Coaching Pearls

1. Run one or more "Small Side Games" (SSG’s) each day. The main goal is to get more touches on the ball.
2. Limiting drills to a max of 10-15 minutes (prevents boredom).
3. Add regular skills sessions. Each practice focus on 1 or 2 skills. Dribbling. Throw ins. Passing. Kicking. Trapping etc.
For more information and losts of tips on skills and coaching sessions, see 1000 Skills and Drills a complete coachig manual.

Age level Vs. Ability level

• We cannot play older kids in a younger kids group.

• You can place your soccer gifted child in an older age bracket. If you child has exceptional skills and is resonably size or physical enough to participate with slightly older kids, it would likely benefit your child and the younger group to place them in a more competitive bracket.

If you wish for your child to play at an older age level, you must make that request in writing (a note detailing what you want and why). If there are openings in that age group, we will accommodate your request. If there are no openings in that group, we will be unable to move your child up. Your child may only play up one level.

Soccer Age Groups: What does "U8" or "U12" (etc) mean?

"U8" is short for "My soccer age is Under 8". Soccer age is determined once per year, and approximately follows the academic years. Your soccer age is the same for both Fall and Spring seasons, regardless of whether a birthday passes between them.

US Youth Soccers age chart goes by Calender Year. Dates are January 1st-December 31st. Take the year that you are currently in and subtract that from the birth year of your child. This will determine your age group.

Age 4 / U5 pre-K
Age 5 / U6 K
Age 6 / U7 First grade
Age 7 / U8 Second
Age 8 / U9 Third
Age 9 / U10 Fourth
Age 10 / U11 Fifth
Age 11 / U12 Sixth
Age 12 / U13 Seventh
Age 13 / U14 Eighth grade
Age 14-18 / U15-U19 High School

Soccer balls come in the following sizes:

Size 5 - ages 13 and up (U13+). Weight 14-16 ozs.
Size 4 - ages 8 to 12 (U9, U10 and U12). Weight 11-13 ozs.
Size 3 - under 8 yo (U6 to U8).

Note: Up to 30% heavier with each size. Minimize player injury by using the right size.

What equipment do I need for my child?

All children must wear shin guards at all times durng games and should have them at practice. They reduce the small risk of leg fracture and bruises (much more common)

It is highly recommended that children wear soccer cleats as well.

Please note: children may not wear baseball cleats. A baseball cleat is defined as a shoe that has a toe cleat (i.e. a cleat at the tip of the toe). If a child comes to a game in baseball cleats, the referee will not permit that child to play. There are no exceptions, as this is a safety issue. If you happen to have a shoe with a cleat in the front, there are several options.....grind it off, cut it off or get a soccer shoe.


Mod Soccer Field Size Guidelines:

U-15           50yds x 80yds       80% ( Modified due to registration numbers)
U-12           50yds x 80yds       80%
U-10           60yds x 40yds       60%
U-8            30yds x 20yds       40%
U-6            25yds x 20yds       25%

Note: In addition to reduced dimensions for soccer goal and field, using fewer players per side can generate more flow and action in the game.  Size varies based on safety and location.

Full size: 100-130 yds x 50-100 yds. A 105m (115yd) x 68m (74yd) is the preferred size for many professional teams' stadiums.


Game Length:

U15: Two 35 halves with a 5 minute halftime
U12: Two 30 halves with a 5 minute halftime
U10: Two 25 halves with a 5 minute halftime
U8: 4 -12 minute quarters with a 5 minute halftime
U6: 4 - 8 minute quarters with a 5 minute halftime

Note: May vary depending on referee and coach preferences.

Recommendations for "number of players" at the various age groups are as follows:

U6: 4v4. No goal keepers **
U8: 6v6 No goal keepers **
U10: 7v7 with goal keepers (6 field players and 1 goalie)
U12: 8v8 with goal keepers (7 field players and 1 goalie)
U15: 8v8 with goal keepers** (7 field players and 1 goalie) *Due to registration numbers SJS modified the field and players per side to match the U12 age group

**SJS will do its best to follow these guidlines set forth by US Youth Soccer. They are however subject to change. SJS may choose to change or modify these recommendations.**

Sideline Etiquette for Players, Coaches and Parents:

• Keep some comments to yourself. Do not speak out to the referee or linesmen. Unless they are complimentary, do not direct comments to members of the opposition. Questioning a referee's call on the soccer field breaks the spirit of the game and creates an unsavory situation.

• Stay away from the goals. For U8 and above, standing behind the goal is prohibited. Coach from the sidelines.

• Stand, or sit, at least 3 yards back from the sidelines (touchlines) if possible. This allows the players on the field space and protects them from dangerous collisions on the sidelines.

• Demonstrate good sportsmanship by applauding exceptional moves by the opposition.

Strive to keep the games and teams fair and balanced

Make Scoring Harder

When a game score margin reaches five goals (5-0, 6-1, 7-2, etc.), the winning team should take immediate measures to limit additional goals without embarrassing the opposing team.

Try some of the following tips:

• Switch players into unfamiliar positions (defenders into attack and vice-versa)
• Provide more playing time to players who pose less of a scoring threat (while still allowing all players to play at least one half)
• Require multiple passes before a goal can be scored (for example, three or more consecutive passes must be completed before a shot can be attempted)
Restrictions on attacking shots:

Allow players to shoot only from outside the penalty area
Allow players to shoot only on a volley, a cross or with a headball (suitable for older teams)

• Increased required skills prior to taking an attacking position on the field. (i.e. 10 passes before crossing into opponents half)
• Requiring all team players on the field to contact the ball prior to an attack.
• All left footed play.
• One back pass for every two forward passes.
• Six touches of the ball before mounting an attack. Your goal keeper must be one of the 4-5-6 touches before mounting an attack.
• All shots on goal must be to the outside (wide) or over the top of the goal.
• Strict instruction to refrain from any additional goals.
• Reduce the number of players on the field (eg: by playing 7 vs. 8 or 10 vs. 11)

Don't Embarrass the Losing Team

Shouting instruction such as, "Stop scoring!" may humiliate the opposing team. Therefore, instructions should be passed quietly to your soccer players. For example, substitutes entering the field can quietly pass messages to the rest of the team.

Notes: Youth soccer coaches, referees and parents are all jointly responsible to create a good experience for all of the players. When circumstances are less than ideal, work together with the coach of the other team. Afterall, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.

Balancing the teams

At Sequim Junior Soccer, we strive to make all the teams balanced. With this in mind, we are sorry, special requests will not be allowed / honored as not only is burdensome to the registars but it significantly affects the team distributions and is another way team manipulation occurs.......In the name of sportmanship, each an every team will be randomly assigned to ensure integrety and fairness in the league. (The only exclusion would be not to separate the coach/sponser and their son/daughter or significant other). After the males / females are equally distributed by age, the player are assigned in a random fashion.


Sportmanship Pearls

1. The "Golden Rule" -- Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Show respect for the other players and opposition, if you expect it yourself.

2. Have an understanding and an appreciation of the rules. The spirit of good sportsmanship depends on conforming to the intent of the rule and not look for a loop hole.

3. Enjoy yourself and encourage enjoyment for others.

4. Take responsibility for your actions. Don't blame others for your mistakes or find excuses for poor behavior.

5. Recognize and appreciate good performances, especially by the opponent. Applause for an opponent's good play demonstrates generosity and courtesy. It shows a true awareness of the game and athletic ability.

6. Exhibit respect for the officials. Referees are impartial arbitrators who perform to the best of their ability to make sure the game is played fair and within the rules. Mistakes made by all those involved are part of the game and must be accepted.

7. Expect proper behavior from your teammates. If you allow a teammate to cheat, to play dangerously, to argue and scream at officials, you are condoning that behavior.

Sportsmanship is one of the reasons why soccer is the most popular world wide team sport. The idea of sportsmanship is basically 'playing the game of soccer fairly and cleanly'.