Website Manager

Vail Valley Soccer Club


Activities for the Number of Players at Practice

  • 4 Player Activities - 1234 
  • 5 Player Activities - 12345
  • 6 Player Activities - 12345
  • 7 Player Activities - 12345
  • 8 Player Activities - 12345
  • 9 Player Activities - 12345
  • 10 Player Activities - 12345
  • 11 Player Activities - 12345
  • 12 Player Activities - 12345

Players First: The 11+ Warm Up Program

As one of the critical components of the Player Health & Safety pillar of Players First, the 11+ provides tools and resources for improving performance and reducing injury risk.

Click Here for video 

7v7 Game Formations

Attacking - Click Here      

Defending - Click Here   

Vail Valley Soccer Club Training Objectives

The purpose of the training objectives is to give each coach a direction to follow in order for each player to receive age-appropriate instruction. By following the objectives, we will be creating an environment that will be conducive to the development of the individual players’ skill level.  Therefore, by developing the individual, players will be able to better function as a team.

The most important thing to consider when developing a training session is the age level at which one will be coaching.  Different age groups will have different overall objectives for the season.  Working towards goals that suite the age group will increase morale and ease frustration for both coach and player. 

In order to maintain an efficiently run club, there are some general rules, which will be followed.  This allows for consistency throughout the Club and clear expectations.


It is important as a coach, especially at the younger levels, to set the standard for one’s players by leading by example.  The best coaches will be able to perform the skill that he/she is teaching.  Being able to train with one’s players is advantageous to the players’ understanding of the objective at hand.  Every player on the team is important; therefore coaches should make players feel important by highlighting their contributions to the team.

Each activity needs to allow players to maximize their touches.  At this age, physical fitness should be incorporated into the activities.  There is no need to devote an entire practice to running laps and calisthenics.  Be sure to keep talking points to a minimum when in between drills.  This will ensure the momentum of the practice does not become stagnant. 

Every practice should have a four-part progression.  Start with a dynamic/technical warm-up including the skill-of-the-day (i.e. shooting, passing, dribbling, etc.).  Next, move into Technical-Tactical.  This means learning how to perform a certain skill in a certain situation under pressure.  Third is expanded small-sided games.  You can play to targets, end zones, multiple goals, or a real goal.  Coaches are encouraged to manipulate the game to get desired results from the players, rather than telling the players what to do. Fourth is free play, emphasizing the skill-of-the-day.  Give coaching points in the flow of the game, and use natural stoppages such as throw-ins and goals to address specific players.


Games are for encouragement, not another practice; keep instructions to the players to a minimum.  Remember that the game is the best teacher for the players.  Encourage players to learn from their own good and bad decisions.  Emphasize the importance of players communicating to one another on the field.  Players should be free to make decisions (even bad ones).

Coaches are in charge of controlling their parent sideline.  Tell your parents to cheer – not instruct. No parent is allowed on the players’ sideline during the game.

Coach to develop, not just win.  Winning should be the byproduct of good player development. Games should be used for players to demonstrate their newly acquired skills and creativity.  As long as players continue to develop their fundamentals, winning will follow.

Coaches should experiment with players in different positions on the field, even if they are not comfortable there.  In doing this, players will be more well-rounded and have a better understanding of the game as a whole.  Coaches should be able to explain to the players the role he/she will play in specific positions.


            As a VVSC coach, one has the responsibility to encourage players to play outside of their comfort zones.  It can be easy to tell a player in a tough spot to kick the ball out of bounds, or to always have the goalkeeper punt the ball, but doing this inhibits development of technical skill and creativity.  Coaches should be mindful of their terminology.  Make sure to not use generalities such as “boot it.”  Even if chances of success are limited based on the situation, it is important to encourage players to use their newly acquired skills which will build confidence.

VVSC coaches will help the players have a deeper understanding of the rules, and should be encouraged to explore the gray areas of the rules (within the spirit of the game).  This does not mean to encourage the players to “cheat,” but figuring out how to gain advantages within the games (i.e. taking free kicks quickly, figuring out how much physical play the referee will allow, and taking advantage of the offside rule defensively).

VVSC 9U/10U Coaching Objectives (Two years of 7v7)

Rules of the GameClick Here for Laws of 9v9

Coaches are responsible for developing a general understanding of the basic rules of the game.  These rules are best taught in the third and fourth progression of the practice.  Players should have a good understanding of how to perform the specific tasks and the rules that accompany them.


  • Goal-Kick:  Make sure they know the rules.  Short goal kicks should be

encouraged to help keep possession.

  • Corner-Kicks:  Mix it up between short and long corners.  A short corner to a

good dribbler on your team can be very successful.

  • Kick-Off:  Try a variety of options, such as going forwards or backwards.
  • Throw-In:  Teach the correct method of the throw-in, but do not dedicate an

entire practice to it.

  • Direct free kicks:  From a closer distance encourage shooting on goal.  One

can also utilize a quick restart to catch the other team off-guard.

  • Indirect free kick:  Two players must be involved in the play.
  • Offside:  Make sure there is a defender between the attacking player and

the opposing team’s goalie.

The Training Session:

Four Step Progressions

  • Dynamic/technical warm-up (specific skill)
  • Technical-Tactical (apply the technique to the game 1v1, 2v1, 2v2, etc…)
  • Expanded Small-Sided Games: Can play to targets, end zones, multiple goals, or a real goal.  Coaches are encouraged to manipulate the game to get desired results from the players, rather than telling the players what to do.
  • Free play in a 5v5 or 7v7 with Goalkeepers at most.  The rules of the game should be implemented in the scrimmage


Technical Topics in Training


  • Speed Dribbling
  • Dribbling for Possession


  • Short passing (1 and 2 touch)
  • Receiving inside, outside and bottom of the foot
  • Long passing
  • Balls out of the air Volleys (full volley and half volleys)


  • Pullback
  • Outside cut
  • Cruyff,
  • Pull-push
  • Step-over


  • Scissors
  • Stepover
  • Hop (Zico)
  • Side-step

Ball Striking

  • Shooting:  Encourage players to shoot the ball with both feet
  • Center of the laces (sweet spot)
  • Finishing – the ability to score a goal by a toe-poke, inside or outside of foot


Tactical Application and topics:

  • Work on technical topics in small groups whenever possible.
  • Mostly 1v1 and 2v1 at this age, but can do 2v2.
  • Do not do too much possession, but rely on the players to individually possess and protect the ball (self-confidence)


Tactical Topics and Ideas

  • Basic support for the ball (introduce supporting attacker)
  • Basic Support for the player pressuring the ball (introduce cover defender)
  • Using stoppages of play to spread out or become more compact, depending on whether you have the ball or are defending.


Coaches Toolkit:

  • In the flow – make corrections or give advice while play continues
  • Individual Reference – addressing a single player while play continues or off to the side
  • Natural Stoppage  - coaching after the ball goes out-of-bounds or a goal is scored
  • Freeze – you stop play to make a correction with multiple players (does not happen in a game)
  • Let the Game teach the topic - these are activities that allow the activity to bring out the topic


Physical work in Training

  • Minimal Physical work at this age
  • Focused on coordination and footwork, so some ladder and cone work is ok
  • Using specific body movements and muscle memory with a ball is best


The Goalkeeper:

  • How to use hands to defend the goal, and basic handling techniques – Contour catch and ball line
  • Basic collapsing technique – collapse dive (land on side)
  • Rotate players through the goalie training
  • Dedicate time in training for all players to become familiar with GK techniques and tactics (decision making)


Systems of play:

  • 1-3-2-1: Easiest to teach and for players to execute and understand
  • 1-2-3-1: More balance, but demands better player movements
  • Use both, but do not dwell on team shape, and encourage players to venture out of position (i.e. defenders overlapping)
  • These two systems are the catalyst for building a back four defensively leading to the 11v11 game. 


Overriding Consideration

Especially at the younger ages, the Guided Discovery Method works best.  This method encourages players to discover the correct answers on their own by coaches creating a favorable environment.  This can be done by asking players, rather than telling players, what to do in specific situations.  Coaches have to understand that players at this age will not comprehend all of the tactical aspects of the game.  Encourage players in their decision making to not over-complicate situations.

9U - 10U Age Specific Curriculum

Week 1 - Attacking and Defending - #1 and #2#3 and Small-Sided Game

Week 2 - Passing and Receiving - #1#2Directional Game and Dutch Square

Week 3 - Shooting and Finishing - #1#2patterns and Game 

Week 4 - Possession vs Penetration - #1#2 and #3

Week 5 - Counter Attack/Quick  Transitions - #1#2#3 and small-sided game

Week 6 - Improving Intermediate-Long Passes - Activity #1#2#3 and #4

Week 7 - Dribbling and Turns - Activity #1 - 3 and #4

Week 8 - Teaching with Small-Sided Games - Activity #1#2#3

Crossing and Finishing - #1 and #2

Vail Valley Soccer Club

PO Box 2728 
Edwards, Colorado 81632
Phone : 970-390-7994
Email : [email protected]
Copyright © 2024 Vail Valley Soccer Club  |  Privacy Policy |  Terms of Use  |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In