What age to start tactical training in club soccer?

  1. #1

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    Sep 14
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    What age to start tactical training in club soccer?

    Just a question out to you soccer pros and coaches. I've been around soccer long enough to know what I'm watching but not a coach. What age should clubs start tactical training? My son is U12 and on one of the top 2 teams in his club at his age and it seems when we play Cincy clubs they are always good games and usually within 1 goal difference. It just seems like we are always chasing the ball and unorganized compared to these teams. I've been to some of the practices and they do a few foot skills and play small sided games most the time. He has been with the club since he was 7 and loved every minute of it but i thought by this point they would start working on these things. The other question is should the second team be taught anything less than the top team? We choose not to be on the top team because of money and time issues even though he has been ask multiple times to come up. I would think the teaching philosophy would be the same regardless if you are the top or low team in an age group.Maybe I'm way off but that's the way i thought it would be. Not complaining about the club at all just wondering.
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  2. #2

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    I would think the sooner the better. IMO ball handling/control should be the majority of their practices.

  3. #3

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    I am not sure what the "right" age is, I can say that I have seen it done as early as 6/7 year olds. Start with the simple tactics and continue to build on these as they progress.

    I would think that the teaching curriculum of a club would be consistent across teams.

  4. #4
    Wireman's Avatar
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    I started mine at U10 and got a little more intense at U12.

  5. #5

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    Be careful what you wish for. There is no replacing good technical training/technical skills. i.e watch the USMNT. Even at this level the lack of technically skilled players hurt big time. The US players struggles to play under pressure, struggle to keep the ball. And it's my guess the USMNT spends a good amount of time on tactical training.
    I once heard a great soccer coach ask his students, "what is the most important part of a corner kick play?" He received all kinds of answers, you need to have your players line up this way, time their runs correctly, etc. The great coach said, "you must have a great ball served into the box, which requires good technique. You can spend all of your training session on teaching your players where to line up, where to run to and when but if the player taking the corner kick does not have the technical skills to serve a good ball, everything else is a waste of time."

  6. #6

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    By U12 they should be getting into tactical decisions. When playing small sided soccer, it is more about getting a greater number of touches and perhaps decision making. Technical theory is ok at that age, but as the reply above references corner kicks,.. in small sided games the corners are short and the player count is smaller. You can teach tactical concepts, but until you are 11v11, working a great deal on corners may not be so productive over the long term. It may win you some small sided games, but unless you are teaching to traits that translate directly to 11v11, it may be a waste.

    At U12 the coach should be instilling tactical ideas and letting players make their own decisions without to much screaming of instructions. Technical ability and tactical awareness need to be paired. If you have one and not the other, your value to a team suffers.

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