At U12’s you’ll start to move your training sessions towards developing;
- Compact Defending: While working within a unit
- Precision Passing: That focuses specifically on opening up lines of defense and playing ‘through the gaps’
- Counter Attacks: The who, what, when, why and how your team should prepare to hit the opposition on a counter attack
- SSG’s: That move from 7v7 up to 9v9
Remember however, you’re still going to want to focus on refining the skills they have already learned at U11’s with a sharp focus on;
- Velocity: Skills done at speed with a purpose
- Efficiency: Skills performed at with the least amount of time and effort
- Effectiveness: Applying the right skills used at the right time
Continued education, advice and mentoring are vital components to your training practices with this age group.
What to Expect from Under 12’s
Expect your U12’s to be stronger than they’ve ever been. As your players are developing physically you might start to notice varying differences in the abilities between players.
Remember that some players may be almost year older than other players in the group and this might have some effect on things such as their strength and ability to compete physically within a game.
It’s also not uncommon to find certain players standing out as leaders within the group. You’ll have to find the balance between helping these players control and put their leadership skills to good use while not imposing on the quieter players.
Your Priorities Coaching Under 11’s
- Again, focus on improving the velocity, efficiency and effectiveness of skills within a competitive environment
- Introduce other topics such as; general wellbeing, getting good sleep and eating well
- Develop some core values for your team to follow and stay true too. This can be good way to build team character and moral and also give them some structure to follow.
- Focus on developing; defending principles counter attacking and passing with purpose within small, structured and conditioned games.
Main Topics of Focus
While you’ll move away from basic static ball control drills, you won’t completely forget about these ‘basic topics’ altogether. Encourage your players to develop their dribbling, ball control, turning and other similar skills in more competitive, conditioned games (SSG’s).
With that said, your U12’s soccer drills should focus around the following topics:
- Ball Control
- Positional Awareness
- Receiving Priorities
- Heading (Defensive vs Attacking)
- Support Play
- SAQ and Soccer Conditioning Drills
- Counter Attacking
- Compact Defending
- Small sided games (7v7 / 9v9)
U12 Soccer Drills, Games and Activities
Remember to have browse through our; U9, U10, U11 and U13 drill guides for more soccer drills, games and ideas for your under 12’s group. Most training practices in these guides can be, and should be adapted, progressed and regressed depending on the ability of your players.
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