Getting Started

Any Major League Soccer player from Landon Donovan on down has a story about a soccer coach who helped instill the fundamentals in them at a young age. Congratulations on your commitment to both coaching and your players.

This eight-week program provides everything you need as a coach to teach the basics of soccer to youth players ages 4 to 6. The program is conveniently organized by week to best show when and how to introduce each concept during the season. For our youngest players we've chosen to focus primarily on three technical areas, dribbling, passing, and shooting because these are the most fundamental elements of the game. Young players should develop an understanding of these foundational skills at the earliest levels of soccer - and it's our job as coaches to make this happen. Take advantage of the video tutorials and demonstrations included in this program to teach your players and to prepare them to advance to higher levels of play. As you'll see, written explanations and diagrams for each concept also are included and available to print and take with you to practice. Here are some of the concepts we'll be covering throughout the program:

  • Keeping balls close to the body by using small touches. 
  • Keeping the head up. 
  • Using the body to shield the ball when defenders are near. 
  • Dribbling into the largest space. 
  • When running with the ball, the first touch of the ball is long. 
  • As space decreases, the ball stays closer to the dribbler. 
  • Attacking defenders with changes in speed and direction. Manipulating the ball using all surfaces of the foot. 
  • Keeping a low center of gravity.
  • Becoming proficient in dribbling with both feet. 
  • Using the inside of the foot. 
  • Locking the ankle of the striking foot. 
  • Positioning the non-kicking foot next to the ball and pointed in the direction of play. 
  • Striking through the center of the ball. 
  • Look at the ball, look at the target, look at the ball. 
  • Communicating (ask and tell). 
  • Keeping soft, bent knees. 
  • Becoming proficient in passing and receiving passes with both feet. 
  • Passing and receiving passes on the move.
  • Developing in-step shooting technique. 
  • Shooting accuracy and timing. 
  • Dribbling to set-up shots.
  • Passing to set-up shots. 
  • Shooting with either foot.