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FC Hawks Soccer Club: Committed to creating exemplary soccer players on and off the field

U9-U10 Development Overview

Our U9 - U10 program is still focused on making the game of soccer a fun experience for every player. We recognize that participation in sport at this age is about doing something that we love. Players want to experience time on the ball, learn cool moves, and find joy in the challenge of trying new things. Players at this age are often hyper-competitive and soccer is a platform to compete and show off what they can do with the ball. We want players to enjoy the spotlight and become confident with the ball. Players on the optimal development slope at this age will often look “selfish”. Teaching at this age emphasizes discovery , individual skill development, and effort . Coaches will guide players to develop in a safe nest without fear of negative criticism. Players will learn through positive feedback, encouragement and by making mistakes. The coach will guide players to find answers that work and use their ball handling skills to solve problems and unbalance opponents. Ball mastery and learning new moves is the focus for each individual. These players need to continue to discover what works for them when they have the ball at their feet. Players will also learn that things won't always go as planned and rather than give up, they need to dig in and recover so they can go at it again.

Competition for the outdoor seasons are played on a small-sided field with 7 players on each team. One of the 7 players is a goalkeeper with 6 players on the field. Teams participate in regional leagues that are gender specific. The games are officiated by a referee provided by the league. The fall and spring season generally has 8 games with 4 being at home and 4 being away at nearby clubs in the same division. Each division is organized by similar skill levels to provide the best competition possible. However there will be times where games are lopsided. We believe in performance over results to be the best indication of development. Games show us a picture of what we need to spend more time learning. Playing time will not be equal. Merit, effort and balancing the score results will dictate playing time and positions on the field. Players can expect a minimum of 50% playing time in most games.

Training emphasis is heavy on mastering skills on the ball and learning the correct passing and shooting technique. Successful players learn how to create space & unbalance opposition with skillful moves and how to protect the ball and navigate in tight space. Giving the ball away quickly to get away from pressure is not the best solution at this age. Players need as much experience as possible learning how to create chances and protect the ball in tight pressure. Players will learn how moves can beat an opponent and unbalance the opposition. Much of each training session is focused on ball manipulation, skills to control/protect and mastering correct technique. Players will be encouraged to try to beat opponents rather than give it away to a teammate to beat pressure. The overall reach aims to create players who are confident, composed and brave. Players will become more successful in their ability to solve problems when they are free to execute skills with proficiency under pressure.

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