Characteristics of U5 & U6 Soccer Player
1. Movement education approach.
2. Body segments grow at different rates
3. Differences between boys and girls are minimal
4. Weight range for boys and girls is approximately 30-50 pounds
5. Height range for boys is approximately 35-45”, girls approximately 37-45”
6. Progress in motor development starts with the head and moves downward to the feet and from the center of the body outward
7. Easy fatigue, rapid recovery, heart rate around 90bpm for boys and girls
8. Emphasis of fundamental movement skills
A. Loco motor – walking, running, leaping, hopping
B. Non-loco motor – bending, stretching, twisting, pulling, pushing
C. Basic manipulative – throwing, catching, striking
9. Increased use of all body parts
10. Need to explore qualities of rolling and bouncing ball
1. Preoperational stage of cognitive development (Piaget)
2. Play consists of a high degree of imagination and pretend activities
3. Beginning to use symbols to represent objects in environment
4. Tend to only one problem at a time in problem solving situations
5. Process small bits of information at a time, long sequential instructions are not processed
6. Simple rules
7. Immature understanding of time and space relations
8. Very ego centered
1. Development of self-concept, body awareness, self-image through
2. Egocentric, see world only from their perspective, demonstrated through
3. Need generous praise, play without pressure
4. Influential person in their life is most likely mother or significant parent
5. May verbalize team, but does not understand group or collective play
Season Structure and Checklist
In accordance with the JKYSC Player Development Philosophy and US Youth Soccer our approach to coaching and the season structure will be as follows.
For players in the U5 & U6 age brackets we will teach 2 techniques:
For players in the U5 & U6 age bracket we will teach 2 tactical aspects:
1. Which goal to attack
2. Which goal to defend
Kicking with the Instep/Inside of the Foot
The ‘push-pass’ is the most reliable technique for passing the ball on the ground over short distances with accuracy.
The Kicking Foot:
1. Toes turned outward and tightened.
2. Ankle locked.
3. Sole of foot parallel to ground.
4. Strike through the middle of the ball with the arch of the foot.
The Non-Kicking Foot:
1. To the side and slightly behind the ball, far enough away to allow a free-swinging movement of the kicking leg.
2. Toes are pointed in the direction of the kick.
3. Ankle and knee is slightly bent.
Position Of The Head:
1. The eyes should be looking down at the ball and the head steady.
Running with the Soccer Ball (Dribbling)
One of the most spectacular skills in soccer is the art of ‘Dribbling’. The area around the player with the ball is often filled with opponents and teammates, and sometimes the only way to get out is to maneuver the ball with both feet quickly to create room to pass, shoot or continue to dribble.
In order to keep possession the player must be able to protect the ball with their body and evade opponents with quick moves and trickery.
Knees: Bent, Low center of gravity Arm’s: Use for balance
Head: Up looking around you, don’t watch the ball Ball: Close to body
Body: Between Ball and Opponent
Week one training activities:
-suggested practice time should be 30 to 45 minutes
I. Warm Up/Fundamental Skill (~ 10-15 minutes)
Choose 1 or 2 out of 3
1. Relay Dribble:
-practice dribbling around cones that are setup in a line; each player
takes ball dribbles to end of line of cones the turns around and dribbles
back and gives ball to next player in group; in order to maximize time with
ball make each group small, no more than 3 players; make it into a relay
race after a practice round.
coaching points: practice ball control with one foot and use both feet if
possible; try not to kick the ball too far ahead, use instep of foot to control
ball with a soft touch
2. Red Light/Green Light (“Traffic Lights”, “Driving School”)
- each player dribbles his/her ball within a defined area and when the
coach says “red light” they must stop the ball with their foot and stand still.
When the coach says “green light” they start dribbling again.
coaching points: demonstrate how to stop the ball; give praise for
creative movement, encourage change of direction with ball; in order to
stop ball on command don’t let it get too far ahead of you when dribbling
3. Hit the Cone
- set up a number of cones around a square and each player has a
ball and tries to hit one of the stationary cones. After hitting one cone they
must move on and try to hit another cone. Coordinate this activity so that
everyone isn’t kicking their ball at the same cone. Make teams and keep
score to add some element of competition.
coaching points: teach accuracy with passing or shooting the ball;
encourage use of the side of the foot for control
II. Game Oriented Drills (~15-20 minutes)
1. “Hit the Coach”
- each player has a ball and within a defined square the team of
players gets a point every time they hit the coach with the ball. The coach
runs around for a set time (1 to 2 minutes) and the players chase. Make 2
groups and after a practice round then make the 2 groups compete to see
which one can score the most points.
coaching points: encourage movement with the ball and have fun by
pretending to be hurt by each shot that hits you; often you may want to
“pass” the ball to the side as it is coming towards you to hit you- this makes
the player chase his or her ball after they have scored a point
2. “Sharks and Minnows”
- within a set square all “minnow” players have a ball and one player
is the hungry shark who must chase the minnows and hit their ball out of
the square; after a minnow’s ball is out that player must sit with their ball
until the round is over; after each round rotate the shark player until all
players have had a chance to be the shark
coaching points: ball control and shielding the ball from the shark:
players must use their body and arms to keep the shark away and then
change direction to run away with their ball; vary size of square depending
on proficiency (if shark can’t catch minnows make square smaller)
3. Sharks and Minnows Variation
- All players with a ball line up at one end of a 10 yard long by 15 yard
wide grid. One player in the middle of the grid is the shark and when the
coach says go the minnows must dribble their ball safely to the other side
of the grid. If a shark steals a ball from a minnow or kicks it out of the grid
then that minnow becomes a shark and the family of sharks grows for the
next round. The minnows that make it to the opposite side of the grid get to
swim again in the next round and play continues until all of the players
coaching points: minnows must keep the ball close when being
pressured by sharks and should shield the ball from the sharks using their
bodies and arms; minnows must recognize and use open space to escape
the sharks and make it to the other side
4. Easter Egg Hunt
- scatter all of the balls over a half field and players start at one end;
players must gather a ball and shoot it into the open goal and then go and
look for another ball; as players score the coach must retrieve the ball from
the net and quickly toss it to another part of the field for players to collect;
see how many a group can score within a set time
coaching points: players build confidence scoring goals and learn to
retrieve and dribble and shoot
III. Game (~ 10 minutes)
End practice with 2 v 2 or 3 v 3 games . Make big goals and
discourage any player from playing goalie.
coaching points: let them play and have fun; briefly review and
emphasize applying the skills learned in the earlier games when there are
breaks in the action