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Long Term Player Development Info:



Fundamentals of Soccer:



"Coaching U8 Soccer"

What should U8 soccer players learn?


Coaching at the U8 soccer age group should build on what kids have learned at the U6 level.

Now in saying that, coaches will always get players of varying levels and this is the art of coaching. The coach must be able to cater to players that have some skills and players that are less experienced.

Here are some thoughts on what the coach should introduced to the players...

Restarts like corners, goal-kicks and indirect kicks begin to come into play at this age.

The players should be introduced to the soccer restarts, but in my opinion the restarts should not be a point of emphasis, but soccer skills and small sided soccer games should be pushed in the soccer practices...

  • Basic soccer restarts kick off and drop ball.
  • Additional soccer fouls of pushing,
    holding and tripping.
  • Basic sportsmanship.
  • Team bonding and fun.

These fundamentals will set up a good foundation for the young U8 player.

What soccer skills should be introduced?

Start out by teaching...

  • 1 on 1 moves like v-move, stepover or scissors.
  • Basic traps by utilising the sole, instep, thigh and chest.
  • Passing the soccer ball.
  • Using the Instep for good shooting technique.

The basic dribbling, passing and receiving, ball control and shooting skills are very important. This takes time for the coach to develop and requires some patience.

Once the player is comfortable with the soccer ball this will allow them to lift their head to look around the field...presto, you have a player that can make decisions - well it's not that easy but you get the drift.



Soccer tactics

How does the triangle relate to small sided games and the relationship between the player and everyone else on the field? The kids start to figure out they can share the soccer ball.

I like to teach in small 3v3 or 4v4 groups because the triangles show up all over the field, and the kids get lots of touches on the soccer ball.

Once the player receives the soccer ball they have to make a decision to pass or dribble the soccer ball. 


U8 is where we introduce the players to making decisions on their own.  They should be allowed to learn from both their mistakes and accomplishments during games with minimal coaching from the sideline.  This is often one of the most difficult things for a new coach to wrap their head around but there is no arguing learning from experience is substantially more effective then being told what to do while paying a game.  Just let them play and they will pick it up.   Remember, they are there to have fun and experience the joy of soccer, not to play a certain position, win every ball or score all the goals.  Trust me, they will get there on their own in very little time.