Coaching/Teaching Progression by Sam Snow, National Director of Coaching
Players learn and relearn the game as they mature. Aspects taught at U6 must be taught again at U8, U10, U12, and so on. What was learned at a previous age group or groups must be refined at the next age group.
  • Techniques: dribbling and shooting
  • Psychology: sharing, fair play, “how to play”, emotional management
  • Fitness: balance, running, jumping, introduce the idea of warm-up
  • Tactics: where is the field, which goal to kick at
  • Techniques: ball lifting and juggling, block tackle, receive balls with inside and sole of foot, shoot with inside of foot, toe pass and shot, introduce the push pass and throw-in
  • Psychology: working in pairs, sportsmanship, “how to play”, emotional management
  • Fitness: agility, eye/foot and eye/hand coordination; introduce the idea of cool-down
  • Tactics: being exposed to all positions, 1v1 attack, introduce the names of the positions
  • Techniques: running with the ball, passing instep drive, receiving ground balls with the instep and outside of foot, receiving bouncing balls with instep, sole-inside-outside of foot, throw-in, fakes in, dribbling, introduce heading and crossing. Goalkeepers ready stance, how to catch and hold ball, punting, goalkicks and throwing
  • Psychology: working in groups of 3, 4, or 5; stay focused for one entire half, sensitivity, how to win and lose gracefully, “how to play”, communication, emotional management
  • Fitness: endurance, flexibility, proper warm-up and cool down
  • Tactics: 1v1 defending, roles for 1st attacker and defender, 2v1 attaching, man to man defense, introduction of set plays
  • Techniques: feints with the ball, receiving ground, bouncing and air balls with heel, shins, thigh, abdomen, chest and head; heading to score goals and for clearances (standing and jumping), chipping to score, outside of foot pass, bending shots, crossing to near post and penalty spot, heel pass, kicking and receiving with inside of instep, introduce half volley and volley shooting, introduce slide tackle. Goalkeeper footwork, bowling, low dives and forward diving, angle play, near post play, saving penalty kicks, introduce parrying and boxing
  • Psychology: teamwork, confidence, desire, mental rehearsal, intrinsic motivation, handling distress, how to learn from each match, sportsmanship, emotional management
  • Fitness: speed, strength, aerobic exercise
  • Tactics: 2v1 defending and 2v2 attacking and defending, roles of 2nd attacker and defender, combination passing, verbal and visual communication for all positions, half-time analysis, corner kick plays - defending and attacking, kick-off play, wall pass, beginning to identify potential roles for players and goalkeeper (defender, midfielder, forward), introduce the principles of defense.  Goalkeeper command of the goalmouth.
  • Techniques: chipping to pass, bending passes, crossing to far post and top of penalty area, half volley and volley shooting, slide tackles, heading to pass, heading backwards, diving headers, kicking and receiving with outside of foot shot, dummy the ball, shoulder charge. Goalkeepers – far post play, medium and high diving, parrying the ball over the crossbar and around the posts, half volley (drop kick), kick saves, long over arm throws
  • Psychology: assertiveness, tension control, self and team discipline, stay focused for the entire match, sportsmanship, “how to play”, mental focus techniques, emotional management.
  • Fitness: power, acceleration, anaerobic exercise, cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular training
  • Tactics: individual and group tactics, compactness, role of the 3rd defender, how to make recovery and tracking runs, throw-in, attacking and defending penalty and free kicks, defending the defensive third, center and flanks, playing in the attacking third, center and flanks, post game analysis, checking runs, take-overs, switching positions during the flow of play, introduce principles of attack. Keeper provide offensive support out to the penalty spot.
  • Techniques: airborne kicking-forward volley, scissors volley, bicycle kick. Goalkeeper backwards diving, saving the breakaway, all forms of distribution
  • Psychology: personal accountability, drive, courage, sacrifice in order to achieve one’s best, sportsmanship, “how to play”, emotional management
  • Fitness: vertical jump, body composition, plyometric exercise, weight trainingPsychology: personal accountability, drive, courage, sacrifice in order to achieve one’s best, sportsmanship, “how to play”, emotional management
  • Tactics: Group tactics, role of the 3rd attacker, principles of attack and defense, diagonal passing, dribbling, off the ball runs, wing play, overlapping runs, defending in the midfield and attacking third, all possible set plays, match analysis, switching the point of attack, should be developing ability to adapt tactics during the flow of play, key players should be able to dictate the rhythm of the game. Goalkeeper should command out to the penalty spot and provide offensive support out to the top of penalty area.
  • Techniques: All techniques rehearsed at match speed and at match related and match condition levels, technical functional training.
  • Psychology: Dedication, commitment, take personal responsibility, for actions on and off the field, sportsmanship, emotional management, “how to play”
  • Fitness: Overload principle, fitness tests
  • Tactics: team tactics, midfield play, attacking out of the back third, should be able to adapt tactics and change team formation during the flow of play, playing a role, combination zone and man-to-man marking defense, tactical functional training. Goalkeeper command beyond the penalty area, support the attack from the defensive third.