Soccer Skills:

Coaching U13+ Soccer

Focusing on the Fundamentals of Soccer

Tactical

Players are mentally capable of understanding complex thoughts, understand responsibilities  within a system and execute. Building on the progression from U11 and U12, coaches can continue to introduce tactical formations, set plays, and specific player responsibilities within the system. Coaches must assess their player’s strengths and weaknesses and develop a system of play that suits the individual talents.

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Fitness

Player’s bodies are reaching full maturity and are capable of receiving physical fitness progressions, which will allow them to compete at higher levels. As matches grow in length, players must have the fitness regimen to stay mentally focused. Additionally, a focus on nutrition – the fuel for the body – is a key component for success. The body is growing and needs the right mix of food to ensure optimal performance. Coaches should make their players aware of their food choices and how it may impact their performance.

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Technical

Technical skills are always the focus – no matter the level of play. At this stage, players should have sound foundational skills: dribbling, passing, trapping and overall ball control. Now, we’re focused on helping them to play simply – yet magically on the field. The more confidence a player has in their ball skills the more creative and successful they can help the team. Avoid the temptation of transitioning to a solely tactical focus…keep working those skills!

 

Psychological

Player confidence is always a battle. Coaches must find the right balance of challenging – and yet supporting – to create a growth environment. At the onset of puberty, social pressures and new distractions in other interests, it is critical that coaches maintain a positive, yet accountable environment. Players are craving boundaries at this age and it is your responsibility to create that team spirit and community for a sense of belonging that will explode player development.

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Team Management

As you reach older ages of the game, you fulfill many different roles: you are part coach, part mediator, part friend and part psychologist. The team’s well-being needs to be your focus as distractions from parents, club and league can certainly become intrusive. It is critical that you have a shared vision for the team and the expectations of players and families. Without these aspects in tact, your team is doomed to fail. Make sure you have your team philosophy and expectations well-known to everyone to avoid confusion.

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Soccer Skills

Find Fun Soccer Drills that Will Challenge your Players

Soccer Coaching Blog
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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

Winning Over Player Development? [Basketball Video]

Yes, a basketball video – because the content is completely in parallel to soccer. Besides, sometimes we have to change our view to improve our vision. Stan VanGundy from the Miami Heat discussed the importance of skill development in our youngest players. No matter the sport, the principle remains the same: at our youth stage, […]

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Area of Soccer:
Fitness

Off Season Conditioning for Any Soccer Team

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” As a coach, this quote readily dissects the work you do with your team after the season is over.  For your team to truly be competitive, you must work with your athletes year round. Soccer fitness, playing, and even team-building are important aspects […]

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

Managing Volunteer Turnover (Part I in a 2 part series)

Volunteer turnover is a problem in almost every youth sports organization.  Most youth sports leagues are 501 (c) 3 non- profit organizations and rely heavily on volunteers to handle most mission critical tasks ranging from registration, communication, team building, board members and the list goes on. At Blue Sombrero, we work with thousands of youth […]

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

How to Know if Your Soccer Players “Get it”

As coaches, the only way we can develop players from stage to stage is if we can build on what they’ve learned. No matter if it is tactics or technical – we have to be sure before we move on. As we rush to put on our training sessions and move through our ‘session plan’, […]

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Area of Soccer:
Psychological

Mental Toughness in Soccer: Interview with Simon Hartley

The concept of “Mental Toughness” is a tried and true rallying call for most teams. Every coach wants players who are ‘mentally tough’, but really what does that mean? I had the opportunity to interview Simon Hartley, our resident Soccer Psychology Advisor, about this hot topic. Simon provided his thoughts in an earlier article about “What […]

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Area of Soccer:
Tactical

Soccer Formations: The options – 4-4-2

From the 19th Century, when Defense was virtually unheard of, to the superpowers of the modern game, formations and the shape of your team can and does determine the outcome of a Game, any Game, including yours. This article builds on the soccer formations overview article. Of course, when choosing the formation and shape of […]

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Area of Soccer:
Psychological

What Does Mental Toughness Look Like?

Many coaches talk about mental toughness, but do we really know what true mental toughness looks like? Simon Hartley, Soccer Psychology Adviser to Soccer Classroom, tackles this topic.

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Area of Soccer:
Psychological

Are you Soccer Tough? [mjpurpleaces]

It always cracks me up when I attend recreational youth soccer matches and hear parents yelling to five and six year old kids to “put on their game faces.” Don’t these well-intended parents know that these kids have no idea what a “game face” is on the field? I came across an excellent article from […]

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Area of Soccer:
Tactical

Soccer Formations – An overview

“Football is a simple game made complicated by people who should know better.” – Bill Shankly Formations, part of soccer tactics, are a description of how the players on the pitch are positioned. These formations are altered as and when teams are more defensive or offensive and are used at every level of the game […]

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

How to Effectively Scout a Soccer Team – The Opposition

The first part of our “ How to effectively scout a soccer team “ edition saw us look at the benefits of what a good scouting system can offer you as well as looking at certain areas within scouting, specifically team shape. The second part covered practical tips for scouting an opponent. This week we […]

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