confident.
         Boys and girls beginning to develop separately.
         Gross and small motor skills becoming much more refined.
         Prefer team type balls and equipment.
         PACE FACTOR BECOMING DEVELOPED – DO THINK AHEAD.
         Some are becoming serious about their play.
         Enjoy the uniforms, team association.
         Are now more inclined toward wanting to play rather than being told to play

Typical U10 Training Session

         Should not exceed 1:15
         15 minutes - Warm-up, each player with a ball, stretching and soccernastics.
         Introduce partner activities.
         40 minutes – A mixture of individual and partner activities. Add more maze-
          type games, introduce target games.
         20 minutes - Conclude with small-sided game 4v4, 5v5 to two goals, no
          goalkeepers


Tips For A Good Practice

         Keep it Fun! Kids love playing games and keeping score.
         Select and play activities that are more game line.
         Limit activities that incorporate lines. Everyone should stay active and
          participate.
         Maximize “touché” on the ball. At least 100 touches per practice for each
          player.
         Teach proper technique and emphasize games that practice technique or
          simulate play or playing situations.
         Play games by keeping time (i.e., so they last 1,3, or 5 minutes) or by keeping
          score (i.e., first to 3, 12, etc. wins).
         Praise effort, improvement and good attitude. Measure each player’s
          performance by his/her personal improvement and effort, and not by
          comparing them to someone else. Try to motivate in a positive way that builds
          self-esteem.
Things You Need For Your Practice

         Small Soccer “Disks” Cones. Disk cones are ideal for marking areas for
          small-sided games. As a general rule, you should have two cones per player
          (i.e., 30 cones for a team of 15 players). Cones look like an upside down bowl
          and come in fluorescent colors. As an alternative, you can use strips of
          brightly colored cloth to mark the areas.
         A Way To Identify “Teams”. You can buy practice vests/bibs (visit Third
          Coast Soccer)
         A Ball For Every Player. Ask each player/parent to bring a ball to practice,
          but we suggest you buy some extras to keep with you at all times because
          some players/parents WILL forget. A nylon mesh laundry bag makes a great
          ball bag. You will also need to buy a ball pump to keep the balls properly
          inflated.
         A Whistle. A cheap one will do. This will be hugely helpful in getting your
          players attention. Use the whistle to stop and start the practice.
         An Equipment Bag. To keep your gear in. It should also have a small
          medical kit (lots of band-aids) and a few of the 99 cents instant ice packs.
         A Watch With A Countdown Timer. You can get by without this, but it
          makes it a lot easier to run timed games.
         Assistants. The more the better. Ask other parents to help with
          communication, snack assignment, etc., even if it is just to pick up balls and
          cones
         Water. Ask every player/parent to bring water in a plastic water bottle with
          their name on it. We suggest you bring a cooler with extra water because
          someone always forgets.
       BASIC INFORMATION & TIPS FOR BEGINNING COACHES

                          AND HOW TO COACH


Soccer is a game played primarily with the feet. The head & other parts of
the body can be used but the hands & arms (up to & including the
shoulder) cannot be used except on a "Throw-In" and by the Goalie in
certain circumstances and the appropriate ages. If you've ever played
basketball, many of the concepts you learned such as "give & go",
"inbound plays", "getting open", "support", "man-to-man", "zone defense"
& others are very applicable to soccer. You will also find similarities in
many other team sports including hockey, rugby & American football, &
concepts such as "follow through", "staying on your toes" & a "quick first
step" are used in most field sports. Soccer is very much a team sport &
coaching begins to make a great difference by age 9. After that age a well-
coached team will almost always beat a poorly coached team, even if the
poorly coached team has better athletes.

1. Recreational & Premier Soccer. There are 2 types of youth soccer
programs; one is called "recreational" (or "Rec.") and the other is called
"Premier", "club" or "travel".

   a. "Recreational" soccer is what most youth participate in. Players
      and coaches register with BRSA and parent volunteers coach all
      the teams. There are two seasons, fall and spring, during the season
      there is usually one game per week, fun & good sportsmanship are
      stressed & each player plays at least 50% of each game.
   b. "Premier" soccer is more competitive & teams often practice
      several times per week & play year-round. There are usually try-
      outs for these teams, players can be "cut" and playing time is not
      guaranteed. The focus of these teams is often on seeking the best
      possible competition and often travels as a result. They are
      sometimes called "travel" teams because they travel to tournaments
      in other cities. Our paid professional trainers coach these teams.

2. How To Determine A Child's "Soccer Age". Children are usually
placed in age groups based on their birth date. For most leagues, the way
to determine a child's "soccer age" is to ask "How old was the child on last
July 31?" For example, if a child was nine as of 7/31/02, they will stay in
the "Under-10" (U-10) group until 7/31/03, when they move up to U-11.
You should keep in mind that a child with a July birthday is almost a year
younger than a child with an August birthday (even though they may be
the same "soccer age") & that the younger children often have shorter
attention spans and often won't learn as quickly as the older children.
3. Rules. Soccer rules are published annually by FIFA (pronounced "FEE'
fuh"), the world soccer governing body, but youth organizations usually
adjust the rules to fit children. Please refer to the BRSA rules.

4. Equipment.

   a. All players must wear shin guards to every practice and every
      game. Hard surfaces of shin guards must be covered with socks.
      (Referees will check this). Encourage parents to buy properly sized
      shin guards that have a hard surface (plastic or fiberglass) and
      padding to cover the anklebone.
   b. No shoes with front cleats may be worn (i.e., no baseball or
      football shoes if they have a front cleat, unless you cut it off). Only
      rubber cleats are allowed; metal cleats are not allowed. (Referees
      will check).
   c. No jewelry, metal devices, or hazardous equipment may be worn.
      (Casts can be allowed if they are padded & the Referee approves
      them before the game).
   d. Each player should bring a plastic water bottle to games and
      practices. Coaches should allow adequate water breaks during
      practice & bring extra water (some players will always forget to
      bring water).
   e. Each player should have a stitched ball (as opposed to a hard
      seamless ball) of proper size. (Soccer balls come in 3 different
      sizes: 3, 4, & 5. The ball size is shown on the ball. Also, look for a
      stamp that says either "official size & weight" or "FIFA
      Approved". Even if a ball is the official weight, some balls are
      heavier & harder than others. Don't get a ball that is too heavy or
      hard (some seamless balls are especially hard). Some balls are so
      hard that it is painful to kick them. If you have a choice, a shiny,
      waterproof surface is best because it won't absorb water & will last
      longer. Test the ball to see if it's round & will fly straight by
      tossing it into the air with a lot of spin on it to see if it wobbles. U-
      6 & U-8 (i.e., Under-6 & Under-8) use a size 3; U-10 & U-12 use a
      size 4; and U-13 & older use a size 5 ball).
   f. For the games, each player must wear a jersey (issued by BRSA),
      shorts (most leagues don't object to long pants if it is cold; note
      that the FIFA rules say that if thermal under shorts are worn they
      must be the same main color as the shorts), shin guards, stockings
      or socks that entirely cover the shin guards, and footwear.

5. Practice Tips. See "Things You Need For A Good Practice" & "Keys
To Good Practice Games".

6. Practice Attendance. You really can't punish a child in a recreational
league for not coming to practice because it's usually the parent's fault.
However, we do think it is fair to tell them that because soccer is a team
sport, it is only natural that those who come to practice the most might
play the most & might get first preference for the positions they prefer to
play. Try to motivate players to come by making practices fun & playing
games like those described in the section titled "Soccer Practice Games".
Also, explain to them that soccer is a team sport & the team will play
better & have more fun if everyone comes to practice.

7. Team Names & Cheers. Most teams choose a nickname. Young
children also like a cheer, which they can do before or after the game or at
halftime. If your team's name has a "rhythmic" spelling, you can spell it
(e.g., M-A-G-I-C, GO Magic!). The best one I've heard is "Play Hard,
Play Fair, Have FUN". Players usually gather round & touch hands while
doing their cheer.

8. Playing Time. The BRSA recreational leagues require that each child
plays at least 50% of every game he or she attend.

9. When You Can Substitute. (Aka "Subbing"). The BRSA Leagues
allow "unlimited substitutions" (which means the coach can "sub" as many
times as he/she wants during the game but only at certain times such as
goal kicks) or only allow subbing between quarters. If "unlimited
substitution" is allowed, you can usually sub at these times (check with
your league to see if they follow these rules): after a goal kick is called for
either team, after a goal by either team, after a throw-in is called for your
team (not the other team), at halftime, and at an injury time-out if the other
team replaces a player (but you can only sub as many players as they do).
You usually cannot sub on corners, or free kicks. Except at half time or
between quarters, substitutions may only occur with the Referees
permission (you can get his attention by yelling "sub"). Players entering &
leaving the field should only do so at the halfway line. The rules
technically say that a player must leave the field first before his sub can
enter the field. Many referees don't enforce this in youth games because
there is so much substitution. However, if the Ref says "call them off
first", this is what he/she means

11. Small Sided Games & Formations. The BRSA league plays "Small
Sided". The U6 – U8 plays a maximum of 4 players per team – NO
Goalkeeper; the U9 & U10 plays a maximum of 5 players per team –
With A Goalkeeper, see BRSA playing rules. At young ages it is much
better to play small sided; the players get many more "touches" on the ball
& it is much easier to teach them the important concepts such as
"support", "First Defender", to "shift & sag", and to spread out & get open
for passes. In small sided games with 5 or less players per team, you
shouldn't worry about "formations" or "positions" but should teach basic
concepts, teamwork, passing, dribbling & basic tactics such as "sagging"
& to mark up behind a man when the other team has a throw-in or is near
our goal. To quote Bobby Howe, Director of Coaching Education for the
U.S. Soccer Federation & author with Tony Waiters of 2 excellent books:

Fewer players on the field
Reduces the size of the "swarm;"

Creates more touches:

Does not allow players to "hide" or be excluded from the activity:

Presents realistic but simple soccer challenges:

Requires players to make simple but realistic soccer decisions.

Realistic Experience + Fun = Improvement In Play.

12. Injuries. If a player is injured, play will continue until the whistle is
blown. The referee will stop the game if a child appears to be seriously
hurt or if there is blood. If the game is stopped for injury, you should have
your players immediately stop and sit or kneel down where they are. It is
recommended that each coach become familiar with the proper procedures
in the event of an injury. An injured player should sit out and receive
appropriate treatment.

   Encourage Learning & Tolerate Mistakes. If your team is learning
    & trying new things, they will make a lot of mistakes. You must
    accept this fact & be tolerant of mistakes. If you aren't, you will
    discourage them from trying new things. Encourage them to try new
    things & encourage the effort even if it doesn't work. Examples:
    "Great try. Keep it up." or "Good idea; try it again."
   Rewarding Or Punishing Performance. Never punish or scold a
    child for lack of ability. All you can expect them to do is their best
    (e.g., Don't make those who lose a game or come in last run laps, or do
    jumps, or sit out while others play). Tell everyone, including the non -
    athletic players, that you are proud of them if they are trying hard. You
    will have some athletic players and some non-athletic players.
    Measure each player’s performance by his or her personal
    improvement & effort, and not by comparing them to someone else.
    Try to motivate in a positive way that builds self-esteem. See
    "Incentives" below for ideas about rewarding practice and game
    attendance, hustle and effort.

15. Measuring Success. In recreational soccer, consider measuring
success in these ways:

    a. Is everyone having fun? (If it's not fun, it's not good).
    b. Are they learning about teamwork?
    c. Are they learning something about soccer (i.e., are they
       improving?)? (This one mainly applies to U-8 & up).
    d. Are they hustling, enthusiastic & doing their best?
16. Incentives. Tangible incentives aren't required, but kids love them & I
believe they can be good if they are used in the right way. For example, in
recreational soccer, you can use them to reward practice and game
attendance & hustle. You can also use them to reward team effort such as
the team that wins a practice game. (Rewarding individual effort doesn't
work as well unless your players all have about the same ability because a
few kids will probably win all the time & some will never win). A few
years ago, the mother of one of my players bought some gold iron-on
fabric and cut out stars, which we gave out for practice & game attendance
& hustle. The kids loved it. Later, we started buying small iron-on soccer
ball patches. These come in 4 colors & the player iron them on their
jerseys. We gave out a red and white one for bravery and tough play and
the boys called it a "Blood Patch". We asked for $10 donations to buy
these. A tip: if you give out rewards, don't give out more than 2 per player
per practice and 2 per player per game, otherwise they lose their value &
the kids aren't as excited to get them. Another idea is to do like teachers do
& give a special reward for perfect practice & game attendance. For
example, a computer printed attendance certificate.

17. Be A Good Role Model. To a large degree, your players & parents
will follow your lead. Be a good sport & don't yell at the referees or at the
other team. After the game, seek out the referees and shake their hand and
thank them, even if they made some bad calls.

18. Things You Are Not Allowed To Do:

   a. Coaches may not come on the field (or step on the lines) during the
      game except with the referee's permission. This does not apply for
      the U5 & 6 because the coaches referee the games.
   b. There should be no yelling or conversation between a coach and
      the other team during the game.
   c. Coaches & spectators must stand on the sidelines & cannot stand
      behind the end lines (See "Coaching During Games" in this
      section).

19. Things You Should And Things You Should Not Do:

   a. Positive encouragement and instruction of your players from the
      sidelines is allowed. Negative criticism, hostility, abuse or anger
      are things you should not do. You are a role model and must set
      the example of good sportsmanship and insist upon it from your
      team.
   b. Cheering when the other team makes a mistake is bad. Cheering
      when the other team makes a great play is good.
   c. Never criticize the referee. It is a tough job. Remember, you are
      the role model and must set the standard for behavior. It is good to
      thank the referee and linesmen after the game.
   d. You should stay 2 steps back from the sideline (U7 and above)
      during games so you don't block the Assistant Referee's view of
      the line.
   e. Don't run up the score. It's not good for either team if the game is a
      mismatch, but sometimes it happens. If your team gets 5 goals
      ahead, you should be a good sport & do one of the following:
          o Put your weakest scorers up front (use this as an
              opportunity to let them be forwards).
          o Try someone new in goal & at fullback
          o Pull a player off the field & "play short". If it is still a
              mismatch, pull off another player.
          o Tell your players they must complete 5 consecutive passes
              before shooting
          o Tell them they can only take shots from outside the Penalty
              Box (i.e., practice chip shots, lofted shots at the top of the
              goal or power shots).

20. Coaching During Games. Some books will tell you that during games
you should let the players play & not give instructions. That may work for
older or premier teams, but it isn't very practical for youth recreational
teams, which only practice once a week. We encourage coaching from the
sidelines (although sometimes only by one coach who must stay in a
designated area). If the objectives are to have fun & to teach the boys and
girls how to play, then coaching during the game can help achieve those
objectives. There are many things that you can teach in a game that are
difficult to teach in practice, especially if you only practice one time a
week (a "shifting & sagging" defense is one). We view games as another
teaching opportunity. Be sure to not get in the other team's way &
remember you have to coach from the side lines, not the "end zones". To
be courteous, you might ask the other coach if it is okay with him). Should
you yell? Yes, it necessary to yell instructions to the players so they can
hear you across the field. Yelling negative or general comments such as:
"You guys stink" or "Hustle" is not allowed. Try your best to yell specific
instructions such as "John, push up", or "Matt, cover the center" or "Don't
get thrown over" (or "punted over" or "goal kicked over"), or "Mark up
behind a man" (on the other teams throw-ins, goal kicks, & free kicks) or,
on the other teams corner kicks, "Mark a man goal side". Try not to show
frustration or irritation & try to not single out anyone for criticism unless
they aren't hustling & then you ask, "John, are you sick?" If he says "No",
then ask "Are you tired?" If he says "No", you say, "Then hustle".
However, you should make coaching comments to correct errors at the U7
& U8 age level. For example, if a player's passes are coming off the
ground, I will say "Matt, strike the ball higher". Or, if they turn over a
throw-in because their foot came off the ground I will say "Patrick, drag
your toe".

21. At the End of the Game. At the end of the game, players & coaches
usually line up facing each other on the halfway line, walk past each other
& touch hands & say "Good Game!!" Coaches are usually last in line &
shake hands. It is also a nice gesture & sets a good example for the coach
to seek out the referee & assistant referees & thank them. Parents usually
take turns providing refreshments after games.

22. Keeping Children & Parents Under Control. These are two areas
that need a lot of your attention throughout the season. The most difficult
things you will have to learn are how to deal with disruptive players and
disruptive parents. Here are some ideas to deal with these situations should
they arise.

   a. Be a coach & an authority figure, not a "buddy". Occasionally,
      you will see a coach who is a natural leader. Be firm, but fair.
      (Don't be a mean coach, be nice).
   b. Do not tolerate rude or disrespectful behavior from players.
      You shouldn't have to and, if you do, you will probably regret it. I
      have found it advantageous to tell the parents & players from the
      very start what is expected. One-way is to send home a letter at the
      start of the season that discusses your "coaching philosophy &
      expected behavior". Here are six simple rules you can implement
      (these may have to be adjusted for children age 6 or younger):
          1. Everyone must follow all directions given by the coaches &
               assistant coaches
          2. Everyone must hustle & do their best
          3. "When I talk you must be still & listen" (i.e. one foot on
               top of ball)
          4. I expect everyone to be a good sport whether we win or
               lose (this includes parents)
          5. "No cursing or name calling".
          6. Disruptive or disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated.



   c. Buy a whistle & use it to get attention.
   d. Safety Rules. Certain rules must apply regardless of age:
          1. "Keep your hands to yourself" (You cannot allow anyone
              to get hurt)
          2. "Do not kick the ball in the air unless I tell you it is okay"
              (otherwise you will have kids getting hit in the back of the
              head or the face by flying balls)
          3. Dangerous behavior will not be allowed or tolerated.
   e. Dealing with disruptive players (U-8 & older). (The following only
      applies to players ages 8 and older). I can't emphasize enough how
      important it is to "nip in the bud" bad or disrespectful behavior.
      This is a lesson I've learned the hard way & I've developed a policy
      for dealing with it. If you allow it to continue, it will get worse &
      worse and create a situation, which is unfair to the other players &
      is unpleasant for everyone involved. Following is my policy,
      which I include in a letter to parents at the beginning of the season.
      (A copy of that letter is attached). A disruptive child gives you an
   appreciation of what a schoolteacher faces when dealing with a
   child who disrupts the classroom. Teachers are trained to deal with
   this, but volunteer soccer coaches usually aren't. I hope you never
   have this problem, but if you do, this policy may be of help:
       1. I will talk to the child & explain what he is doing that is
           unacceptable & why, and ask him to stop it.
       2. If he persists, I will ask him to do 10 "knee jumps" (he
           stands still & jumps, raising his knees to waist height. This
           is quick & less disruptive than laps).

   If he still persists, I will ask him to go to the sideline until he is
   ready to obey the rules. I will take him over to the side & speak to
   him privately & explain to him that he is disrupting practice (or
   doing something unsafe) & that I won't tolerate it & that if it
   happens again I am going to make him sit out until his parents
   arrive & then talk to his parents.

       3. If he still persists, I will ask him to sit on the sideline until
          his parents arrive at which time I will talk to the parents.
       4. If he still persists at any future practice, or if the parents
          don't support the need for discipline, I will give them the
          choice of attending each practice so they are present to
          observe & enforce discipline, or I will ask them to resign
          from the team and I will file a written report with the
          league administrator.

   Warning: Never say anything mean to a child & be very careful
   about touching a child. I know of cases where parents became
   upset and threatened to sue because a coach patted their child on
   the head or grabbed him by the arm.

f. Dealing with disruptive parents. This is a dilemma. Depending
   on the circumstances, ask your league coordinator for advice &
   support. I do the following:
       1. Clarify Parental Behavior and Expectation". Examples:
                "Positive encouragement is good; negative
                   comments are bad."
                "Cheering is good, but do not yell at your child or
                   anyone else's child during the game. It can be
                   distracting & what you tell them may be different
                   from what the coaches are saying. If you would like
                   to be an assistant coach, please call me, I would
                   love your help."
                "Be careful not to say anything that might be taken
                   the wrong way or hurt someone's feelings.
                   Remember: this is for fun & these are children."
                "Be a good role model & a good sport."
                     "Do not yell at the referees or say anything bad to or
                      about the other team. Never boo the other team or
                      cheer when they make a mistake."



   g. Letter to Parents. A copy of the letter I send home to parents at
      the first of the season is attached. You are welcome to copy & use
      it. It is set up so you can fill in a few blanks to customize it for
      your use & don't have to re-type it.

The Importance Of Warming Up & Stretching Before Playing. At age
10 and older, children become susceptible to muscle pulls. When you
move up to U-11, you should have your team stretch before playing. You
should have them do 2 things:

   a. Warm Up their muscles by light activities such as jogging or
      slowly dribbling a ball around the field. (Warming up with a ball is
      the ideal way if it is practical to do so).
   b. Stretch the following muscles: front of thigh, back of thigh
      (hamstring), inside of thigh & calf. Most injuries are to the
      hamstring and inside of thigh muscles. Each stretch should be done
      slowly & held for 10-15 seconds & repeated 2 -3 times. Be sure
      they do not "over stretch". Stretching should not be painful.

Many coaches skip the "warm up" & go straight to stretching. This is a
mistake. The light warm up is important because it "warms up" the
muscles, which makes them stretch easier & less likely to tear. If you
think about it, this makes sense. (Have you ever noticed how all the horses
are warmed up before a race?) Many experts also promote post game
stretching because it will improve flexibility & reduce muscle soreness.

24. Where To Buy Soccer Stuff. Most larger cities have a local soccer
store and shoes are also available at most athletic shoe stores. You can
find many sources of books, tapes and soccer gear on the Internet. A tip:
Don't buy cheap shoes that don't have cushioning & be sure they are
properly sized. Soccer shoes don't come in widths, and generally they run
narrow, but some brands are wider.

25. Always Remember: You are doing this for fun & to help the kids. Be
a "nice" coach who your players will remember fondly.

28. Questions & Answers:

   a. Do you need a goal or a lined field to have a good practice? No. I
      used to think so, but it's really not necessary, you can use cones to
      make goals. However, a real goal or a backstop is great.
   b. Why not just scrimmage the entire practices? There are 4 reasons
      why that isn't best for a Rec team:
1. If you have a lot of players, they won't get enough touches
   on the ball. This is especially true for the less aggressive
   and less skilled players. If you split up and play "small
   sided" on a small field (e.g., 30-50 steps long and 25-40
   steps wide, depending on age) it increases the number of
   touches, but there are still the problems described in 2 & 3
   below. If you scrimmage, only do so for 10-15 minutes per
   practice and scrimmage without a Goalie so your defenders
   are forced to defend.

   You can't practice specific techniques or tactics in a general
   scrimmage.

2. Players tend to not try new things in a general scrimmage
   and scrimmaging can reinforce bad habits. They tend to do
   the same things they have always done, even if they are
   incorrect (i.e., scrimmaging reinforces bad technique &
   doesn't present the opportunity to teach correct technique).



3. Some players are less enthusiastic on game day if they have
   scrimmaged a lot during the week. This may not be true
   with all players, but I noticed it with my teams.
U10 Sample Practice Plan Using Games/Activities
Approach

Objectives:
                   a. To develop an assertive attitude when in possession of the ball.
                   b. To begin developing creative dribbling.

Warm-up Activities:
Approximate Time:
       3min. Body part dribble
       2min. Stretching
       3min. Math dribbling
       2min. Stretching
       5min. Introduce two new moves
Total: 15min.

Main Activities:
      5 min. Shadow dribbling, one-minute periods with at least two periods each.
      2 min. Water Break
      10 min. Team Knockout
      2 min. Water Break
      15 min. Get out of Here!
      2 min. Water Break
      20 min. 4 v 4 Small- sided game

Total: 56min

Cool Down Activities:
      2 min. Stretching
      2 min. Snack Time

Total practice time: 1 hour 15 minutes
End practice with positive reinforcement for their efforts.
                       14 Training Games/Activities

Hospital Tag
Organization: Each player with a ball

Structure: Random formation in a confined area.

Procedure: Same as everybody is it, except each time a player is tagged; the spot
touched is now injured. The player must hold that spot and continue dribbling. The
second time they are touched, they hold that spot with out releasing the first spot. The
third time they are touched, the player goes to designated place (Hospital) and execute a
specific skill to get healed and rejoin the game. Example – 5-10 toe taps using both feet.

                 City/Town




                                                                  Hospital




Observation:

Technical: Dribbling, changing direction and speed.

Physical: Constantly readjusting body’s balance around a new center of gravity, agility,
and strength.

Tactical: Expands peripheral vision, creates attitude for attacking opponents with the
ball.

Social/Psychological: An equalizing activity, problem-solving skills. Positive interaction
within the entire group. Developing an attack and defensive posture.
Siamese Soccer
Organization: Similar to Pac Man, except there is one ball for two players. These
players are partners who can only pass to each other. All other players are paired and
must hold hands.

Structure: Random in a confined area.

Procedure: Players with ball dribble and pass while attempting to hit the other paired
players, who are trying to avoid getting hit. To hit a player, the pass must be one touch. If
one of the pairs gets hit, they break apart, get a ball and attempt to dribble and pass to hit
other pairs. Game continues until all paired players have a ball.




Observation:

Technical: Dribbling at an opponent, change direction, change speed. Passing to targets
and one touch passing.

Physical: Fitness, agility, balance.

Tactical: Two player combinations, wall passing.

Social/Psychological: Cooperation with two players working toward the same objective.
Cops and Robbers
Organization: Divide team into two groups. Assign players in both groups a number (1
through?).

Structure: Two lines approximately 20-30 yards apart, with one group on either side.


Procedure: The coach places a ball in the middle of the two groups. The coach calls out
a number and the players with that number must run to the ball. The objective of the
game is to take the ball back to your side/team. The team is only awarded a point each
time for cross the line with possession of the ball. The player without the ball must try to
tag the player with the ball before he/she crosses the line. The game ends when a player
crosses the line or gets tagged. You could have multiple pairs going at the same time.
Variations:
            a. First round have the players use their hands to carry the ball back to their
                side/team.
            b. Players must dribble (feet) the ball back to their side/team.
            c. Have player either stand, sit, or lay on their stomach while in line.




       1.        5.       7.      2.      3.      6.     4.      8.




       8.       3.      6.      1.       4.       2.      5.      7.

Observation:

Technical: Dribbling, changing direction and speed.

Physical: Constantly readjusting body’s balance around a new center of gravity, agility,
and strength.

Tactical: Develop attacking and defending posture

Social/Psychological: Fun positive competition.
Get Out Of Here
Organization: Divide team into two groups.

Structure: Confined area approximately 20 X 30 yards.

Procedure: The coach should have the players gather up the balls off to one side of the
grid (see diagram below). The players/teams should line up on either side of the
coach/balls. The coach pass a ball out into the grid and the players in the front of either
line runs out for the ball. The objective is to get to the ball first to try and score the goal.
If you have goals the players can shoot to score. If you don’t have goals, players can
score by dribbling between two cones (see diagram below).

Variation: Have two or three players from either team play (i.e. 2v2 or 3v3).

                                  X           O
                                  X           O
                                  X     coach O
                                  X           O




                                X
                                                 O




Observation:

Technical: Dribbling (finding ways to beat a defender), passing to teammates or to score.

Physical: Agility, fitness, balance, development of leg strength.

Tactical: Creates good attitude for attacking opponents with the ball. Developing good
defense posture. Shielding the ball to keep possession.

Social/Psychological: Developing an attacking and defensive posture in 1v1 situations.
Gates: Passing
Organization: One ball for every two players

Structure: Confined area, random formation.

Procedure: On the coach’s signal, players try to collect points by passing through the
gates (space between two cones) to a teammate on the other side. They should try to
utilize all the gates and may not score on any one gate consecutive times. Each game
should last 20-30 sec.

Variations: -Passing with inside of the foot on the ground
            -Half volleys
            -Volleys




Observation:

Technical: Accurate passing, changing speed and direction.

Physical: Agility, fitness, balance and explosiveness.

Tactical: Understanding movement with and without the ball.

Social/Psychological: Equal participation, everyone is included.
Pac Man
Organization: Each player with a ball.

Structure: Confined area approximately 20 X 20 yards. Could use a larger space
depending on your numbers.

Procedure: One player with ball (“Pac Man”), all other players run freely in playing
area. The players with ball, dribbles and attempts to hit the other players below the waist
by passing the ball at them. The players without balls try to avoid getting hit with the
ball. Once a player is hit, he/she gets their ball and becomes the second “Pac Man”.
Game continues until all players have been hit and have their ball.




Observations:

Technical: Dribbling and passing, trying to hit a moving target. Encouraging quick
preparation and passing of the ball. Passing and use of either foot.

Physical: Cardio respiratory endurance fitness, agility, and jumping.

Tactical: Looking for players, chasing, tracking, and playing/passing to a target. The first
step in teaching players to attack someone with the ball. Creating an assertive and attack
posture with the ball.

Social/psychological: Allows all ability levels to play equally. Allows each player to be
successful. If players are hit early, they will dribble longer. If they manage to avoid
getting hit until near the end, their challenge greatly increases.
Nine Balls
Organization: Two groups and nine balls

Structure: Confined area a goal approximately 30 X 40.

Procedure: Divide the team into two groups. One team defends and the other team
attack. Nine balls (groups of three) are placed on the outside of the grid. The attacking
team can use any one of the nine balls to score… they keep going until they use all nine
balls. The coach keeps track of the score and switches the groups after the attacking team
uses all nine balls.

Attackers must complete a certain number of passes before they can shoot on goal.

Defenders must try to get (kick) the ball out side of the playing area and sprint to the back
of the line.
                         O                             O
                         O                             O
                         O            GK               O



          X
                                                        X
                        X

                                           X


                            X                          X




Observations:
Technical: Dribbling, passing, receiving, and shooting under pressure of an opponent.

Physical: Quick short sprints to change direction and angles.

Tactical: Movement with and without the ball (support play). Introduction to defending
in small groups.

Social/Psychological: Group oriented activity that develops team organization and
rhythm.
Gates: Dribbling & 1v1
Organization: Variation 1 – one ball per player
              Variation 2 – one ball for every two players

Structure: Confined area, random formation.

Procedure: Players collect points by dribbling through the gates (space between two
cones). Each game should last 20-30 sec.
Variation 1 – each player with a ball. On coach’s signal, the players must try to dribble
through as many gates as possible.
Variation 2 – One ball for every two players. One player starts with the ball. The player
with the ball should try to dribble through as many gates as possible. The player without
the ball must try to deny the player with the ball from dribbling through the gates.




Observation:

Technical: Dribbling, changing speed and direction.

Physical: Agility, fitness, balance and explosiveness.

Tactical: Creating an attitude for attacking opponent with the ball as well as good
defensive posture.

Social/Psychological: Equal participation, everyone is included.
Knock Out
Organization: A ball for every ball

Structure: Confine area, random formation

Procedure: Players dribble around in the playing area and try to kick other players ball
out of the area while keeping possession of their ball. Have players execute a soccer skill
in order to get back in the game when their ball is knocked out. Play at least one round
where you have a champion.

Variation: Have two playing area (big & small). When a player gets knocked out of one
playing area they must enter the other one.




Observations:

Technical: Dribbling, changing speed and direction, and shielding

Physical: balance, agility, and strength

Tactical: spatial awareness, field vision, understanding possession

Social/psychological: Equal participation, everyone is included.
One Versus One
Organization: Divide team into two groups. One ball for every two players.

Structure: Open space towards confined area

Procedure: Coach plays out the ball and the players at the front of either line must sprit
out after the ball. The player without the ball should try to deny the other player from
getting into the playing area. The player with the ball must first get into the playing in
order to score. Goals can only be scored by dribbling through any one of the four goals
(cones) from inside out. After each 1v1 battle, the players dribble their balls back to
coach and get back in their lines.

                              X                      O
                              X                      O
                              X                      O




Observations:

Technical: Dribbling at an opponent

Physical: Agility, fitness, balance and explosiveness.

Tactical: Creating an attitude for attacking opponent with the ball as well as good
defensive posture.

Social/psychological: Equal participation, everyone is included. Develop a competitive
edge.
Finishing (Shooting)
Organization: Divide team into two groups.

Structure: Confined space 30 X 20 with a goal

Procedure: Team (X) defends the goal and team (O) must complete a certain number of
passes (i.e. 2,3,etc.) before they can shoot on goal. Both X and O will play both offense
and defense in each round/game and the coach will determines how many balls will be
used for each round/game.

                          X X
                          X X
                          X X
                                        GK

             O                                                O


                            O

                                                             O
        O                                  O




Observations:

Technical: Passing and shooting accuracy

Physical: Fitness, agility, and power

Tactical: Support play (movement without the ball), working with teammates, defending
in small groups and problem solving

Social/Psychological: Communication and teamwork
Sequence Passing
Organization: Divide team into groups of 5 or 6. One ball per group

Structure: Confined area, random formation.

Procedure: Assign players a number within their group (i.e. 1,2,3,4 & 5). Number one in
each group starts with the ball and on the coach’s signal 1 passes to 2… 2 to 3…. 3 to
4…. 4 to 5 and 5 back to 1. All players must be moving (i.e. jogging, side shuffling, back
peddling, etc.) when the performing exercise.

Variation: Add a second ball (two ball per group). Number 1 and 3 in each group starts
with the ball. Players follow the same sequence on coach’s signal. The game speeds up
considerably, which challenges the players and develops speed of execution.




        3                4                         4            5


                  2                            3

                             5                           2

              1
                                                                     1



Observations:

Technical: Accurate passing, proper mechanics of skill, weight of pass.

Physical: Endurance, agility,

Tactical: Support play (movement without the ball), timing of when to initiate
movement, field vision.

Social/Psychological: Everyone is involved. Developing an awareness of multiple
players and the tendency to move after making a pass.
Jarassic Park
Organization: Divide team into two groups.

Structure: Two areas – 10 X 10 inside of 30 X 40. The larger playing area may vary
depending on the ability level of players. Use cone to make 8 small goals/gates. Use 10
balls for each round/game.

Procedure: Divide team into two groups and place 10 balls into the small area. One
group starts on the outside of the larger area and the other group starts on the inside. The
group on the inside of the area is not allowed to enter the small area. The objective of the
game is for the group on the outside to enter into the small area (where the balls are), get
a ball and dribble through anyone of the 8 small goals/gates. Once a player dribble the
ball through a goal/gate the ball is out/dead. This is the only way the ball can be out/dead,
if it goes out any other way the ball is returned to the smaller area. Player on the attacking
team should also look to pass to each other to create better scoring opportunities. The
coach should start his/her watch on start signal and stop the watch when the last ball is
out/dead.




Observations:

Technical: Passing, Dribbling, changing speed and direction to beat a defender or use
space.

Physical: Agility, strength, balance, explosiveness, and fitness.

Tactical: Field vision, spatial awareness, assuming attacking and defending posture in
1v1 situations. Decisions when to pass or dribble

Social/Psychological: Opportunity for success in scoring goals and becoming very
involved in the game. Improved communication. Opportunity for creativity through a
highly motivating game. Developing problem solving and risk taking skills.
Chinese’s Fire Hydrant Drill (Shooting)
Organization: Divide team into two groups

Structure: Place a cone about 20 yards out from the middle of the goal. Have one group
on either side of the goal.

Procedure: On the coach’s signal “go”, player X sprints around the goal (front side first)
and becomes the goalkeeper after making a complete circle around the goal.
Simultaneously, player O must sprint around the cone. The coach makes a pass out
towards the cone and player O must try to score before the goalkeeper gets into position
in the goal. One point is awarded for each goal scored. The coach decides how many
balls will be used for each game/round.




                                                                     Coach




Observations:

Technical: Mechanics of shooting for power and accuracy, speed of execution.

Physical: Agility, power, fitness.

Tactical: Decision-making, selection of target (relative to goalkeeper’s position).

Social/Psychological: Team task orientation. Everyone has opportunity for success.

** This is also a good opportunity to identify goalkeeping talent on your team.