Stages of Development (7-9 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 we use the techniques of widely respected educator Doug Lemov, as outlined in his book, “Teach Like a Champion”.

We strive to adapt our coaching to the age and level of every 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. We understand that 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 can not be taught without the parallel growth in 2 other important areas: Educational and Social.

As coaches and educators, 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
  • 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 7-9 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, introduce perception of time
  • To teach our players to take care of their bodies and the importance of eating healthy (advantages of good nutrition in your everyday life)
  • To make sessions dynamic, fun, and non-stressful

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

  • Dribbling with both legs and ball close to feet – To master dribbling is the ultimate goal
  • Shooting with both legs, most surfaces, distances, and different game situations
  • Passing (using various surfaces) with active and passive resistance in different aspects of game
  • Basic static control on the ground and in the air
  • Orientation after/with control
  • Passing an opponent with active player opposition
  • Field awareness and organization

Physical and Motor Skill Development:

  • Lateral movement with dominant and less dominant legs
  • Activities where the nervous system is activated
  • Coordination and balance improvements
  • Capable to recuperate from more intense exercises
  • Familiarization with ball trajectories
  • Increase in energy levels to be able to introduce:
    • Strength: By means of jumps, and using body weight, dragging partner, etc
    • Speed: Running technique, chasing relay games, action and reaction exercises from different postures, short distance running
    • Flexibility: basic exercises without full extension
    • Endurance: basic intro through games

Social Objectives:

  • To introduce the diversity of physical activity by introducing games and concepts from other sports
  • To teach good teamwork concepts by putting players in situations that force them to understand different positions
  • To take advantage of players’ improved attention span at this age so that more complexity can be added to the exercises

Rules of the game: The referee, respect to the game, game rules