The U5 – U10 age-range represents the Foundation phase (mini-soccer)
At this age, a coach should take a long-term view and concentrate on the overall social, technical, physical and psychological development of the child. Rotating children into positions equally, giving them equal playing time (regardless of ability) is paramount. The goal is to allow the child to be creative and fall in love with the game. Results do not matter. It is all about the development of the child above all else. No-one keeps score at this level. Let them have fun!
Encouragement, positivity and inclusivity are vital…on game-day allow mistakes to happen and encourage effort, not ability. In training, demonstrate slowly and use a variety of learning methods: whiteboard, demonstration, trial and error. Get into good habits early and allow the players to influence your practices: what do they enjoy? A successful coach is one who retains his players throughout the ages…of all abilities.
Remember: A coach is an important figure in a child’s life at this age, so ensure you demonstrate role-model behaviour at all times.
Guidance on best pitch size, ball size and team size for each age can be found here.