What to teach
This is age where players can begin to understand the concept of working with a teammate. Willingness to intentionally pass the ball to someone is just beginning to take hold. In this age group, the player begins to think beyond their personal needs and actively begins to cooperate with a teammate. Still, continuous individual ball work is highly important.
Dribbling: with outside of the foot, change of speed and direction, moves, fakes one way go the other way
Receiving: ground balls with inside, outside, and sole of the foot, bouncing balls with various body parts, ball lifting and juggling
Passing: with toe, inside of foot and laces
Shooting: with toe, inside of foot and laces
Catching: from self and from partner, rolling, bouncing, and air balls
Being exposed to all positions; 1 v1 attacking; 1 v 1 defending; 2 v 1 attacking; introduce the names of positions; shape (triangles, diamonds, box)
Introduce the idea of warm-up; Agility; Leaping; Tumbling; Eye/foot & Eye/hand coordination
Working in pairs; Sportsmanship; Dealing with parental involvement: “How to play” (social cooperation); Emotional management
The Training Session (general information) should be:
- Light coaching on simple technique is appropriate (dribbling, passing, and receiving)
- Small-sided directional games such as 1v1, 2v1, 2v2, 3v2, and 3v3 should be included as well.
- Have simple explanations regarding shape and position.
- Should always conclude with a 4 v 4 game without goalkeepers.
The duration of the training session should be 60-75 minutes.
Game duration: four 12- minutes’ quarters.
Playing numbers: 4v4 (No goalkeepers)
The role of the coach in the U-8 age group is to be sensitive and patient teacher with an enthusiastic and imaginative approach. It is helpful to have the ability to demonstrate and understand technique.
Recommended License: The U6/U8 State Youth Module is required. The National Youth License is recommended.