Kids play soccer to have fun. They stop playing soccer because it stops being fun. More often than not the reason the game stops being fun is related to adult – coach and/or parent – behavior. To coach at the youth level you must understand what is important to your players. Most importantly, how do your players define fun in the context of the game. You must also have a basic understanding of the stage at which your players are in their cognitive development. Coaching a 7-year old as you would a high school student is unproductive, unfair and leads to unrealistic expectations of your young player.
These Coach's Resource pages are designed to help coaches design fun, productive and age-appropriate training sessions. In the menu to the left you will see age specific coaching pages. Each page will present you with links to the US Youth Soccer Guides to Youth Soccer Practice Activities for the various youth soccer age groups. We are also presenting links to Practice Plans from 2 highly progressive state associations, Massachusetts Youth Soccer and Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer.
These are extremely valuable resources packed with activities for every coach. Each page is dedicated to a particular age group and describes in detail the stage of cognitive development stage of that age group. There are countless Practice Sessions linked on each of these pages all of which are designed to be age appropriate for your players.
A very special thank you to Ian Mulliner, Technical Director of Massachusetts Youth Soccer, to Mike Barr, Technical Director of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and to their respective coaching staffs for developing these Practice Sessions and for allowing coaches across Louisiana to use them.