Welcome to FJFC's U11-U18 Corner
The U11 – U18 age-range represents the Youth Development phase
Footballers in this age-range will possess a more developed understanding of the game and be able to problem-solve and analyse situations more quickly. Many of the foundation principles remain the same for a coach in how they set the environment. Try and encourage the learners to decide how they want to play and encourage them to take ownership for how they will put this into practice. Using questioning and guided discovery can accelerate development (rather than directing or telling the players the answers) and this may translate into faster and better decision-making on the pitch.
Ensure training has game-related practices that clearly link to a dimension of play. More aware of their team, players at this age are subject to different pressures so ensure that all players are given the opportunity to positively contribute. The larger playing area means that sessions with greater numbers can be appropriate to replicate match-day so ensuring realism is a must.
Remember: this is a period of transition in a young person's life (primary > secondary school; moving to 11v11), so ensuring clear coaching boundaries and consistency in behaviour is vital.
Tip: Preferences for certain roles will begin to emerge in this age-bracket. Motivation will be heightened if a player can directly see the relevance and benefit in the choice of practice to their match experience. Work this into your planning.