Plan and Create Proper Youth Soccer Training Sessions

Plan and Create Proper Youth Soccer Training Sessions

When we are developing our youth soccer training sessions there are a number of things we need to take into consideration.  But before we do that, we need to understand the “WHY” behind creating soccer training sessions.

The main reason we need to create soccer training sessions is so our practices flow in a smooth direction allowing us to maximize time. With most youth teams only practicing for 1 ½ hours two times a week, time is really of the essence. When the workout flows, you will see the motivation level of your kids stay high.

Have you ever seen a coach fumble through a practice because they weren’t prepared?  If you have, you will know that once the motivation of the players falls off, so does their trust and faith in the coach. Remember, those that fail to plan, PLAN TO FAIL!

Another main reason for planning training sessions is so we can set a training objective and create a lesson plan to meet that objective.  If we are to keep kids safe, we must make sure they the warm up properly, and that their training progresses in a manner from simple to complex.  Technique work is always done at the beginning and you always finish with some sort of game.

Below I have listed some of the things I take into consideration when developing my training sessions:

  1.  Age of players
  2. Size of the team
  3. Size of practice area
  4. Condition of practice area
  5. What part of the season are we in?
  6. Who our opponent is?
  7. How many practices I have a week with them
  8. Any other factors that could affect the session

Once I have taken the above into consideration, I can properly develop a training plan that will allow us to meet our objectives. But regardless of objectives, the core of your  youth soccer training program should follow a progression or model similar to the one below. We will expound on the model in a later article, but for now, we will just peak your curiosity.

  1. Coordinative Development:  This warm-up can be done with the ball, without the ball, or a combination of both.
  2. Technique Development:  Working on one of the age appropriate focus areas with small sided games or shadow play.
  3. Educational Small Sided Games:  Brings the technical, tactical, physical, and psychological all together, still allowing you to jump in and make corrections.
  4. Game Specific:  Free play without many interruptions, allow the players to be creative and improvise.

If you follow this simple logic, you will most certainly get the most out of your players and maximize your time with them. This is the essence of effective soccer training. And since Development is the name of the game, we as coaches and parents need to play the Development game at the highest levels.

Keep it Simple,

Coach Randle

How do your training sessions flow?  How about those of your children’s coaches?

Please leave your comments below so we can discuss.  Make sure that you are tactful and never personally attack a member.  This is an open forum and many different views will be expressed.  Some you will like, others you won’t…to include mine…let’s all be respectful…

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