ESYDA U-15 (2005)

What to teach

The motivation to learn basic skills is very high at this age level. Children gradually begin to change from being self-centered to being self-critical and develop need for group and/or team games. The game itself should be central to all skills training. Small-sided games continue to be method of choice for this age group. This is appropriate time to introduce some of the basic principles of play which are shown in  below:

Attacking principles

  • Penetration                                                     
  • Support                                                               
  • Mobility                                                                  
  • Width                                                                 
  • Depth (Length)                                                   
  • Improvisation (deception, creativity)           

Defensive principles

  • Recovery (Immediate Chase)
  • Pressure
  • Cover
  • Balance
  • Compactness
  • Counter Attack


Running with the Ball: at speed and under pressure
Passing: with outside of the foot
Instep Drive 
Receiving Ground Balls with Inside and Outside of the Foot
Receiving Air Balls: With the Instep (cushion) and sole; inside
and outside of the foot (wedge)
Throw-In: Short and long distances
Moves in Dribbling
Rolls, scissors-push, double scissors
Step over chop
Tackling: Balance foot and contact foot (block tackle)


Ready Stance for Goalkeepers: foot positioning, body posture
“W” Grip: positioning of thumbs, fingers spread
How to Hold a Ball After a Save: ball to chest, forearm protection
Catching Shots at the Keeper: body alignment path of the ball
Punting: Distance and accuracy
Throwing: Bowling; over-arm
Goal Kicks: distance and accuracy


Roles of 1st attacker and defender
Roles of 2nd attackers and defenders
2v1 attacking (simple combination)
Men-to-man defending
Throw-ins to teammate’s feet
Introduction to the tactics of set plays/restarts (goal kicks, corner kicks, other free kicks)
Introduction to setting up walls


Range of motion-flexibility
Proper warm-up is now mandatory
Introduction to cool-down


Working in groups of 3-6
Staying focused for one entire half
Sensitivity: learning how to win, lose or draw gracefully
How to handle parental involvement
Communication: emotional management

Training Session

The training session should involve fun and imaginative game like activities, as well as technical and tactical activities.
Coaching technical skills is very important at this age as well as light tactical concepts. The training session has a technical and/or tactical theme (topic).For example: dribbling technique, or passing and receiving, or combination play

Small-sided directional games such as 3v3, 4v3, 4v4, 5v4 and 5v5 should be included as well.
More detailed explanation regarding shape and positions.
Training should always conclude with a 6v6 game with goalkeepers is possible (5 field players and 1 goalkeeper on each team)
The duration of the training session should be 75-90 minutes
Game duration: two half’s of 35 minutes
Playing numbers: 11v11 (with goalkeepers)


The role of the coach in the U10 age group is to be patient and motivating teacher. At this level, in addition to understanding technique, coaches should be providing environments conducive to problem solving (decision-making) by the players utilizing guided discovery methods.
Recommended License: The U10/U12 State Youth Module is required. The National Youth License is recommended.

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