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Coaching the 12U Player

In order to make practices run smoothly and be fun, it is important for us to have a basic understanding of the intellectual, emotional and physical developmental stage of the players we are coaching. Here are some typical characteristics of the 12 and Under player:
  • Children are growing and developing at different rates and are sensitive to that fact.
  • Performance evaluation and competition between peers becomes prevalent.
  • Typically understand basic abstract ideas and hypothetical situations. Tactical concepts become real.
  • They like to solve problems. Let the game pose problems and let the players solve them.
  • Technical skills still need to be reinforced constantly.
  • Players should be encouraged to take chances – to play out of their comfort zone.
  • Overuse injuries can occur more frequently.
  • Players become more invested in the game and in their team. Foster leadership


Practice Plans

Below are links to Sample Training Sessions designed specifically for the 12U Player.

Massachusetts Youth Soccer     MA

Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer     EPA

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.