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U12 Skill Development

Skills are the backbone of good soccer or any sport.  A player doesn't feel any reward in being in the right spot only to have the ball bounce away from their own unskilled touch.  Also the better you are at an activity generally the more fun and rewarding it becomes.  As coaches of recreational soccer we have players on our roster with a wide range of experience and ability.  It is our job as coach to help each player to progress in accordance with the stage of his or her development and ability. 

Bearing this in mind the following lists the technical foundation that kids graduating from the U12 should generally possess.  Expecting proficiency from all players in all areas is unreasonable however most agree that these are skills the players should show some knowledge and competency in employing:

  • Can play the ball with all surfaces of the foot except the toe (does not toe the ball)
  • Can trap and make a deliberate first touch with the ball
  • Can execute a throw in
  • Dribble by nudging (how and why) with head up
  • Dibble with medium touch with head up
  • Dibble with long touch with head up
  • Vary speed on dribble
  • Simple feints
  • Principals of 1v1 defendingClean physical play ‐ contest 50‐50 balls
     Principals of 1v2 and 2v2 defending
  • Basic striking and crossing skills
  • Basic ability to play lofted balls

Each coach will approach instruction in these areas differently.  The "age appropriate" training plans in this section as well as the U10 offer a framework in which these skills can be taught and practiced.  Proficiency will not be achieved by players in a few training sessions so encourage players to work on these skills at home and with friends. 

Use all the resources available to you including the MSJSL Technical Director, Division Manger and fellow coaches.  Joint training is strongly encouraged.