Weekly Guidelines 11-14

Age Group: 11-17

The main objectives of coaching players 11 through 17 years of age is giving them a more in-depth understanding of the rules of the game, reinstating proper kicking and dribbling of the ball and developing both basic techniques of keeping the ball in possession, shield, faking and learning to work together as a team.

At this age, they will learn the basic concepts of goalkeeping, protecting the goal and an overall awareness of what is going on around them on the field. They will also be guided in understanding goal kick, corner kick, kick off and throw in and when the ball is "in" or "out" of play. Youth ages 12-17 should be aware of all aspects of the game while playing and maintaining their position and also understand the role of their own position on the field. This will tell them how they connect to the rest of the team.

The basic goals you are attempting to achieve with this age group are:

  • Reinstating the proper way to shoot and dribble the ball
  • Understanding possession of the ball and how to stop an oncoming ball.
  • Developing techniques to keep possession of the ball while dribbling including shielding and faking.
  • Developing an understanding of goal kick, corner kick, kick off and throw in and when the ball is in or out of play.
  • Learning to work together as a team in passing and defending.
  • Understand the role of goalkeeper - using hands and body to defend goal.
  • Team support when defending and attacking and giving each other space to play.
  • Reading game while keeping their position.
  • Team work!



Week 1


  • Warm up
  • Go over the proper way to kick, shoot and dribble the ball.
  • Understanding possession of the ball
  • Don't hold back when you run toward the ball even if an opponent is almost to the ball
  • Learn first Shield steps in Shielding:

    1) Simple Step Across

    2) The Roll

Teach Tool:

  • Stretches, runs, run-stops, etc.
  • Show the kids how to kick and shoot the ball.
  • Show the kids how to kick and shoot the ball.
    • 1) See:How to Kick a Football (Soccer Ball) and
    • 2) How to Teach the basic Push Pass
  • Understanding that the closest person to the ball DOES NOT have the responsibility to win the ball! Try to get to the ball first. Don't stop when you get close to the ball even if an opponent is near the ball too. 
  • See The 4 Steps to Shielding.


  • Perform basic stretches
  • Have the kids race from one goal post to the other.
  • Play kick the cone. Place cones in front of the goal box. Have the kids take 4-5 steps back and take turns kicking the ball toward the goal posts to see if they can knock over a cone.
  • Place the kids in two lines facing each other. Give them one ball to kick back and forth to the players in the line in front of them. 
  • Stand halfway across the field with your foot on the ball, barely holding it. Have each player, one by one, come up and kick the ball from your foot. Do not try to stop them. After they have done this a couple times, start at the center of the field, dribble the ball toward them and have each player run toward you and take it away. Next, pair them up and let them practice attacking and taking the ball.
  • Pair up the kids and have them stand five steps away. Have one of the pair stand in front of a cone about a foot away while the second comes up to take it away. This should be an easy take. Now have the cone holder stand in front of the cone to protect it but they can't move their feet. Another easy take. Last, have the cone holder stand on the edges of the cone with their arms out in a shielding position and their legs bent slightly. Have their opponent try to take the cone this time. It will be very difficult and an easy lesson in shielding the ball closely.
  • Game: Use two rows of cones and divide a 30x30 grid vertically into three equal size rectangles. Play 3v3. Each team can have one player in each of the three zones. They can receive, pass and dribble but can't go out of their zone. They must run and get open and mark defensively inside their zone. If they do, they concede a free kick wherever they step over the line. After a few scores, swap the players to a new zone and a new 1v1 match-up. 

Week 2


  • Warm up
  • Learn how to stop the ball-
  • Stopping the ball when it is coming to the player using the foot. Then dribbling the ball after it is stopped.
  • Understand the role of goalkeeper - using hands and body to defend goal.
  • Learn how to shield the ball in order to keep a nearby opponent from stealing it.
  • Learn Second Shield steps in Shielding:

3) The Pullback

4) The Circle Turn

Teach Tool:

  • See Stopping the ball on attached page.
  • See attached sheet on Goalkeeper Guidelines
  • See  The 4 Steps To Shielding


  • Show the players how to stop the ball. Give each player a ball and have them practice stopping. Next, gently kick the ball to them and have each take a turn stopping the ball. The kids can also be paired and practice passing the ball and stopping it with their feet. You can also set up cones and have them dribble after each stop.
  • Have the kids each take turns protecting the goal while the rest of the team each takes turns dribbling the ball from midfield and trying to shoot a goal. To make it less difficult for the goalkeeper, give him one or two defensemen to help out.
  • Game: Play a regular small-sided soccer game, but instead of each team having a goal set up one goal in the middle of the playing area.  Teams can score by shooting the ball through the goal from either direction. First time, don't use a goalkeeper. After a few minutes, let the kids take turns keeping goal.

Week 3


  • Warm up
  • Developing a basic understanding of goal kick, corner kick, kick off and throw in and when the ball is in or out of play.
  • Go over the 4 steps to shielding.
  • Begin Learning fakes:

1) Turn with Pullback

2) Turn away with Pullback

Teach Tool:

  • See attached sheet on developing skills. Show the kids each of the different kicks/throw in when the ball is out of play.
  • See The 3 Great Fakes


Scrimmage game.

Week 4


  • Warm up
  • Team support when defending and attacking and giving each other space to play.
  •  Begin Learning fakes:

1) Fake Kick Inside

2) Fake Kick Outside

3) Step over 180

Teach Tool:



3 Team Keepaway

Make 3 teams (Green-Blue-Red) 4v4v4 or 5v5v5 or 6v6v6 in Square grid about 25 x 25. Vary the size for player numbers and ability. One team starts as the defenders and the other two teams play keep away. When the defenders win the ball the team color which was responsible for losing the ball become the defenders. You can give a goal for X number of consecutive passes.


The lessons are divided into four weeks. Each week, players will be introduced to a new goal. It is not imperative that they accomplish the goals to move on, only that they follow the principles and have a basic understanding of them through the games and exercises. There is no need to spend more than 2-3 minutes talking about the goals to the kids. They will learn them over time and by playing the games. In other words, we want the kids to learn by having fun!

These are just basic guidelines. Feel free to use your own tools to help the players understand by games and drills!