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VERSION 2.0 JUNE 30, 2008



This guide is intended for the U6 Program of Soccer Chelsea and helps the coaches and their assistants run the program. The content is derived from the listed sources and has been edited to fit the needs of the U6 Program. A special thank you goes to David and Kay Huddleston of SoccerHelp who gave us the kind permission to print and distribute up to 15 pages of information from their site and the candid spirit of Gavin J. Spooner and Daniel Frankl who gave full access to the material on their sites.

Jacques Michaud, Soccer Chelsea U8 Coordinator 2004 Season. Soccer Chelsea Program for 7/8 Year-old, by Sylvie Bliveau, 2003 Season David and Kay Huddleston from SoccerHelp Article written by Jeff Pill, NHSA Director of Coaching. Special thanks to Dr. Thomas Fleck and the National Youth Coaching Staff, Bill Buren, Dr. David Carr, Dr. Ronald Quinn, Virgil Stringfield taken directly from the New Hampshire Soccer Association website Coaching Manual for 6 and U8 Soccer Coaches by Gavin J. Spooner, Daniel Frankl




FIELDS & SCHEDULES.................................................................................. 1 Field Configuration and Rotation Instructions ........................................... 2 Practice Start Position Schedule .............................................................. 4 U6 PROGRAM DESCRIPTION ....................................................................... 5 Program Objectives .................................................................................. 5 Program Description ................................................................................. 5 Equipment Requirements ......................................................................... 6 Parent Involvement ................................................................................... 7 U6 PRACTICE GUIDE .................................................................................... 8 Practice Breakdown .................................................................................. 8 Warm-Up Exercises .................................................................................. 9 DRILL DESCRIPTIONS ................................................................................ 10 Team Building (TB) ................................................................................. 10 Passing (PS) ........................................................................................... 11 Ball Control (BC) ..................................................................................... 12 Shooting/Kicking (SK) ............................................................................. 15 Relays ..................................................................................................... 17 Mini-Game (MG) ..................................................................................... 21




This section describes the practice field location, station layout drill rotation and schedule. There are four soccer fields as shown in the following diagram. Your teams will use fields 1 and 2.



This section describes the practice field layout, start positions and the drill rotation schedule.

Weekly Team Rotation Instructions The fields are divided into five (5) areas.


Each area is divided into two stations (A and B). Teams will stay in one area for the entire morning on any given Saturday. Teams will rotate to different areas each week. ( 2008 suspended)Every coach is responsible for setting up one station in a given area each Saturday morning. Coaches will set up the same station, in the same area each week, regardless which area the coachs team has been assigned to for that particular week. Coaches will always set up the station in the area they were assigned at the start of the day on week one (1). Coaches will return, to the blue box, any equipment at the area they were assigned on that particular Saturday, at the end of each session. Daily Rotation Instructions (rotation suspended for 2008) Once the coach has set up their designated area, they move to their assigned starting area and station for that week to wait for their players to arrive. After a 10 min. warm up, the horn (or whistle) will blow to indicate the start of the activities. Teams spend 10 min. on the initial activity in their area. The activity is either a game with equipment or a skills relay. When the whistle blows at the end of the first 10 min. period, teams in the same area swap stations (A and B switch). After the second 10 min. whistle, teams stay at the same station (A or B). Coaches clear away the equipment (to the side of the field) then start the next activity designated for that area (which requires no equipment). After the third 10 min. whistle, coaches use orange markers or cones to create two goals and turn their station into a mini-soccer field. Coaches separate their group into two teams of 5 players each. One of the teams can wear pinnies and play in intra-squad game, or you can exchange a team of five players with the group in the neighbouring station in your area and play an inter-squad game.

Note: We have moved to a single, 10 mini-match . This strategy is suitable for older or more active players. If younger players find 10 min. too long, play for 10 miin then switch to fun activities such as take shots on the coach or other games in this manual (or in the recommended links). Suspended for 2008 -An obstacle course will be set up in the space to the west of Area 5 once or twice during the season. Teams will each get the opportunity to complete the obstacle course once during the season. The logistics of when and how teams will rotate to the obstacle course are still being developed and will be communicated to coaches during the season.



The following grid shows the starting station for all teams. The information is presented in two ways. First, by week and area. Second, by team and week. Use the table you prefer to determine your teams starting location each week.

Area 1 Wk 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A one nine five three two one nine five three B seven six four eight ten seven six four eight A three two one nine five three two one nine

Area 2 B six four eight ten seven six four eight ten

Area 3 A B A nine four two five eight one three ten nine two seven five one six three nine four two five eight one three ten nine two seven five Soccer Fete Use week one setup

Area 4 B eight ten seven six four eight ten seven six A five three two one nine five three two one

Area 5 B ten seven six four eight ten seven six four

Team one (1) Seven (7) three (3) six (6) nine (9) four (4) two (2) eight (8) five (5) ten (10)

1* Area 1A Area 1B Area 2A Area 2B Area 3A Area 3B Area 4A Area 4B Area 5A Area 5B

2 Area 4A Area 5B Area 5A Area 1B Area 1A Area 2B Area 2A Area 3B Area 3A Area 4B

3 Area 2A Area 4B Area 3A Area 5B Area 4A Area 1B Area 5A Area 2B Area 1A Area 3B

4 Area 5A Area 3B Area 1A Area 4B Area 2A Area 5B Area 3A Area 1B Area 4A Area 2B

Week Number 5 Area 3A Area 2B Area 4A Area 4B Area 5A Area 3B Area 1A Area 5B Area 2A Area 1B

6 Area 1A Area 1B Area 2A Area 2B Area 3A Area 3B Area 4A Area 4B Area 5A Area 5B

7 Area 4A Area 5B Area 5A Area 1B Area 1A Area 2B Area 2A Area 3B Area 3A Area 4B

8 Area 2A Area 4B Area 3A Area 5B Area 4A Area 1B Area 5A Area 2B Area 1A Area 3B

9 Area 5A Area 3B Area 1A Area 4B Area 2A Area 5B Area 3A Area 1B Area 4A Area 2B


Soccer Fete

*Go directly to field indicated by week number and setup your field as needed. No rotation.



The U6 program is for children who will turn 5 or 6 this year. The program objectives are: Build friendships with peers in the community Develop sportsmanship and to have fun Develop an understanding of the basic rules of soccer Develop basic soccer motor skills including coordination, balance, body and ball control

The U6 level is comprised of a large group of players and parents. This program runs once a week on Saturday mornings for one hour. Beginning with playoriented skill development drills and then evolving into a mixture of drills and scrimmages, the emphasis is on having fun. The drills are designed as playful games which are engaging for the kids, and which rapidly improve their soccer abilities. Groups will be formed with up to 14 players per group. Games and simulation matches are played within each group at smaller stations with a maximum of 5 players per side. Team Size and Selection Depending on the number of kids registered in the program, the team roster size will be between eight to twelve players. At this level, we anticipate up to 140 players that will form 10 teams of 14 players. The program practices run on Saturday mornings. Before the beginning of the season we try to balance the teams according to ability in order to provide motivation and challenge to all players. Any request parent requests for team changes must be directed to the program coordinator. With the exception of special circumstances, where safety or fair play is at risk, players will not be changed after the first week of the program. Moving a player often creates as many team imbalances as it resolves. Practice Format The practice sessions will lasts 60 min. according to the following schedule: 9:00 to 9:10 9:10 9:10 to 9:50 9:50 to 10:00 10:00 Warm Up Sound indicating that station activities begin Three activities, each lasting 10 minutes Mini-match 5X5 Snack



Soccer Skills Introduced/Developed The following skills will be introduced or developed further: Running and stopping with ball Striking the ball with the feet Ball & body control Coordination & balance

Each player must wear appropriate equipment including: jerseys, shin guards, cleats, and other clothing. Jerseys Soccer Chelsea team jerseys/shorts and socks are handed out at the beginning of the season. All players should be encouraged to wear their jersey to each practice. Shin Guards Players should wear shin guards to every practice and every game. The hard surfaces on the shin guards must be covered with socks. Encourage parents to buy properly sized shin guards that have a hard surface, either plastic or fibreglass and padding to cover the anklebone. Cleats Players should wear shoes with rubber cleats. No shoes with front cleats may be worn (i.e., no baseball or football shoes if they have a front cleat, unless it is cut off.) Metal cleats are not allowed. Clothing Jewellery, metal devices, or hazardous equipment should be taken off before the game. Casts are allowed if they are padded and the referee approves them before the game. Water Bottle Players should bring a plastic water bottle, with their name clearly labelled, to games and practices. Coaches should allow adequate water breaks during practice and bring extra water as some players will always forget to bring water. Ball Players should bring a size 3 stitched soccer ball, as opposed to a hard seamless ball. All balls should be clearly identified with his/her name. The ball size is indicated on the ball. Ideally it should have a stamp that says either "official size and weight" or "FIFA Approved". Even if a ball is the official weight, some balls are heavier and harder than others. Avoid heavy or hard balls since they are harder to kick. If you have a choice, a shiny, waterproof surface is best because it will not absorb water and will last longer. Test the ball to see if it is round and will fly straight by tossing it into the air with a lot of spin on it to see if it wobbles.



The U6 program is run entirely by volunteer coaches and organizers. The program relies on parent volunteers to coach or to help with various weekly activities. This parent involvement is critical to the success of the program. Coach Volunteers No specific skills are required. You will get the support needed. Soccer Chelsea offers training sessions and technical support throughout the season to all coaches. A program and coaches manual is handed out at the beginning of the season to help improve your soccer knowledge. Assistant Coach Volunteers Every team requires an assistant coach to help with on-the-field activities and to share the administrative responsibilities. Soccer Chelsea U6 Program Contact If you need help or clarification on the program, do not hesitate to contact the following: Contact: Phone: E-mail: Blake Henderson 827-9271



Practices focus on skill-development followed by an inter-squad game. The 60 minute practice session will be broken down as follows: Warm-up (10 mins) A 10 min. warm-up is appropriate to get the players thinking about soccer and to prepare them physically for the time ahead. This should involve individual body activities that may or may not involve the ball as explained in the next section. Drills (3 x 10 mins) All teams will rotate through three 10 min. sessions focusing on a specific skill. As the season progresses, each session serves as a building block to build a specific soccer skill and to understand the basic concept of soccer including team building, ball control, passing, kicking (shooting) and goal keeping. Mini Game (10 mins) (optional) The training session will finish with a 10 min. intra-squad or inter-squad soccer game across the short side of the teams designated area. These games are played according to U6 rules but without a fixed goaltender. This format allows players to learn to defend aggressively and to achieve the maximum number of ball contacts during a short period of time. The mini game will heighten the intensity of the players, who are now tired of the drills. It will also create some good competition within the team. If the conditions permit, the team can be divided into two squads playing against another two squads from a different team. Cool-down and Snack (5 mins) Finish the session with a short cool-down and give the players some more stretches to do with the ball. Players may be given some homework for the week so that they practice on their own. Think of some ball trick that they can practice on their own (such as bouncing the ball off their head, then kicking it high and catching it.) It is important to finish on time. Snacks are provided by the parents. Typically one of the parents will organize a snack duty schedule.



The Importance of Warming-Up In general, warming up and stretching before playing soccer is very important. For the U6 program, the priority is to teach them the proper way to warm up and to make warm up a routine for future years when their muscles will have much less elasticity. Many coaches skip the "warm up" and go straight to stretching. This is a mistake. A light warm up is important because it "warms up" the muscles, which makes them stretch easier and less likely to tear. If you think about it, this makes sense. Many experts even promote post-game stretching because it will improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness. Warm Up Warm up the muscles with light activities such as jogging or slowly dribbling a ball around the field. Warming up with a ball is the ideal way if it is practical to do so. Once players are warmed up, they can stretch. Stretch the muscles Static stretching is appropriate, but stretching with a ball is best. Have players stretch the following muscles: Front of the thigh Back of thigh (hamstring) Inside of thigh Calf Note Most soccer injuries occur to the hamstring and inside of thigh muscles.

Stretching should not be painful; so be sure the players do not over-stretch. Stretching should be fun and carried out at a relatively slow pace to allow for proper preparation of the muscles. Use the following best-practices for each stretch: Apply the stretch slowly Hold for 10-15 seconds Repeat 2-4 times



This section describes the following drill categories that your team will perform at each practice: Team Building Passing Ball Control Shooting/Kicking Relays Mini-Game The goal of each drill is to develop a specific skill, to build team spirit and cohesiveness, to keep all players moving at all times, and to be fun. You may have to modify these drills to accommodate for the field conditions, weather, or the number of players at the practice. If necessary, select an entirely new drill.


This section describes the team building drills that you will perform with your team at each practice. TB01. Ghostbusters Place two sets of cones at both ends of the field to create a well defined rectangle. Give each player a ball. The coach is the Ghostbuster. The players are the ghosts. The ghosts try to run from one side of the field to the other without being busted (hit with the ball). The Ghostbuster stands along the side of the field kicking balls at the ghosts as they run to the other side. If a player is hit with a ball, she joins the Ghostbusters along the side of the field. Play continues until all the ghosts are gone. This is a good game for young players Encourage players to make ghost sounds Ensure that players to stay in the boundary lines when running from side to side TB02. British Bulldog Place two sets of cones at both ends of the field to create a well defined rectangle. Give each player a ball. The bull dog is in the middle of the field (may have 2 bull dogs) and he calls out British to start the round. Players must get from side A to side B and avoid getting tagged by a bulldog. Each player tagged becomes a bulldog along with the starting bulldog for the next round. The rounds continue until everyone has been tagged. Remind players to stay inside the boundaries when running from side to side or they are considered tagged.


X X X X X X X Side A


Side B

Teach game with no balls involved. Progress to carrying ball from Side A to Side B, then dribble ball only using feet. Bulldog must kick ball out of bounds to tag player

This section describes the passing drills that you will perform with your team at each practice. PS03. Soccer Bowling Place four hoops on the field. Have one player stand in each of the four hoops (X). Have the fifth player, the bowler (O), stand 3-5 m away from the hoops with the players in the hoops facing the bowler. The bowler passes the ball to any one of the players in the hoops. The player must receive and pass the ball to one of the other hoop players, without stepping out of the hoop. The receiving player must pass to a different player in a hoop. The object of the game is for the team to work together to get a strike, or four points. A strike is achieved when each player in the hoops touches the ball in only four passes. The bowler goes to the first hoop to his or her left. All hoop players move one hoop clockwise. The player in the last hoop on the right becomes the bowler. Repeat the rotation until all players have bowled.






For younger players, you can start by having players in the hoops stop the ball with their hands, then kicking it. You can require that players stop, or trap, the ball before passing in order to get a point. You can require that players do not stop the ball to get a point (one time it). PS04. Tunnel Soccer Divide the players into two equal groups. Have one group spread out around the field and stand with their legs apart. Give each a ball to each player in the other group. The players with the ball will dribble through as many tunnels as they can in 2 mins. Players can go through a tunnel more than once, but not twice in a row. Each player must try to go through all tunnels at least once. Switch players and tunnels.


This section describes the ball control drills that you will perform with your team at each practice. BC05. Red Navy Light Place two sets of cones at both ends of the field to create a start and finish line. Give each player a ball. Players line up on the start line with their balls. You stand at the finish line with you back to the players. When you call "Green Light", players dribble their ball forward as much as they can. When you call "Red Light" and turn around, players must stop their ball with their foot and remain in that position. Send any player that are still moving or without a ball back to the starting line. The first player to reach the finish line wins.

BC06. Fill/Empty Store Set two to four hoops and cones in parallel rows. Divide players in to two to four teams, so that each team has three of four players. Give each player a ball. Have teams line up behind their cone. At signal, the first player dribbles the ball and




positions it inside the hoop. As soon as the first player returns, the second player goes. Continue until all balls are in the hoop and players are sitting in a line behind the pylon. Reverse the activity to empty the store.

Variation: Perform the same activity, but have players carry the ball in their hands. BC07. The Ants Nest Place four hoops forming a large square. Divide players into three or four teams. Give each player a ball. Each player places his ball in his home nest (hoop). Each team must bring back as many balls as possible from the other teams nest (hoop) and place them in their nest (hoop). Begin the game by picking up balls with hands and placing in hoops and then progress to dribbling balls and stopping with foot into the hoops. Only one ball can be brought to home nest at a time. Players are not permitted to goal tend their own nest. Play for short durations (1 min. at a time).

BC08. What Time is it Mr. Wolf? Using four cones per den, create one or two squares to represent the wolf dens. Designate players to be wolves. All other players are sheep. Place the wolves in a den. The other players run freely in the open space and ask what time is it Mr. Wolf? The wolf answers any hour (for example, 10 Oclock.) When the wolf replies Midnight, the wolf runs out of the den and tries to catch the sheep. The tagged sheep stand inside the den and can only be freed at the Midnight hour by being tagged by another sheep.




Variation: With balls: Give each sheep a ball. To tag a sheep, the wolf must kick the ball away from the sheep. Captured sheep must take their ball and stand inside the den with their balls until freed by another sheep. BC09. Cat and Mouse Spread hoops around the area. Designate one player to be the cat and all other the others as the mice. There should be more mice than hoops. The cat tries to tag the mice as long as they are not in a hoop. When a mouse is tagged, the roles are reversed. The new cat cannot tag the new mouse (no touch-backs). Mice can only stay in the hoop for about 2-3 seconds. You can give the cat something to carry that will help identify the cat from the mice.


Variation: With balls: Each mouse dribbles a ball with their feet as they run around. In order not to be tagged the mice should stop their balls inside the hoops. BC010. Shark Pool Divide the players into two groups. Instruct one group to sit on the ground and act as sharks. Give a ball to each of the players in the other group. These players




must dribble the ball from one side of the field to the other working their way through the sharks but not letting the sharks touch the ball. The sharks cannot lie down but can reach for the balls with their hands. When a shark touches a players ball, the player must start at the beginning again. Switch sharks and players every two minutes. Start without balls and progress to dribbling. Direct sharks to spread out as much as possible to cover all areas.

This section describes the shooting/kicking drills that you will perform with your team at each practice. SK11. Hunter and Rabbits Place two sets of cones at both ends of the field to create a well defined rectangle. Give each player a ball. One or two players (the Hunter) has a ball. The goal is to kick the ball at the other players (the Rabbits). When a Rabbit is hit with the ball he becomes a Hunter also. The game continues until only one Rabbit remains.



Variation: Have the hunter and rabbit switch positions when someone is hit SK12. Bingo Soccer Distribute as many cones as there are players throughout the field. Designate two players as replaces. Give all other players a ball. The players with balls try to knock down as many cones as possible with their balls. The replaces (all players take turns in this role) set up the cones as fast as they are knocked down. When a player knocks down a cone, he yells bingo! SK13. Hot Potato or Clear the Field Using cones clearly identify a rectangle and a midline. Divide the players in to two teams. Assign each team to one side of the field. Give each player a ball. At signal, each player throws a ball to the opposite side. After one minute the




team with least number of balls in its half wins. It is a good to instruct parents to help around the perimeter to keep the balls in-bounds.



Variation: Have players kick the ball instead of throwing. Encourage players to trap the ball first and gain control before kicking it back to the other side.




For all relays, consider having players (particularly younger ones) perform the relay empty handed or carrying the ball the first time. NOTE: These relays are suggestions only. Feel free to modify the relays to make them suitable to your team (limited by the equipment available).

Relay 1

The player dribbles (short kicks) to each hoop, trapping (stopping) the ball with their foot in each hoop.


Relay 2


Players kick the ball to the left side of the first cone. They then kick the ball to the right side of the second cone. Players continue this pattern for each cone. The player runs back to the start in a straight line using only 1 or 2 kicks of the ball. Relay 3

This relay is similar to relay 2 except players try to score a goal at the end of the set of cones,




Place a parent at the end of each set of cones in a net made up two cones place approximately 1.5 m apart. The parent or coach is the goalie. Players try to score on the goalie once they have negotiated the cones. Players pick up their ball and carry it back to the start.

Relay 4

Players dribble the ball around each cone and dribbles the ball straight back to the start.


Relay 5


Players dribble the ball around alternating cones. The player dribbles the ball straight back to the start.




MG14. Small Sided Scrimmage Without A Goalie The best way to scrimmage during practices is to play with small team sizes and no goalie. Have your players scrimmage Keep in mind that most recreational teams should only scrimmage for 10-15 minutes per practice. Small-sided scrimmages on a small field are good because: Everyone gets to play Players get to touch the ball There are many transitions from offence to defence You can evaluate your players' skills, natural abilities, and where they prefer to play Players must defend and block shots with their feet and body It encourages passing, crosses, and centering the ball in the "Attacking Third" Note You can impose conditions on a game to emphasize a particular skill set (such as requiring that a ball is dribbled across the goal line in order to get a point.) Cones are often used instead of real goals. Keep all players involved. Have more than one game going on at a time if necessary. Switch teams often to give everyone a chance to win. The size of the field should be adjusted to allow a lot of touches allowing every player to shoot on the goal more often.