Fitness and nutrition are at the top of the soccer pyramid where performance can be impacted by training. Developing Fitness is only appropriate at older ages when a developed body can handle the stress and respond to these exercises. While we can all eat healthier and become fitter as adults, it’s important and fundamental to understand that fitness – as a concept – isn’t age appropriate until you reach eleven.
For instance, if you’re coaching U6 players, fitness isn’t really appropriate. These players have one speed: all out. They might as well have batteries inside them. With no understanding of pace, there is no fitness. Furthermore, their bodies simply aren’t ready to handle fitness. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t coaching topics you should be aware of at U6 with regard to fitness. But, as opposed to sharing it with the players and making it part of your practice routine, it is something that you must be aware of and manage for the team.