Stages of Development (5-6 YEAR OLD CURRICULUM)

Youth Soccer International’s model incorporates what we believe are the best development models in Europe and the USA, including the models employed by Real Madrid’s Youth Academy, the Spanish Soccer Federation, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), Spain’s Centro Nacional de Formacion de Entrenadores (CENAFE), and US Youth Soccer.

At Youth Soccer International, we believe that the single most important factor in a child’s achievement (in soccer or otherwise) is the quality of the coaches serving them. For guidance on teaching techniques, we follow the approach of widely respected educator Doug Lemov as outlined in his book, “Teach Like a Champion”.

Aside from using what we believe to be the best methods and techniques to enhance players’ ability, we strive to adapt our coaching to the age and developmental level of each player or group of players. We strongly feel that if a player follows our model and takes the sport seriously, he or she can build the foundation needed to excel in soccer. We also believe that setting the right objectives is key. If our objectives are too easy, then players will lose motivation. On the other hand, if our objectives are too complicated, then the players will become frustrated and may start to lose confidence in their abilities.

Youth Soccer International believes that soccer as a sport cannot be taught without the parallel growth in 2 other important areas: Educational and Social.

As coaches and educators, we we must always:

  • Respect the players and the game
  • Adapt training to players’ needs
  • Offer helpful, simple and concrete feedback
  • Coach on effort-ability
  • Build confidence and a sense of camaraderie
  • To always encourage and stimulate players positively
  • Remove anxiety by ensuring that players are having fun and enjoying themselves

It is because we love and respect the beautiful game so much that we expect our players to follow a very simple and clear code of conduct during our practices:

  • Listen to the coaches
  • Respect your teammates
  • Follow Youth Soccer International’s Program

Below, Youth Soccer International introduces what we believe is the most appropriate curriculum for players ages 5-6, according to their developmental stage:

Educational Goals:

  • To instill in our young players the importance of always starting practice with a warm up (always with a ball) and finishing with a cool down
  • To teach our players to take care of their bodies and the importance of eating healthy (advantages of good nutrition in everyday life)
  • To make sessions dynamic and fun

Technical & Tactical Development (Introduction of technical/tactical concepts including):

  • Dribbling, dribbling, and more dribbling
  • Basic intro to shooting, always introducing both legs and different surfaces
  • Basic intro to passing, always introducing both legs but mostly using the inside foot
  • Basic introduction to ball heading (if players are ready)
  • Starting kicks and basic dribbling with passive opposition
  • Ball control with basic surfaces and easy distances
  • Field awareness and intro to field organization

Physical and Motor Skill Development:

  • Low resistance – get tired quickly due to big heart growth phase
  • Independence of body parts with respect to own body
  • Knowledge of the dominant parts of body and possibilities of those parts
  • Lateral orientation with respect to space – using both legs, lateral movements to both sides, using both extremities
  • Movement repetition
  • To work with the most basic movement forms
  • Understanding of distance and direction
  • Locating objects in movement
  • Basic coordination
  • Basic running technique (typical to start finding postural defects to correct)
  • Static balance (balance has not been properly developed yet)
  • Basic breathing cycles

Social Objectives:

  • To reinforce the importance of individual and group integration through team-work and respect for all
  • To expose players to situations where they can develop empathy (putting themselves on another person’s shoes) and understand actions and reactions of different players

Rules of the game: Introduction to the referee, introduction to basic rules (throw-ins, corner kicks, start kicks)