Teaching Tactics to U7 Players

A couple of years ago, I went with my son to his U7 soccer game. The coach was unable to be there, and the other parents, knowing I was a high school coach, thrust the leadership of the team on me.

Talk about culture shock. Controlling the U7’s on the field was much like trying to herd a bunch of cats. It didn’t work really well. My first thought was man, whoever coached these guys needs some help. Having spent that time coaching the kids, however, I came to appreciate the task of working with kids in the 5-8 year old range.

I see the question asked over and over (and asked it to myself as well)…”How do you teach soccer tactics to the youngsters”

I have read, researched, studied and labored over this question. And the bottom line answer is…YOU DON’T

To much tactics too early will just burn your kids out on the sport. A 6 year old doesn’t want to stay back on defense, he wants to chase, trap and dribble that darn ball. After working hard to get a hold of that thing, he doesn’t want to pass it, he wants to kick it around a bit.

I’ve come to this conclusion about the development of the youngest players. I want them to love the game of soccer. I want them to love to dribble, love to shoot and love to chase that ball around the junior sized pitch. If they love the sport, then tactics and technique will come in their own time and can be introduced bit by bit. I just want my boys Donovan & Deven outside in the backyard knocking the ball around as much as they can.

1 comment:

SoccerForLife said...

Coaches and club teams take away the joy of playing soccer from young kids by making these young soccer players to be competitive at early age.

Some club teams are constantly using young players for the sake of their club teams (e.g., U9 teams) by charging them $1500 to $2000 a year. Then, once the club teams find a physically strong player who is faster, they cut smaller players who have better soccer IQ and skills. As a result, a parent has to find a new team for his/her youngster when the new season starts.

This process of dumping young U9 players (7 to 8 year olds) so that a club team has a better chance of winning a State Cup tournament is really sickening to watch.

We need to let our young kids just play soccer so that they discover love for the game.