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The role of a coach and youth organization for young soccer players (ages 2 – 11) is to focus on the individual development of each player. Players should be encouraged to keep the ball close, carry the ball at defenders, and use the animal skills to create space and learn to make good decisions.


Coaches and youth organizations need to allow players to figure out when and where to pass the ball without telling the player to “pass”. If we tell the player when and where to pass the ball we will be taking away their creativity on the ball; therefore slowing down their decision making process. The correct use of words to say to a player if a coach or parent feels a player has a teammate in a better position who can make something good happen is “can you find him/her”? When you say this, it tells the player they need to think about the decision they are making. Is it the right decision? Is there someone in a better position that can help the team be more successful? We should not ask the player at that moment to just “pass” the ball because someone yells out.


A player’s confidence will rise when they are allowed to take ownership of their game and allowed to make their own decisions. As a parent, you need to make sure that your child is in the correct environment that allows them to be creative with the soccer ball and make their own decisions when the ball is at their feet. Coaches and youth organizations need to allow players to figure out how to navigate their way through the field by expressing themselves with the soccer ball. 

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