Under 9’s is where you start to really plan and introduce practices that develop individual technique.
As they approach their double-figure age group, the importance of their development goes up a level.
Your U9 soccer drills will need to focus on areas such as; 1v1 situations, winning and keeping possession, basic defending principles, more complex passing techniques and turning.
Please Note However…
With more of an emphasis on the importance of individual technique, it can be easy as their coach, to get too serious and in the process really damage the experience for your players.
Remember, you are still coaching very young children. While you are their coach you are also their role model and mentor amongst many other roles you’ll play in your coaching career.
What to Expect from Under 9’s
Managing U9’s is different from the younger age groups. At this age you might start to see certain issues with behaviour and minor squabbles between players. Managing these issues is key to keeping the moral of your players and therefore their soccer playing experience on the positive side of things.
With this age group however, you’ll find your players are far more independent and be more than capable of following out instructions.
In regards to their physical development, you might find your U9’s very persistent in reaching a particular goal or objective. While this is a great trait, be prepared for an emotional response when a child for whatever reason doesn’t reach the goal they wanted.
Your Priorities Coaching Under 9’s
Your priorities as a coach is to start to understand and develop you own coaching abilities. What worked at a younger age group might not necessarily work with your players when they reach U9’s. So while looking to continually update your technical knowledge is important, what’s equally important is improving your communication skills.
Main Topics of Focus
With your U9 soccer drills you’ll want to progress previous topics you visited before while this time introducing other topics such as:
- Receiving Priorities
- Small sided games (4v4 / 5v5)