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U6 Resources for coaches

U6 is the entry level for many players in soccer. Because the level isn't very high, there is an idea prevalent that anybody can coach U6 players. That idea is quickly dispelled when parents go out to coach for the first time. While it may be easy to entertain your 5 year old, when you have a group of 5 year olds, the challenge is much more complex.

As a high school teacher during the day, I constantly encounter peers who say that they couldn't deal with a group of children that young. With a spouse who is an elementary school teacher, I hear comments from her peers about how they couldn't handle older children. For some reason, that has never been an issue for me. I don't know why, but I can coach any age and not be intimidated or uncomfortable. For over 20 years, I have taught parent coaches how to work with the U6 player. The past seven years, I have been able to watch these coaches then go out and try to coach. This is not to say that a 4 hour training session or a season's worth of experience will make someone a master coach, but I should expect to see some improvement in the level of coaching over time. Unfortunately, I still haven't found the magic formula to help parent volunteer coaches become skilled at coaching the U6 age group. I can now conclude that the coaching course and the parent/coach behavior system (Cheer don't Steer) and the model training sessions I have run over the years have had little effect on the quality of the coaching for this age group.

So I have decided to provide some additional support for coaches:

I got some player volunteers and their parents and coaches to help me make a model session video for you. In this video, I run through one complete session and give you some pointers about how to coach and what to coach this age group.

U6 model sessionvideo

Games to play: I also searched Youtube to find some activities and games that are appropriate for this age group and assembled them into a youtube video playlist

You can also refer to my previous blog posts including:
a model training session
U6 level games including "Don't let the bird bite you in the bootie", "
Red Light- Green Light" and "Pinball."

A U6 coaches manual I wrote several years back. Some of the info is outdated, but there is plenty of good ideas in there as well.
A youtube playlist with activities for the U6 age group: playlist

Here is a link to an earlier post that details our U6 game modifications to let you know how to run your u6 game.

If you have volunteered to coach, then this presentation from Sam Snow, the US Youth Soccer Director of coaching can help you.

I will be adding to this post as I assemble more materials, but in the meantime, please make use of these resources and let's start doing a better job of coaching our youngest players.

John


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