Youth Soccer Coaching Manual for an Instructional Soccer Program


This Youth Soccer Coaching Manual for an Instructional Soccer Program provides a format, instruction, and drills appropriate for any Pre-Kindergarten to Under-7 (“Pre-K” to “U-7;” 3- to 6-year olds) soccer program. It is written using the following assumptions:

  1. There is a sports “Club”  or “Association” structure in place which provides the organization necessary to obtain field space, equipment, players (including the capture and manipulation of registration information) and coaches, and the collection of appropriate fees and/or sponsorships.
  2. Equipment provided includes team T-shirts, practice balls, portable goals, cones, disks, and scrimmage vests (“pinnies”).
  3. The program can handle from approximately 30 to 360 players.  If possible, Clubs may offer both co-ed and girl’s only options.
  4. A sufficient number of volunteer coaches are available to limit “team” sizes to 12 or fewer players. Coaches do not need to have any prior experience.
  5. Volunteers will be properly supported with on-field instruction, written soccer training materials, and the respect that they deserve.
  6. A knowledgeable soccer training coach will be used to correctly teach the skills and drills to the volunteer coaches.
  7.  A copy of this manual will be provided to all coaches.  This manual is updated on-line at
  8. The Club will provide written materials to all volunteer coaches that clearly outline any Club goals, philosophy, or rules expected to be followed.
  9. Volunteers will be vetted (back-ground checked) to ensure social suitability.
  10. Volunteers will be trained in the process to be followed in response to an emergency, including recognizing and responding to a possible concussion.
  11. The Club will provide an effective mechanism, via a “weather-line,” web site or e-mail, to cancel practices due to inclement weather (rain, snow or excessive heat/humidity).
  12. The Club will ensure that there is easy access to rest rooms or portable toilets at the field.
  13. A wide range of physical and mental maturation exists in this age group. The Club should keep players of like-ages and abilities together and tailor the material in this manual accordingly. This has two aspects: First, certain skills and “fun games” are easier to understand and to perform. Clearly, these are best for the youngest players. Second, more advanced drills and “fun games” may be restricted to the higher ages so that players, as they progress through the program (potentially represented by as many as six Spring and Fall seasons), continue to be challenged and do not get “bored.”

Acknowledgement:  This is to acknowledge all of the wonderful volunteer coaches and teachers throughout the United States who have been dreaming up and presenting different types of skill demonstrations, drills, and “fun games,” since soccer truly went national beginning around 1970, so that the sport is enjoyable for our children.

© Copyright, John C. Harves