Updated Monday July 11, 2016 by Ben Craigo.
Our club is working together with Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer (EPYSA) to standardize on their training plans for our Intramural training curriculum. The link to the plan is below.
Development Stage for U11/U12
When coaching U11/U12 players, it is important to understand where they are developmentally. Massachusettes Youth Soccer sums it up nicely:
"In order to make practices run smoothly and be fun, it is important to have a basic understanding of the intellectual, emotional, and physical developmental stage of the players we are coaching. Here are some typical characteristics of the Under 12 player:
- All children are maturing at different rates and are sensitive to that fact.
- Need to warm-up and stretch as muscle pulls and other nagging injuries tend to become more common.
- Typically understand elemental abstract concepts and hypothetical situations.
- They like to solve problems.
- Peer evaluation is a constant.
- Egos are sensitive.
- Coordination may depend on whether or not they are in a growth spurt.
- Technique still needs to be reinforced constantly.
- Playing too much can lead to overuse injuries.
- Playing too much and not feeling like they have a choice in the matter can lead to burnout and drop-out.
- This is the dawn of tactics!
- Keep asking the players to be creative and to take risks.
- Ask for feedback from them. They will tell you how things are going.
- Try to hand over leadership and ownership of the team to them. They will enjoy leading and it will add to the learning environment."
The U11/U12 Curriculum
The U11 and U12 age groups will use the U12 training plan from the EPYSA. A couple of notes to go with the developmental goals of the season:
- Developing comfort on the ball through dribbling is still a primary focus. Use of all parts of the foot and both feet are important.
- Heading should not be taught
- ...More to come...
Rules of the Game for U11/U12
- Goal keepers
- No heading allowed
- No offside
- During goal kicks, opposing team retreats to about mid field
- Enforce touchlines and goal lines
- Only call fouls, and give free kicks, on:
- Deliberate handling - obviously grabbing for ball with hand or making themselves "big". If the arms/hands are close to the body and the ball hits it that is NOT handling.
- Tripping or pushing