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Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Soccer


Teaching Basic Soccer Skills

The next thing to focus on while coaching youth soccer is providing the athletes with a solid framework of skills. If you're working with a younger team, you may be teaching these skills to kids for the first time. But even if you're working with older athletes, soccer players can never practice the fundamentals too often. Skills like dribbling, passing and shooting a goal are essential parts of the game that should be carefully taught and reinforced with drills.

One of the first things your players should learn is how to dribble the ball down the field. When you teach your athletes to dribble, you're teaching them to control the ball with all areas of the foot; however, beginners will mostly use the inside of the foot or the toe. The more experienced the player, the more advanced dribbling skills he or she can use, including fakes and direction changes [source: Expert Football].

In addition to dribbling, another way to advance the ball down the field is with passing. This is an easy skill to practice -- it essentially involves kicking the ball between two players. Once the players have the basic art of passing the ball down, they can participate in practice drills that involve passing while running. The most critical thing to master will be controlling the direction of the ball [source: Soccer Training Info].

The final skill that you'll want to teach is how to shoot a goal. This involves a lot of ball control -- shooting with the correct part of the foot will allow the ball to go in the correct (intended) direction. Shooting drills will help improve accuracy, and as players improve, they can practice taking different shots.

The best thing to remember when teaching soccer fundamentals is to practice the skills with different drills so practices don't become repetitive. Once you've taught your team the basics, you'll want to spend time practicing drills that will keep these skills fresh. To learn about some fun and easy drills to try with your team, keep reading.