U9/10 practice basics

U9-10 Starter Guide

Players in this age range are now more advanced and are able to grasp some tactical concepts but are still developing mentally, emotionally, socially, and physically.  Coaches need to be able to explain “why” they are asking players to perform certain actions, but explanations should be given quickly and with simple to understand reasons. Practices should never last more than 1 hour and 15 minutes, and all practices should end with at least 30 minutes of the kids playing an actual game against one another.  Try to remember they are participating in soccer to actually play soccer.

Passing, Dribbling, Finishing should be the primary focus of players at this age and practices should reflect an effort to create as many touches on the ball as possible per player.  

Typical Characteristics of u9/10 Players

•    Gross and small motor skills becoming more refined and reliable

•    Ability to stay on task is lengthened. They have the ability to sequence thought and actions.

•    Greater diversity in playing ability and physical maturity.

•    Skills are emerging. Becoming more predictable and recognizable.

•    Some children begin moving from concrete thinking to abstract thinking.

•    Able to pace themselves by planning ahead

•    Increased self-responsibility. They remember to bring their own equipment.

•    Starting to recognize basic tactical concepts, but not exactly sure why certain decisions are better.

Coaching Priorities

         EMPHASIZE – Dribbling, Passing and Shooting with all sides & surfaces of both feet (inside, outside, sole, laces)

       MAXIMIZE REPETITION- Be organized in your practice, the quicker the players can move from exercise to exercise the more reps they will gain. If they are having to wait for a coach to set up they are losing opportunities to touch the ball. Let the game itself help to facilitate your teaching. Utilize directional exercises to zones.


·          Dribbling or passing out of trouble rather than just randomly kicking

·          Taking players on 1v1 

·          Using teammates to get to desired result

·          Basic passing 

·          Small group activities (3v3, 4v4)

·          Keep it active and FUN! – No laps, long lines, lectures

Video Examples


Passing and support