Curriculum

Development Phase 1 | Learning to Train | U8-U10

Development Phase 2 | Training to Train | U10-U12

Development Phase 3 | Learning to Compete | U12-U14

Development Phase 4 | Training to Compete | U14-U16

Development Phase 5 | Training to Win | U16 & Older

Development Phase 1 | Learning To Train

U8-U10 Age Group 
Training sessions are 60-75 minutes long. The main areas of focus: mastering the ball, learning how to train properly, and creating a foundation for teamwork. At this age, there is an emphasis on having fun and getting comfortable with ball. The players must enjoy their experience at a young age to fall in love with the game.

Warm up:  Activities focus on different variations of ball control and continuing to develop body movement. The warm ups will vary day to day to keep things fresh. During this time, the goal is to get as many touches as possible on the ball in a short amount of time. Repetition is key at this age. 

Main Activities: The main activities are developing ball control while learning how to problem solve individually and with teammates. Players learn several new activities each week that create a foundation for their training environment as they progress over the years (Learning to Train Phase). Each player is given very close indivdual attention to begin training good habits. Different variations of passing & dribbling. Each activity can build into higher level variations that help to develop technical abilities & combinational play.

Session Plan Example ( 60 min )

15 min - Individual ball work (high repetition)
15 min - 1on1, 2v1, 3v2 or Passing and Receiving
20 min - Possession drill or game like activity
10 min - Each session ends with small side scrimmage 4v4 or 5v5

Development Phase 2 | Training To Train

U10-U12 Age Group 
Training sessions are 60-90 minutes long. The main areas of focus: continuation of mastering the ball and learning principles of play. Players transition into a Training to Train Phase now that a foundation has been set from previous years of playing. New tactical concepts: Principle of Attacking & Principles of Defending. Several of these principles are very complicated and at this stage of development, the focus is on creating a foundation based on these principles.

  • Principles of Attacking: Combination play, positional play, and improvisation/creativity.
  • Principles of Defending: marking, tracking, interceptions separations, balance/team shape, compactness, control & restraint (not diving in), and counter-attack.

Warm up: Games or activities that work on different variations of ball control and team problem-solving. Lots of empahsis on improving indivdual ball retention skills. As many touches as possible in a short amount of time as repition is key. 

Main Activities: Games focus on individual and team problem-solving. Players work on mastering combination play from various points on the field and the ability to analyze and adjust in-game. Each session should end with small sided games to goals. Each player is given lots of indivdual attention as teams still have low numbers on the roster with a big emphasis on not starting bad habits. Different variations of passing & dribbling. Each activity will be building into higher level variations to improve technical abilities, combinational play, and problem-solving.

Session Plan Example ( 60 min )

20 min - individual ball work-1on1, 2v1, 3v2 or passing and Receiving
15 min - Possession/problem solving drills
30 min - Attacking/defending principles or game like activity 
10 min - Each session ends with small sided Scrimmage 5v5 or 6v6 

Development Phase 3 | Learning To Compete

U12 – U14 Age Group
Training sessions are 75-90 minutes long. The final phase of player preparation aims to maximize player performance in all aspects of the game. A player’s capacities are becoming fully established while training to peak for major competitions. Training is characterized by high intensity and relatively high volume with frequent periods of rest.

Warm-up: Games or activities that work on different variations of ball control and team problem-solving. Similair to stage 1 and  stage 2 where amount of touches is the focus, but at this stage speed of technique is pushed. By this time every move will be learned properly, but needs faster execution. 

Main Activities: Main Activity the main focus will be on Different variations of passing & dribbling. Each activity will be building into higher level variations to improve technical abilities, combinational play, and problem-solving. An emphasis will be put on these topics that are different to stage 2. Development of effective competition strategies and ability to adjust within games, The importance of variation/options on set-pieces in attack & defense, Maintenance of physical capabilities with the view of maximizing performance, Well-developed, refined and individualized mental skills and routines.

Session Plan Example ( 75 min )

15 min - individual ball work-1on1, 2v1, 3v2 or passing and Receiving
15 min - Problem Solving Drills
35 min - Attacking/defending principles or game like activity 
10 min - Each session ends with small sided Scrimmage 5v5 or 6v6 

Development Phase 4 | Training To Compete

U15-U16 Age Group 
Training sessions are 90 minutes long. The main areas of focus: developing tactical concepts of the game while continuing to develop technical abilities. The training sessions will begin to shift focus onto game-like situations on different parts of the field. Solutions to complex situations will be worked on in the DEFENSIVE 3rd, MID-FIELD, and the ATTACKING 3rd of the field. Players will have developed technical abilities from previous stages to be able to maintain possession under high pressure situations. Training is characterized by high intensity and relatively high volume with frequent periods of rest.

Warm up: Players at this stage in development will also be introduced to specific training techniques that will help the PHYSICAL aspect of the game. As Players bodies begin to develop into adulthood, Important traits must be worked on such as SPEED, AGILITY, QUICKNESS OF FEET (SAQ's) and BALANCE. This will only be done at the beginning of practice for a short period of time. Improving Technical qualities will still be added in the warm up. Time spent on each will vary week to week based on each team's Game Schedule. 

Main Activities: The main focus will be on Different variations of game-like situations in the 3rds mentioned above (DEFENSIVE, MID-FIELD,OFFENSIVE).

Players will focus on drills that improve game understanding in both the defensive and offensive transitions of the game. Some of the main concepts that will be introduced at this stage in development are:

Attacking & Defending

Attacking Shape
– Width & Depth
– Off the ball movement
– Ball Movement / Pattern Play
– Various ways to attack space
– Crossing & finishing
– Combination play to goal
– Counter attack
– 1v1's

Defensive Shape
– Pressure, cover, & balance
– Areas to force the ball
– Defensive Shape
– Zonal Defending
– Pressing as a team
– How to delay and recover as a team
– Iv1 defending

Session Plan Example ( 90 min )

15 min - SAQ's,  passing & receiving, dribbling 
20 min - Problem Solving Drills, Possession activities focused on perception 
35 min - Attacking/defending principles based on 3rds 
20 min - Each session ends with small sided scrimmage 8v8 or 9v9

Development Phase 5 | Training To Win

U16+

Training sessions are 90 minutes long. The final phase of player preparation aims to maximize player performance in all aspects of the game. A player’s capacities are becoming fully established while training to peak for major competitions. The majority of the session is spent on the tactical approach in the various parts of the field. Numbers increase specifically due to tactical training sessions. Training is characterized by high intensity and relatively high volume with frequent periods of rest. Practice at the U16+ level position specific training will be incorporated occasionally. On position specific training days the team will be split into 3 groups. Defenders, Midfielders, and Forwards/Keepers. 

Warm-up: Players at this stage in development will use the warm up to strengthen the physical aspect of the game.  SPEED, AGILITY, QUICKNESS OF FEET (SAQ's) and BALANCE will take 10 minutes of each practice. Improving Technical qualities will still be part of the warm up. At any age in a player's career technical repetition will be crucial for development. Technical drills that work on 1st touch, dribbling, passing, crossing, defending technique, etc... Time spent on each will vary week to week based on each team's Game Schedule.

Main activities (addition to Training to Compete Development Phase)

Defensive Phase

  • Ability to improvise within game situations
  • Independent decision-making on defense
  • Further development and refinement of soccer specific skills
  • The importance of variation/options on set-pieces on Defense
  • Development of effective competition strategies and ability to adjust within games

Attacking Phase

  • Successful tactics, strategies, and necessary variations needed to win games
  • The importance of variation/options on set-pieces in attack
  • Well-developed, refined and individualized mental skills and routines
  • Independent decision-making on offense 

Session Plan Example ( 90 min )

10 min - SAQ's- passing & receiving, dribbling 
10 min - technica-lpassing & receiving, dribbling, etc..
40 min - Attacking/defending principles based on 3rds 
30 min - Each session ends with small sided scrimmage 9v9 or 10v10 with main focus on tactical adjustments