U10 | U11 |U12 – Elites Soccer Youth Development academy

U10 | U11 |U12

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What to Teach U-10 and up Players


The motivation to learn basic skills is very high at this age level. Children gradually begin to change from being self-centered to being self-critical and develop need for group and/or team games. The game itself should be central to all skills training. Small-sided games continue to be method of choice for this age group. This is appropriate time to introduce some of the basic PRINCIPLES of play which are shown in bold below:




Penetration                                                     Recovery (Immediate Chase)

Support                                                               Pressure

Mobility                                                                 Cover

Width                                                                    Balance

Depth (Length)                                                   Compactness

Improvisation (deception, creativity)          Counter Attack



  1. COACH

The role of the coach in the U10 age group is to be patient and motivating teacher. At this level, in addition to understanding technique, coaches should be providing environments conducive to problem solving (decision-making) by the players utilizing guided discovery methods.

Recommended License: The U10/U12 State Youth Module is required. The National Youth License is recommended.


What to Teach U-10 Players (game Components)


  1. TECHNUQUES (skills)

Running with the Ball: At speed; Under Pressure

Passing: With outside of the foot; Heading

Instep Drive: Shooting; Crossing

Receiving Ground Balls with Inside and Outside of the Foot:
Away from the pressure; Past opponent

Receiving Air Balls: With the Instep (cushion) and sole; inside
and outside of the foot (wedge)

Throw-In: Short and long distances

Moves in Dribbling: Rolls; scissors-push; double scissors;
step over chop

Introduce Heading: Juggling (alone and in small groups); feet
in contact with the ground; introduction to jumping

Tackling: Balance foot and contact foot (block tackle)


  1. GOALKEEPING (skills)

Ready Stance for Goalkeepers: Foot positioning; body posture

“W” Grip: Positioning of thumbs; fingers spread

How to Hold a Ball After a Save: Ball to chest; forearm protection

Catching Shots at the Keeper: Body alignment path of the ball

Punting: Distance and accuracy

Throwing: Bowling; over-arm

Goal Kicks: Distance and accuracy


  1.  TACTICS (decisions)

Roles of 1st attacker and defender

Roles of 2nd attackers and defenders

2 v 1 attacking (simple combination) Men-to-man defending

Throw-ins to teammate’s feet
Introduction to the tactics of set plays/restarts (goal kicks,
corner kicks, other free kicks)
Introduction to setting up walls




  1.   FITNESS (conditioning)

Endurance; Range of motion-flexibility; Proper warm-up is now mandatory;

Introduce cool-down


  1. PSYCHOLOGY (mental and social)

Working in groups of 3-6

Staying focused for one entire half

Sensitivity; learning how to win, lose or draw gracefully


How to handle parental involvement

Communication; emotional management


The Training Session (general information)

The training session should involve fun and imaginative game like activities, as well as technical and tactical activities

Coaching technical skills is very important at this age as well as light tactical concepts

The training session has a technical and/or tactical theme (topic).For example: dribbling technique, or passing and receiving, or combination play

Small-sided directional games such as 3 v 3, 4 v 3, 4 v 4, 5 v 4 and 5 v 5 should be included as well. More detailed explanation regarding shape and positions.

Training should always conclude with a 6 v 6 game with goalkeepers is possible (5 field players and 1 goalkeeper on each team)

The duration of the training session should be 75-90 minutes

Game duration: two half’s of 25 minutes

Playing numbers: 6 v 6 (with goalkeepers)

Possible Formations: 1-2-3; 1-3-2


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