West Carleton Soccer Club

REC Coaching Manuals and Session Plans

Rec Coaching Manuals and Session Plans

Expectations and hints for coaches of all age groups:

Guidelines and tips for coaches

Coaching Manuals and Resources recommended by WCSC:

Additional Weekly Practice Ideas:

Ontario Soccer provides a huge bank of drills:

Drills are broken into suggested age groups:

Active Start: ~ U4-U6

FUNdamentals: ~U8-U10

Learn to Train: ~U10+

Practice Plans

Practice Videos

Generally speaking if you have a specific area you want to work on, a quick youtube search will yield many useful results.

U8+ Retreat Line Explained

A nice video explaining the retreat line rule and reasons behind it.

Note: only fir first 2 minutes of the video are applicable.

U11+ Offiside Explained

These two videos do a good job of explaining the offside rule.

Video 1

Video 2

U11+ Throw-in Explained

How to teach a throw in: 

Basic throw-in rules:

At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower must:

  • stand facing the field of play
  • have part of each foot on the touchline or on the ground outside the touchline
  • throw the ball with both hands from behind and over the head from the point where it left the field of play

All opponents must stand at least 2 m from the point at which the throw-in is taken.

Coaching Soccer, What you should know:

What should soccer players learn?

Coaching should build on what kids have learned.

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 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 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.

Small 3v3 or 4v4 groups work well, 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. 

At around 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 that they will get there on their own in very little time.

References and Articles for Coaches

Long Term Player Development Wellness to World Cup

Big Field - A blank snapshot of a field that you can print off and draw on (a substitute for a white board).

Five Favorite practices Les Reed - Five practices focusing on using four defenders (backs)

Five Favorite Practices of Chris Apple in the penalty area - These drills focus on getting players comfortable working in the penalty area (on defense and offense).

Game Lineup - A nifty tool to help you get your thoughts in order before the game re: who starts, who is off, and any thoughts you have as the game progresses.

Game Stats - Another nifty tool that allows you to track game stats like # corners/shots/turnover/headers (or any other skill that you are trying to get your players to use in a game situation). Very useful for half time and post game reflection with players.

Sports Psychology/Emotional Intelligence:

Two documents that talk about some of the key mental and emotional skills that high performing athletes need to develop

Mental Skills Training for Soccer Traits of  High Achievers

Sports Psych


    SIRC - Sport Information Resource Centre

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