Suddenly, before you knew how it happened, you've become a kids soccer parent/coach. You don't know how long a youth soccer practice should last. No worries, read on, Coach.
How about how often each week should you have practice? No worries again. Most leagues use the same guidelines. This post will give you a great starting point.
Soccer practices for two year olds should go 20 minutes just once or twice a week. Three year olds should practice once or twice each week for 30 minutes. Four and five year olds should practice for 30-45 minutes two times each week. Players that are six and seven years old can practice for 45 minutes-1 hour twice weekly.
|AGE GROUP||LENGTH OF PRACTICE||HOW MANY PER WEEK|
|2 Year Olds||20 Minutes||1-2 Times Each Week|
|3 Year Old||30 Minutes||1-2 Times Each Week|
|4-5 Year Olds||30-40 Minutes||Twice Each Week|
|6-7 Year Olds||35-45 Minutes||Twice Each Week|
US Youth Soccer recommends that all players that are 8 years old (U9) only practice once each week. I recommend twice each week with a big conditional element. The kids must be having fun. I mean really having fun.
Would you only allow your child to go outside and play hide and seek, capture the flag, kick the can, red light-green light, or jump rope ? Limiting soccer practice to once each week is fine for those kids who are only marginally enthusiastic about playing to start with, but most kids want to act playful, use their imagination, and run around within the fabric of entertaining games.
If a soccer practice isn't just plain old fun for those really young players, the practices need a makeover. Soccer practices shouldn't be full of "drills," repetitive skill work, or boring long-winded coach speeches.
The older the children get the more they can play each week. That goes for not only the length of practices and the length of games, but also how often they practice each week. One of the tell tale signs you can use is easy to notice.
If your child wants to kick the soccer ball around the backyard on non-soccer-practice days, you can assume that they're not getting burned out practicing too much soccer.
If on the other hand, your child wants nothing to do with soccer at all outside of the structure practices and game, there is the possibility that they're getting too much.
Just like adults, kids have different interests and capacities for participating in an activity like soccer. Keeping an awareness of your child's enthusiasm during practices, games, and other soccer activities is the best way to monitor what the right amount of soccer practice time is good. That level of enthusiasm can be used to decide on what level of competition is best for your child's welfare.
Keep it fun,
Coach Bruce Lovelace started playing soccer in 1974 when, as a young boy, he constructed his own makeshift soccer goal. He played in high school, then intramurally in college and beyond. He started to coach his own children in the 1990s and then ran a Soccer Shots franchise for 12 years. Now, Coach Bruce publishes the soccer-for-kids.com website. You can also get lots of great ideas on Soccer-For-Kids Pinterest. Find out about what Inspired this website.
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