Age-Appropriate Training

Parents play a vital role in supporting their children's
long-term soccer development

Washington Youth Soccer's Long-Term Player Development Plan was created for clubs and coaches to support the growth of their programs. We also wanted to expose parents to the most comprehensive, holistic, modern-day, player-centric developmental methods and ideology used by industry experts and successful countries across the globe.

By describing the correct areas of focus at each stage of a player's development, parents now can ensure that their children's education is being correctly facilitated by their coach and club. With the facts clearly stated based on best practices, parents will now be able to hold clubs more accountable for the services they render. Below is an overview of the fundamental aspects concerned with age-appropriate player development for U11 players. Please visit the Technical Zone at our website and click on “Age Appropriate Training under Coaches Resources” to see our age-appropriate videos, curriculum and session plans with detailed narration to assist you in creating a positive learning environment for your players. Enjoy!

5‐7 Years Old — Switching Players On and Learning to Move

Development Belief: "Preparing to Learn"

Goals: Spark imagination and creativity, develop movement skills and general coordination, develop speed, agility, balance.

Environment: Soccer education should be hidden in fun games; small- sided games that encourage total involvement, expression and enjoyment during training sessions.

Role of the coach: Create a safe and pressure-free environment for the players; provide fun and enjoyable activities; provide stimulating activities that promote fundamental skills and development.

Age-specific training environment:

  • Technical training: Very high (everyone has a ball)
  • Physical training: Movement management
  • Mental training: Enjoyment and skill development

8‐10 Years Old — Learning the Game's Fundamental Skills

Development Belief: "Preparing to Learn"

Goals: Continued technical mastery and experimentation is needed for skill development

Environment: Small-sided games and playing opportunities continue to develop movement management; encourage and develop confidence; develop goal-setting qualities and improvement indicators.

Role of the coach: Motivate and stimulate players to continue to develop; set targets that are achievable, but not easy; install a can-do mentality (persistence and desire to achieve); support improvement and be positive.

Age-specific training environment:

  • Technical training: Very high (everyone has a ball)
  • Tactical training: 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 environments
  • Physical training: Movement management
  • Mental training: Enjoyment, skill development, learn how to train

For further details, please visit WashingtonYouthSoccer.org.