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U5-U6 -'The Active Start'

U5/U6 -  3v3 or 4v4
Goalkeepers – NO        
Throw-ins – NO              
Offside - NO                  
Game Time: 4x8 mins

Things to consider:

As coaches, we need remember that kids play for fun. When it stops being fun, they hide away and development becomes stagnant.  Small-sided games (SSG’s) that scale down the adult game to an appropriate size will maximize touches for the individual player and keep the game exciting. Imposing full field games on youth players too early will frustrate and hinder their development.  Players go through stages of development. As coaches we need to know the stages and recognize where our players are on the continuum.

Developmental focus: ‘The Active Start’

1) Social - 55% –  Make it fun, enjoyable and create the ‘love-affair’ environment for the players
2) Technical - 20% – Challenge the players to maneuver the ball individually, focus should be on ball mastery skills, rather than

3) Physical - 20% -  Keep the players moving, active and engaged as much  as possible passing/receiving/heading. Allow the kids as much time with their individual ball
4) Psychological - 5% – A tertiary requirement – challenging players to think/mentally engage with soccer related concepts
5) Tactical - 0% – NOT required. No specific talk of positions, formations, ways to play is needed

U5-U6: The Dawn of Individual Technique (The Player and His Ball)

‘The Active Start’ is the first stage of development where emphasis is on being social and active throughout. Needless to say, this stage is where ALL players are exposed to technical training. Players will learn how to control and manipulate the ball. Most players at this stage cannot pass or receive the ball and are just learning how to ‘feel’ the ball and stroke it without losing control of it.


Since all energy should be focused on the enjoyment of the player, the movement levels and their personal technique, tactical development is NOT required.  Although some players may show natural athletic ability, all the players are ‘starting from scratch’ technically speaking.


Tom's Recommendations:


1.     Make it Fun! – Train once/twice per week with a duration of 30-45mins (Per Practice)

2.     No positions needed, allow kids to play ALL positions

3.      Fill out 1 evaluation form per player, per season!

*The above information combines theories and ideologies of the NSCAA Player Development Plan & LTAD* 

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