Soccer Skills:

Coaching U6 Soccer

Focusing on the Fundamentals of Soccer

Tactical

U6 soccer tactics should not be an area of emphasis at this age group. While the coach needs to be aware of the soccer formations and positions for this level of play, other than an introductory explanation of setting up the players on the soccer field. Players at this age are not mentally aware of concepts like time and space, which makes trying to teach tactics a futile endeavor. The important aspect is that all players should have the opportunity to play all positions.

U6 Soccer Tactics

 

Fitness

U6 soccer fitness and nutrition is important for a coach to understand. Players are not physically developed enough to make fitness a priority. There is no sense of pace, which means these players rocket around the field as hard as they can for as long as they can and then must stop. The implication is that players need to be substituted frequently and provided with ample water breaks during practice and matches. A ritual at this age is “End of Game Snacks” for the team. We think this is a great team bonding experience and should be encouraged.

U6 Soccer Fitness

 

Technical

Developing soccer skills is where a U6 coach earns his stripes. You are setting the table to succeed at the game with this foundation. Almost all practice time and energy should go into developing comfort on the ball focusing on dribbling skills and agility exercises to create athletic players. At U6, players are marginally capable of playing a game that looks like soccer. Don’t let that frustrate you! Focus on the building blocks, having fun while experiencing ample success which will turn your players onto the game!

U6 Soccer Skills

 

Psychological

U6 soccer players are fragile people. They constantly crave acceptance and approval. As a coach, this is important to know in forming groups, being careful to celebrate successes while minimizing social embarrassment. Players attention span is short, so you must keep players active and avoid lines at all cost. Frequent changes that present new challenges keep games fresh and players engaged. Players “not listening” at this age is an indication that the activity is not fun or engaging, so change it!

U6 Player Psychology

 

Team Management

Team Management at U6 breaks down into part coach, part administrator and all cheerleader! If we keep the player in focus, we’ll keep our sessions fun and interesting while on the building blocks of soccer success. Managing parent expectations and communicating with them is paramount to your success since players are not capable of having that interaction with you. Remember, parents are simply advocating for their child, so communicate, communicate, communicate. And, most of all, be the biggest most enthusiastic cheerleader for your team. This aspect trumps soccer knowledge – turn the kids onto the game!

U6 Team Management

 
 

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:
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:
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:
Psychological

The Delicate Psychology of Momentum in Soccer

I just watched my home town team, who I have supported since I was about 8 years old, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They conspired to lose a Cup tie to a team two divisions below them. In the first game, my team were 2-0 up with 10 mins to go. In the […]

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

Evaluating and Selecting Youth Soccer Coaches

Guest author and parent-coach, Barry Saltzman, takes an in-depth look at evaluating and selecting youth soccer coaches – and it’s impact on the game. He highlights some awesome resources for coaches and makes some excellent suggestions for teams and clubs to step out of their comfort zone to improve the game. Click to read about how you can improve your soccer program!

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

My Personal Youth Soccer Coaching Philosophy

I’ve received a number of requests from readers to share my own personal coaching philosophy. These requests mostly came from the article about “How to Develop a Coaching Philosophy” as well as people who signed up to receive our free soccer coaching book. This is my letter of introduction to the parents of a competitive U11 soccer team. It also weaves my coaching philosophy throughout.

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