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U13/U15 - 'Training to Train'

U13/U15 -  11v11
Goalkeepers - YES        
Throw-ins – YES            
Offside - YES            
Game Time: 2x35/40 mins


Things to consider:

As coaches we have the freedom to choose our elaborate way of coaching and instilling the values which reflect the way our teams play the game of soccer. My teams will adopt a contemporary playing style and is implemented at U11 and utilized by all senior age groups. At U13, teams across the country will start playing 11v11 soccer. This is an age where participants are developmentally ready to play on a full field, increasing spatial relations where emphasis starts to switch to tactical mastery.

We still value creating an environment which is fun, challenging, where failure is accepted but not expected. We praise hard work, effort and attitude over talent, skill and ability. We promote a growth mindset. When children fear failure, they fear opportunity. We encourage calculated risk taking, failing is okay as long as the intentions behind the action were right.


Developmental focus: ‘Training to Train’

1) Technical - 40% – Challenge the players to master the ball individually/collectively. Focus should be on ball mastery skills and retention. Passing/receiving/heading. Allow the kids time to play with players in their positions (functional training)
2) Tactical - 30% – Requirement. Enforce position specific training and formations/ways to play is needed
3) Physical - 15% -  Keep the players moving, active and engaged as much  as possible
4) Psychological - 10% – A  requirement – challenging players to think/mentally engage with soccer related concepts
5) Social - 5% – Make it fun, enjoyable and continue to develop the ‘love-affair’ environment for the players

U13/U15: Team Tactics - Intermediate (The Player, the ball, and his Supporting Group)

As players continue to improve their technique and passing range, their tactical vision expands accordingly. Players are introduced to a full field 11v11 game during the ‘Training to Train’ Phase. Players begin to handle the passing and crossing demands of the 11-a-side game and begin to deal with the bounce, speed and height of trajectory of long passes.

Teams begin to keep possession for long periods.  During this phase, teams will adopt ‘A Contemporary playing style’, however it is now implemented for 11v11 soccer (See in my Personal Coaching Philosophy page)

Tom's Recommendations:


1.     Train two/three times per week (60-75 mins) with focus on ‘Small Groups & Units’

2.     Complete 3-4 evaluations per player/ per season

3.     Play a contemporary style -See personal philosophy

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

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