The following player development curriculum is intended to create a structured system for teaching children how to play the “beautiful game” of soccer. This curriculum will provide the coaches of U5-U18 teams (boys or girls) with a list of technical and tactical objectives to work on with their players each year.
There are two philosophical concepts that make using this curriculum so important to player development. First concept: In terms of development, practices are more important than games. Children practice so they can develop as soccer players. Games are played for fun and serve as a test to see how much the players have learned in practice. This curriculum will give each coach a clear set of technical and tactical objectives to teach during practices and to evaluate during games. Second concept: The process for developing youth soccer players takes time and patience. This curriculum creates a timeline to gradually teach every technical skill, and tactical concept, appropriate for a U18 player, over the course of 13 years. It is designed to give players ample time to explore new technical and tactical objectives before they progress to more complex training topics.
The difficulty with any curriculum, is that individuals learn and develop at different rates. One rigid curriculum will not be appropriate for every team. Training at the appropriate developmental level and then gradually progressing each year, is essential for maintaining player motivation and enjoyment. When possible, teams will start at the curriculum level that correlates to their age group. Teams can drop down to a lower curriculum level if they are having difficulty with the technical skills and tactics at the curriculum level associated with their age group. The Director of Coaching will be able to assist you in finding the most appropriate curriculum level for your team.
This curriculum provides players with new technical and tactical objectives each year. It is not expected that every player will be able to completely master each of the techniques and tactics, for a particular curriculum level, in one year. Ultimately, we’d like to see players demonstrate learned techniques and tactics during games, but this can take time. As players mature, they continue to refine the technical skills and tactics learned in previous years. Players will develop at different rates, but we can expect that each will follow the following progression for learning techniques and tactics: learn during practice -THEN- demonstrate ability during practice -THEN- utilize during games.
Included are sections that explain the technical and tactical terms used in the curriculum. Although the curriculum outlines when specific objectives will be taught, it does not cover how these teachings should be executed. The design of training sessions is dependent on the individual coach’s preferences and experience level. Coaches with questions about curriculum terminology or practice plans should contact their Director of Coaching for assistance.
The link below is the full Curriculum: