Soccer Skills:

Coaching U8 Soccer

Focusing on the Fundamentals of Soccer

Tactical

As players progress from U6 soccer to U8, they are becoming aware of their surroundings and you’ll be surprised when they remember concepts taught in last practice and begin to use them in the new session. But, don’t expect your players to have this new found skill consistently. It has nothing to do with “paying more attention this time around,” but rather young players developing. Still, players at this age are not capable of executing the complex schemes that you’ve witnessed older teams play. Continue to focus on technical skill development.

U8 Soccer Tactics

 

Fitness

U8 soccer players still own immature bodies and can only be expected to do so much. They still have a high energy V8 engine, but only expect it to run for just a few miles before pooping out to the sidelines. Activities should be short to allow for ample water breaks. Keep a close eye on players as their will to want to please may overcome their common sense of overheating. Players at this age have naturally loose, limber bodies and generally do not need stretching. The notion of sprints, running or warm-up laps should be quickly erased from your mindset.

U8 Soccer Fitness

 

Technical

Fear is a key driver at this age. In short, social has become an important part of their being and players don’t want to mess up. Using this knowledge, we want to create players that are comfortable with the ball – on their own terms. Technical soccer skills should be a main focus for this age group. Continue to develop comfort on the ball by emphasizing drills that use a 1 to 1 ball to player ratio and more than 1 soccer goal. Coaching is all about helping players overcome their fear of the ball and their fear of messing up. You will have done well if players are willing to “try things” without hesitation – you will have helped overcome the fear.

U8 Soccer Skills

 

Psychological

Players at U8 have fragile egos and crave acceptance as they being to understand social ramifications. A great way to help players at this age grow and develop is to have older players come to practice to demonstrate. Simply by watching and providing role models, players will become more motivated and learn through osmosis. Unlike U6 players, U8’s begin to understand boundaries (time and space) and you can loosely introduce them, but don’t make it a focus and cause frequent stoppages of play.

U8 Soccer Psychology

 

Team Management

All soccer coaches should be positive and enthusiastic. Coaches of U8 players must keenly be aware of the psychology of this soccer age group: learning by watching is a key tenet as well as helping players overcome fear of ball and fear of failure. Players will develop at different paces, so find that balance between challenging advanced players and providing ample time on the ball for less developed ones. Players find joy and success in scoring goals at this age. Parents will still take an active interest in players – utilize these parents to help practices run smoothly. And, as always, communicate with your parents – don’t make them guess what’s going on!

U8 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

Developing a Soccer Coaching Philosophy to Vault you to Success

The role of a soccer coach goes beyond being a good teacher of technical skills and tactical formations. A great soccer coach is about helping your players achieve their dreams and goals. At Soccer Classroom, we adhere to a “player first” mentality, where coaches facilitate the learning and where players are the stars of the show. Developing a coaching philosophy is central to creating a successful experience for your players and team.

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4 votes

Area of Soccer:
Psychological

Goalkeeping: Is There a ‘Right’ Age to Start?

There are clearly many myths surrounding youth team goalkeeping. The obvious (outdated) of course is that it is only ever the largest, overweight, tallest, last to be picked, most unpopular, perceived worst outfield or indeed craziest kid who gets ‘stuck’ in goal. This is not and should never be the case. But, how should this be handled?

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2 votes

Area of Soccer:
Team Management

Five Awesome Things My Disobedient Dog Taught Me About Being a Great Coach

When I finished college, my friends approached me about taking their Golden Retriever/Lab mix. With a second newborn and 900 square feet of duplex to share, it was just overwhelming. I didn’t realize when I took on the challenge of Kita that she was singlehandedly putting me through “Coach’s Boot Camp.”

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

The Dilemma of Finding Great Soccer Volunteers

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the soccer community. But with 90% of parents willing to sit on the sidelines and do nothing because they’re “too busy” or “don’t know soccer”, we’re regularly burning out our volunteers. Soccer Classroom examines the root causes and proposes an innovative solution.

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9 votes

Area of Soccer:
Team Management

My Bonehead Coaching Mistake (and how it changed my life)

As a young, straight out of college know-it-all hotshot player and first-time coach, I made a bonehead coaching move in the second game that caused me to lose my self-respect. Luckily, the mistake also provided me my greatest lesson.

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

How to Build a Great Soccer Player

Listen to this quick interview where he speaks about the three components to build a great soccer player – the answer will probably surprise most parents and coaches. I think it’s also important to note the ages he mentions in identifying players…

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1 votes

Area of Soccer:
Team Management

Dealing with Devastating Defeat

Defeat is major part of any sporting endeavor. There is a winner. There is a loser. Well, unless of course you tie, but that’s a bit like kissing your sister. No matter the quality of your team it is certain that you will face a difficult loss. As coach, it is your job to pick […]

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Area of Soccer:
Team Management

What to Expect from U8 Soccer

No laps. No lines. No lectures. Players are U8 are social, insecure souls as they develop a sense of “self.” The key aspect to coaching at this age is to help players overcome fear: fear of failure and fear of the ball. Everything you do as a U8 soccer coach should be with the aim […]

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Area of Soccer:
Fitness

Soccer Coaching Made Dead Simple: The CoachingSphere

We developed the CoachingSphere as a framework to help you visualize your role as coach and to cultivate the best development of players and teams. The five areas are: team management, player psychology, technical skills & drills, soccer tactics and fitness & nutrition. Utilizing this framework enables us to easily break down each of the […]

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3 votes

Area of Soccer:
Technical

Should Young Soccer Players Use Throw-ins?

Soccer Classroom believes that coaches at  U6 and U8 should not utilize throw-ins as a method of putting the ball back into play. The reasons for this: Agility skills are still being developed and throwing a ball in properly is very difficult at these ages We spend all our time explaining  to these young soccer […]

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