Arkansas United believes that the most important thing a player can learn, in terms of soccer development, is to be comfortable with the ball at their feet. Ultimately the best way to do this is to give them as many touches on the ball as possible, in order to increase their ball mastery.
Only when a player becomes totally confident with the ball at their feet, can they begin to think about the rest of the game.
This program is intended to help parents and coaches set goals for specific ball mastery skills they should look to develop with each of their players over the course of the season.
The beauty in focusing our sessions around ball mastery is two-fold.
1) it creates the player-centric environment that is vital to the development of our players within the sport itself.
2) But also, and more importantly, it becomes an opportunity to teach our players the importance of goal setting and the process of learning and developing at your own rate, giving you the chance to teach your player to embrace a challenge.
Foot skills should be the foundation of every practice session no matter how young or how old the player is. Why? Well, because…
1) Working on foot skills at the beginning of a practice session is a good way to warm up.
2) You can easily adjust the complexity of the skill depending upon the age and skill level you are coaching.
3) There is always a way to progress to harder and harder skills.
4) You get multiple touches on the ball right away.
5) Done at speed will make it challenging and can be a good aerobic training tool that is much more effective, overall, than running laps.
6) As time passes, and mastery is achieved, the skill becomes instinctive and you’ll see it be used in a game unconsciously…
In the following links: 1st Touch Juggle Academy, Ball Mastery Move Index, and the Basic Ball Mastery Weekly Program, we have listed several ideas for multiple touches on the ball that can be not only part of your daily warm-up but should be a primary focus for the entire season. Remember any skill can be broken down to an age-appropriate level. However, this list attempts to go from basic foot skills to more advanced as players move from U4 to U14
Arkansas United Soccer Club formerly known as Little Rock Futbol Club has been a 501c3 nonprofit youth organization serving our community since 1980. Our principal mission is the promotion of youth soccer. We strive to instill a love for the game in each of our players and to provide an atmosphere where each player may participate and progress according to his or her interest and ability. We take great pride in developing our players as athletes, students and responsible young men and women. Our players form life-long friendships with their club mates, acquire leadership, teamwork and sportsmanship skills that ultimately prepare them for life beyond soccer.