Reasonable Expectations After One Year of Training

After one year (two seasons) of formal soccer training, most coaches on the List think that it is realistic to expect most beginners at u10 and above to be able to do the following:

  1. Head a fairly gentle ball (they shouldn't even thinkg of attempting teeth-rattlers until around u13 or so), and also execute a decent chest trap (and decide whether to use the head or chest as the ball is coming in).
  2. Know the basic rules for a first defender (delay/deny), and be able to successfully mark/hold an attacker of similar size/speed/skill for a count of about 7-8.
  3. Execute a basic standing tackle and shoulder charge.
  4. Be able to pass a stationary ball thru cones 1 yard apart at distances of 3 and 6 yards with dominant foot. Be able to pass accurately with non-dominant foot at the 3 yard distance.
  5. Be able to receive/push pass a moving ball thru cones 1 yard apart at a distance of 4 yards (2-3 yards with non-dominant). Nice to have outside of foot pass, but some will not at this stage. Should be able to receive with outside of foot, however.
  6. Be able to execute a laces kick with sufficient force to travel from the penalty mark to the goal on frame and hit a corner (hopefully will have more force than this - but may depend on the size of the player and the amount of ooomph available).
  7. Be able to execute a lofted kick/chip which will clear an average-sized player in their age bracket.
  8. Understand the basic rules on throw-ins (including knowing how, as well as the duties of the support players when receiving a throw).
  9. Be able to dribble/beat a slowish defender by use of simple cuts and explosions.
  10. Be able to shield the ball and hold in 1v1 situation to count of 8.
  11. Understand basic principles of keepaway (talking, taking the ball where the defenders aren't, basic rules of support triangles, planning your reception to take ball into space/away from pressure).
  12. Understand usual game rules (restarts, fouls, fair play, ref signals, basic offsides if applicable).
  13. Understand/follow the team rules (listening, paying attention, cleanup, subbing, calling if late/missing, no hassle of mates, etc.).
  14. Be able to juggle the ball with the foot or thigh (5 times is nice; 10 is better; once they can get 15, they will rapidly get to 30-50, as the knack will be there).
Updated 27 October 1998