The purpose of this training program is to allow the u4 and 5.s the opportunity to learn some basic ideas and experience the basic skill sets of soccer. They.ll learn that it.s a game that revolves around solving problems; that it ends with a result; that it takes place in a defined area; that it has an objective; direction; rules and involves other people.
It’s also important for parents to understand that the problems the children will need to solve and their level of difficulty are controlled by manipulating the elements of the game. This is done by controlling the time/space and the number of options that the children have to work with. Adjusting the elements is a vital coaching skill, as it creates the correct level of resistance. Too great a resistance breeds frustration, too little boredom.
There are four developmental areas we’ll observe. They are interdependent and are improved within the context of the game. Together they provide the baseline for evaluation and education.
1) Motor skills. These develop over time as the child matures. Physical strength, coordination, balance and speed are improved within their genetic limits inside the game. Additional homework can aid in this area.
2) Social development. Children must learn how to interact with others in order to play the game. Both cooperative and competitive social skills must be mastered.
3) Ball manipulation. The ball represents the first level of resistance. Manipulating it in order to achieve an objective represents the level of technical mastery.
4) Soccer insight. Understanding the meaning, objectives, problems and solutions that the game asks is a key learning objective.