(based on Components of the Game as identified by MA Youth Soccer for the U14 Age Group*)
- Experiment with the qualities of a flighted ball, i.e.: spin, swerve, chipping to pass, bending passes and driving crosses to the far post and top of the penalty area.
- Half volley and volley shooting
- Slide tackles
- Heading to pass
- Flick headers
- Diving headers
- Receiving with the outside of the instep
- Outside of foot shot
- Receiving bouncing and air balls with the head
- Dummy the ball
- Shoulder charge
- Introduce chipping to shoot
- For goalkeepers: far post play, collapse save, step and save, step power and save, save/reaction save/recovery save, medium and high diving, deflecting over the crossbar and around the posts, boxing and catching crosses, reading crosses (when to come and when to stay), half volley (drop kick), kick saves, long over-arm throws, saving penalty kicks and angle play.
- Tension control
- Self and team discipline
- Ability to stay focused for an entire match
- Parental involvement
- How to play
- Mental focusing techniques
- Emotional management and self-regulation.
- Individual and group tactics including delay, depth and balance in defense.
- Compactness (the whole team moves together both horizontally and vertically to support each other on the attack or when defending.)
- Role of 3rd defender
- How to make recovery and tracking runs
- Playing on, around and away from the ball with purpose
- Responding to restart situations
- How to defend in each part of the field
- How to play in the attacking half
- Checking runs, take-overs, switching positions during the flow of play, zone defense and post-match analysis
- For goalkeepers: taking command of the goal area, provide support on the attack out to the back line, distance of support to the defense, organization during a corner kick, setting the wall at free kicks and 1v1 with the defense and communication.
- Anaerobic exercise, cardio respiratory and cardiovascular training
- Flexibility – static stretching (particularly in the cool-down), lateral movement and all fitness work with the ball.
- Continue player education about nutrition and introduce the concept of rest for recovery
US Youth Soccer Player Development Model – October, 2013 – Available on the ASC Website.