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14U Coaching Guide

Components of the Game for the 14U Age Group*

Technique: Experiment with the qualities of a flighted ball, i.e.: spin, swerve, chipping to pass, bending passes and driving crosses to the far post and top of the penalty area. Also, practice half volley and volley shooting, slide tackles, heading to pass, flick headers, diving headers, receiving with the outside of the instep, outside of foot shot, receiving bouncing and air balls with the head, dummy the ball and shoulder charge. Introduce chipping to shoot. For goalkeepers: far post play, collapse save, step and save, step power and save, save/reaction save/recovery save, medium and high diving, deflecting over the crossbar and around the posts, boxing and catching crosses, reading crosses (when to come and when to stay), half volley (drop kick), kick saves, long over-arm throws, saving penalty kicks and angle play.

Psychology: assertiveness, tension control, self and team discipline, able to stay focused for an entire match, sportsmanship, parental involvement, how to play, mental focusing techniques, emotional management and self-regulation.

Tactics: Individual and group tactics including delay, depth and balance in defense. Compactness, role of 3rd defender, how to make recovery and tracking runs. Playing on, around and away from the ball with purpose. Responding to restart situations. How to defend in each part of the field. How to play in the attacking half. Checking runs, take-overs, switching positions during the flow of play, zone defense and post-match analysis. For goalkeepers: taking command of the goal area, provide support on the attack out to the back line, distance of support to the defense, organization during a corner kick, setting the wall at free kicks and 1v1 with the defense and communication.

Fitness: acceleration, speed, anaerobic exercise, cardio respiratory and cardiovascular training, flexibility – static stretching (particularly in the cool-down), lateral movement and all fitness work with the ball. Continue player education about nutrition and introduce the concept of rest for recovery.

*Please note that the components of the game are in a priority order for this age group.

Typical 14U Training Session

• Should not exceed one hour and 30 minutes
• Warm up, small group activities, range of motion stretching -approximately 15 minutes-
• Introduce large group/team activities (six to eight players)
• Continue with directional games. Play to targets and/or zones -approximately 30 minutes-
• Conclude with small-sided games or 11v11 -approximately 35 minutes-
• Finish with cool-down activity, including static stretching -approximately 10 minutes-
• All activities should be challenging, motivating and involve transition

At times, allow the players to sort themselves into 4v4, 5v5, 6v6, etc., games. Also, make these games functional in organizing the teams together with defenders, midfielders and attackers. Organize the lines within the framework to give the players more functional possibilities by creating numbers, roles and functions in lines of play – 5v5, might be 2-2-1 v 1-3-1 – numbers and players’ specific positions. Finally, also adjust the field in terms of length and width to affect play, number of goals, restrictions on play, thirds of the field, etc. Continue to encourage players to watch high level soccer in person and on television


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Pellissippi Soccer Complex, 2340 Solway Road
Knoxville, Tennessee 37934

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Phone : 865-694-8368
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