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U12 Soccer SKILL versus SIZE

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... at the college level I often met players who were good athletes, but not good soccer players! Their playing ability did not live up to their athletic prowess. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: U12 Soccer SKILL versus SIZE


1
U12 Soccer SKILL versus SIZE
  • Sam Snow
  • Director of Coaching Education
  • US Youth Soccer
  • U. S. Soccer National Staff Instructor

2
Long Term DEVELOPMENT or Short Term Wins?...
  • While coaching at the college level I often met
    players who were good athletes, but not good
    soccer players! Their playing ability did not
    live up to their athletic prowess.
  • Are any of these players your children?

3
Generally the cases were quite similar.
  • Players who during puberty grow physically faster
    than their peers may be 1 to 3 years biologically
    ahead of their teammates. Consequently they are
    bigger, faster and stronger.
  • The bigger is better approach can bring success
    in the won/lost record, resulting in everyone
    thinking things are going great. Unfortunately
    these players may not be learning how to play
    soccer. Often they are limited in their balls
    skills and tactically naïve.

4
KICK-N-RUN
  • The approach of the coach often is to make this
    type of player the star, usually as a forward.
    Just kick down field to Bruce whenever you get
    the ball, was the command to the other players
    on the team. Bruce of course was expected to out
    run the opposition and shoot the ball so hard the
    opposing 10 or 11 year old goalkeeper would shy
    away from the ball.

5
STILL KICKIN?
  • Once that player gets to college (if indeed they
    stay with soccer that long) most of the other
    players are now just as fast or faster AND they
    have technique and tactical awareness. Being
    athletically superior alone is not enough to be a
    successful player.

6
Whats more important for an U12 player, speed or
skill?
  • Generally speaking, the physically dominating U12
    teams win the match. These players are bigger,
    stronger and, most importantly, faster. However,
    the most important aspect of an U12 players game
    is technical speed. Improving technical speed
    puts a player on the road to tactical awareness.

7
PUBERTY
  • As muscles mature in players, strength and power
    become a factor in their performance.
    Coordination improves at this age. Increased
    coordination allows a player to perform technical
    skills with more confidence.

8
PUBERTY
  • This is truly an exciting time in the lives of
    young players to enjoy the game even more than
    their earlier playing days. As their bodies
    strengthen and they become more confident with
    the ball, the joy of the game becomes apparent.
    Still, there is a wide spread of technical
    ability and tactical awareness between players
    and the coach must proceed with that in mind.

9
PUBERTY
  • At this point in their physical and psychological
    development, most 10 and 11 year old children can
    play rather than play at the game of soccer.
    Coaches must be careful at this juncture and not
    fall victim to the false assumption that these
    small adults (which they are not) are now able
    to play mature soccer.

10
LONG TERM DEVELOPMENT
  • Now is the time to cement their passion for the
    game
  • Benefit 1 The continued philosophy for the
    coach is to present training with an emphasis on
    the enjoyment of the players.
  • The notion being that if U12 players enjoy
    training as a team member then they just may do
    more things with the ball on their own.

11
Now is the time to cement their passion for the
game
  • Benefit 2 A U12 player should still be having
    a lot of fun in and with the game.
  • There is more competence in their individual,
    technical performance. In fact, the word team
    now becomes more than an abstract concept.

12
Now is the time to cement their passion for the
game
  • Benefit 3 With this approach we are moving
    closer toward intrinsic motivation, which is
    precisely where we want to be if we honestly
    believe that soccer is a players game.

13
Now is the time to cement their passion for the
game
  • Benefit 4 The U12 age is a fertile learning
    period. Players at this age can be expected to
    be more thoughtful in meeting the demands of the
    game. A coach can expect the players to
    understand the sport and use teammates to help
    solve problems. If training sessions present
    appropriate problems for players to solve,
    reasonable match results can be expected.

14
SMALL SIDED GAMES
  • I recommend that U12 teams play 8 vs. 8!
  • Technically abilities will accelerate due to
    increased time with the ball. Further, the ball
    skill demands are now realistic on a smaller
    pitch.
  • Athletic growth is enhanced due to continuous
    movement.
  • There is a greater demand on mental
    concentration. The game is more fun to play
    because the players are always involved.

15
Lines of Interaction
  • The following slide shows all of the possible
    lines of interaction among 16 players on the
    field in an 8 vs. 8 match. It is quite clear
    from the graph that the game environment can be
    quite complex.

16
8 v 8
17
SMALL SIDED GAMES
  • This match environment now demands transition and
    thus tactical awareness. The players are
    involved on both sides of the ball, so there is
    no hiding in the weeds.
  • There is a greater demand on individual and group
    tactics. The team tactical concept of
    compactness is enhanced in the small sided game.
  • More opportunities for problem solving are
    created for the players to work out together.
    Hence teamwork is promoted!

18
The impact of the COACH
  • Outside the immediate family, coach is an
    extremely important figure. Everything a coach
    says or does takes on a magnified importance with
    children this age. Actions and words are
    important, as are the more subtle characteristics
    of appearance, promptness, attitude, energy
    output, commitment, respect, etc. Children at
    this stage of development begin to reflect the
    strengths and weaknesses of their teachers.
    Accept the fact that you are a very important
    role model!

19
COACHING METHODS
  • All techniques must be practiced in match related
    conditions with appropriate defensive pressure.
    If an activity is too staid or fundamental no
    pressure, players will not improve. At this
    age, players must be appropriately allowed to
    test their abilities to perform a technique
    against an opponent. Many factors are coming
    into place for the U12 player and it is the
    coachs responsibility to guide players to
    technical confidence and tactical awareness.

20
COACHING METHODS
  • A U12 player should exhibit confidence with the
    ball. At this stage, they should also play with
    reasonable degrees of speed. The coach should
    encourage a quicker pace.

21
COACHING METHODS
  • Technical training at the U12 level must be as
    fun-filled and exciting as at younger levels. At
    the same time this training must be aimed at
    perfecting domination of the ball. In your
    training sessions have higher repetition,
    increased pressure, movement and intensity of
    effort. Improving ball skills is the main
    objective with this age group. Skills become an
    even more important factor at this point in their
    development because the players need to be
    introduced to general tactics as well.

22
COACHING METHODS
  • At this point in their development, U12 players
    should be able to simultaneously run, strike the
    ball and THINK. The U12 player is usually eager
    to learn. The nature of training sessions is
    crucial as it may stimulate or stifle the
    learning process.

23
EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT
  • BALL SKILLS! BALL SKILLS! BALL SKILLS!
  • When skillful players hit the field soccer is
    exciting and dynamic. The development of
    individual technique is first and foremost the
    responsibility of the players. Not enough
    players spend extra time with the ball trying to
    improve. Yet not enough of them are being asked
    by their coaches and teammates to do so.
  • Our goal is to have our players comfortable with
    the ball and excited about learning and trying
    new skills. This attitude toward technical
    development starts with the youth coach.

24
EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT
  • Technical development is the responsibility of
    all coaches. Too many coaches accelerate right
    to team tactics even though the players really do
    not have the skill to execute those tactics.

25
THE FOUR COMPONENTS
  • Technique feints with the ball receiving
    ground, bouncing air balls with the heel,
    shins, thigh, abdomen, chest head heading to
    score goals for clearances-standing jumping
    chipping to score outside of foot pass bending
    shots crossing to near post penalty spot
    space heel pass kicking receiving with inside
    of the instep introduce half volley volley
    shooting introduce slide tackle.

26
THE FOUR COMPONENTS
  • Technique For goalkeepers-footwork bowling low
    dives forward diving angle play near post
    play saving penalty kicks introduce parrying
    boxing.

27
THE FOUR COMPONENTS
  • Psychology teamwork confidence, desire mental
    rehearsal intrinsic motivation handling
    distress how to learn from each match
    sportsmanship parental involvement emotional
    management

28
THE FOUR COMPONENTS
  • Fitness speed strength aerobic exercise

29
THE FOUR COMPONENTS
  • Tactics 2 v 1 defending 2 v 2 attacking
    defending roles of 2nd attacker defender
    combination passing verbal visual
    communication for all positions commanding the
    goalmouth for the goalkeeper half-time analysis
    corner kick plays-defending attacking kick-off
    play wall pass beginning to identify potential
    roles for players-goalkeeper, defender,
    midfielder and/or forward introduce the
    principles of defense.

30
YOU
  • Finally, working with U12 players demands the
    constant improvement of the coach. The growing
    coach seeks out opportunities to improve!
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