There is no such thing as a one size fits all soccer training program.
How you prepare a team full of eager five and six years olds to play the beautiful game is very different from the way that you would coach a teen or even an adult.
Here is a basic breakdown of the kinds of things coaches should be concentrating on working on with their players in different age groups.
Soccer Coaching for an Under 6 Team
When players are this young actual soccer tactics are not something that a good coach will really focus on a great deal.
Players who are this young really have little grasp of the concepts of time and space and trying to teach them actual soccer tactics at this point is more than a little futile.
What they should be doing is learning how to move with a ball and trying all the different positions that make up a soccer team and just have fun.
If a child this age decides they do not like soccer it is highly unlikely they will ever change their minds.
Soccer Coaching for an Under 8 Team
By the time they graduate from an Under 6 to an Under 8 soccer team a lot of players can now handle being taught more about soccer tactics and they can also often remember a lot of it from training session to training session and have the ability to demonstrate just how well they can execute these skills on a regular basis.
A smart coach won’t expect too much consistency from this age group though, understanding that these players are developing the skills they are best at.
They are listening to instructions but they are also experimenting with their new-found talents as well.
Soccer Coaching for an Under 10 Team
At this age soccer players are just entering what many soccer coaches call the golden age of soccer learning. Having got a pretty good grasp of the absolute basics they can now be introduced to more complex soccer tactics and moves.
It is at this age that players tend to start developing an affinity for a certain position on the pitch as well.
Soccer Coaching for an Under 12 Team
Ask most soccer coaches and they will tell you that this is the age when the light seems to go off and heir players really begin to understand the more complex dynamics of the game and their best role in it.
Soccer players in this age group can now be assigned their specific positions and be taught the different techniques and tactics they will need to play it to the best of their abilities.
Soccer Coaching for Players 13+
From the age of thirteen and up soccer training becomes all about maintaining optimal match fitness and developing both better individual playing skills and the ability to play as a part of a disciplined and organized team.
Conditioning and endurance training now play a big part in the coaching plan as does a soccer player’s education about the finer points of the rules of the game.