Coaching Kids Soccer

You wouldn’t think coaching kid’s soccer would be very hard; split them up into two teams, mark out a field with some goals, throw a ball in

Juggling

Brad Juggling

the middle and sit back and watch.  Not exactly.

Coaching kids aged 5-8 is a vital stage of an athlete’s development. This is the age where natural talent is highlighted and what kids have a big heart. When I say “big heart” I mean the love of playing soccer and the determination and dedication required to make it professionally. The kids with the natural talent are given the easy road for the moment and it’s our job to nurture and develop them so they can play with other children older than them. But who’s to say the children with the big hearts won’t catch up to them.

To all the parents, don’t stress if your young son or daughter can’t kick the ball 20 metres, pass to their team mate or dribble with the ball, because before they can do all these things we need to teach them about coordination!

It starts off with the most basic of them all, how to run correctly. I’m sure all your kids can run, but we teach them how to run and changed direction at the same time for example; a game of bull rush is perfect. It is also essential the kids train their brains to coordinate their timing of feet placement so we incorporate corresponding exercises with the ball.

Then we introduce some eye to hand and eye to foot coordination. These two sensory functions are just as important as each other especially for those children who may want to become goal keepers. To refine these motor skills some exercises such as juggling is ideal. It could be something as simple as kicking the ball in the air and catching it. In time this will teach them to watch the ball make contact with their foot and then watching the ball into their hands. Eventually you can make it more difficult but adding another action to the sequence, for example; knee, let the ball bounce, kick then catch.

Once we have taught them the basics then every thing else will become easier and your child’s improvement will be much more noticed.

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11 responses to “Coaching Kids Soccer

  1. Great post! I have only volunteer-coached kids on U12 and U14 soccer teams, and I think that was pretty tough! Now I watch my 4 year-old son on his team, and I seriously doubt I would have the patience for coaching a young team. What I can say, though, is that after a few practices and games, I can see that EVERYONE on the team is coming along at least in their attention span and sense of direction. They are getting some of the basics down, and it is incredible to see the progress. Looking forward to reading more!
    — Güera

    • Thank you Güera! Glad you liked the article!

      Yes, it is pretty amazing to see the kids that you coach develop more and more each week. I’m sure they won’t notice but you just need to keep reminding them so the gain more confidence.

      It must be a thrill to watch your son get better every week!!

  2. Oh, I would never say that coaching that small kids are “easy”. For me managing a group 3 kids aged 6-years is a tough job! Great that you do it! ;o)

    • Haha yes true sometimes it can be very hard to keep them focused on something for a long period of time. Keep an eye out for future blogs on ways to keep kids focused!

  3. Great article. I also coach youth U14’s and the parents are the ones I have to convince mainly to look at the positives their kids bring to the team and that overtime they will improve if there heart is in the game.

  4. This is SO true. I wish more people would understand this. I can’t even make one of our soccer clubs most “educated” trainer understand this kind of stuff.. Unbelievable..

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