As a coach for this age group there are no required skills. All you need to be a successful U5 coach is a great attitude, patience and willingness to have fun with the kids. Introducing everyone should be the first thing done at every practice until all the kids learn each other's names. Learning the basic concepts of soccer are the goal for this age group such as kicking, scoring goals, dribbling and learning the simple soccer rules (no hands, out of bounds, etc). This is also the stage to help improve their soccer social skills.
As a coach for this age group there are no required skills. The kids will bring a bucket full of curiosity and a natural willingness to learn. A majority of them will have had some type of social interaction with soccer before. At this age group practices will be based on fun games that begin to teach the fundamentals such as passing, dribbling and receiving.
As a coach for this age group you can expect to continue the growth from the U5 and U6 skills. In addition to these skills players must also begin to understand space distribution and the concept of a team sport. Players should spend as much time as possible in contact with the ball as this is the stage where they need to begin to grow comfortable with having the ball at their feet.
Coaching for this age group will begin to get more advanced as this is the age where the kids problem solving skills are high and due to this skill the main component of all practices will be technical. Technical skills that will begin to be taught are ball control, passing, receiving, running with the ball, turning with the ball, dribbling, principles of attacking, principles of defending, understanding of positions and formations. 1v1 and 2v2 drills will begin to be introduced. In addition to these skills goalies will also be introduced at this age group. Along with the introduction of goalies, rules such as off-sides will also be taught. This is the age where kids are commonly known to show whether they are attacking or defending players, so coaches must be vigilant to avoid early specialization. Being aware of players doing this will help them grow into a well rounded player.
In this age group kids will continue to refine their ball control, passing, receiving and understanding of positions and formations. In addition to these skills coaches will begin to incorporate combination play, transitioning, finishing and zonal defending. As coaches we must encourage creativity in combination play as creativity is essential for this age group. The kids will get the chance to show their creative combination plays during 2v2 and 4v4 drills.
As a coach for this age group the focus will be on the tactical and technical elements. Some players will begin to experience puberty and protecting their health should be highly important. Warm-ups, cool downs and dynamic flexibility are essential at this stage to avoid injury. Players will begin to practice in bigger spaces to become more comfortable in them. High pressure drills will also begin to be incorporated as the speed of play will begin to increase at this stage. Strength and endurance drills will be incorporated in practices. Following instruction and taking constructive criticism are highly important as this will help a player be “coachable”.
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