U9/U10 – A Basic Overview

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css_animation=”left-to-right”]ASC How to Coach U9:U10

U9/U10 General Characteristics:

Mental/Psychological (Cognitive)

  • Lengthened attention span
  • Ability to sequence thought and actions, begin to think in advance of the ball, anticipate
  • Ability to remember, follow more complex instructions and solve high-level problems (e.g., simple combination play)
  • Developing ability to focus and stay on task
  • More understanding of time and space relations, beginning to think of when and where to move with and without the ball

Physical (Psychomotor)

  • Gain tremendous amount of physical strength, endurance and power (related to body size and muscle mass)
  • Motor performance includes a variety of takes that require speed, balance, flexibility, explosive strength, muscular endurance
  • Pace actor is developing
  • Gross and small fine motor skills becoming refined
  • Children are in linear growth mode (head to toe)
  • Height can approach 5 feet and weight can approach 80 pounds

Social (Psychosocial)

  • Self-concept and body image are important
  • Less sensitive but still dislike personal failure in front of peers
  • Begin to initiate play on their own, want to play
  • Becoming more serious about their play
  • Included more toward small group and team activities
  • Peer group attachment and pressure becoming significant
  • Adults outside the family become influential
  • Gender difference becoming more apparent
  • Team becomes increasingly important


Components of the Game for U9/U10 Players (in priority order):

Technical: Running with the ball (at speed, under pressure), passing, heading, instep drive (shooting, crossing), receiving ground and air balls, throw-in, moves in dribbling, tackling, goalkeeping skills (ready stance, “W” grip, hold after save, catch shots, punt, throw, goal kicks)

Psychological: Working in groups of 3-6, stay focused for entire half, learn how to win/lose/draw gracefully, sportsmanship, how to handle parental involvement, communication, emotional management

Physical: Endurance, range of motion, flexibility, proper warm up, introduce cool-down

Tactical: Roles of 1st attacker and defender, roles of 2nd attackers and defenders, 2v1 attacking (simple combinations), man-to-man defending, throw-ins, restarts, set plays, setting up walls


Coaching Tips:

  1. Coach is a patient and motivating teacher
  2. Coach has ability to understand and demonstrate technique
  3. Coaches provide environments/activities conducive to problem-solving and decision-making by the players; use guided discovery method
  4. General rule of thumb is four players, one ball (except for dribbling)
  5. Begin introducing principles of attack (penetration, support, and improvisation/creativity) and principles of defense (recovery, pressure, cover)
  6. Sessions should be thematic (dribbling, passing, receiving, shooting)
  7. Light coaching on simple technique
  8. Include small-sided directional games (1v1, 2v1, 2v2, 3v2, 3v3)