Every player is one caring coach away from being a success story.

In order to provide age appropriate practices for 7-10 year olds we need to take into account the ability of the group. At grass roots soccer we all have players of different ability. In the early years we can find it difficult to separate the group in terms of ability. We want to make every player feel part of the team. Can you train players of different abilities at your practice session? Absolutely! It takes creativity from the coach. The coach has to find exercises that challenges all of the players and also teaches the game. There should be a lot of technical work at this age so the theory that players should be separated by skill level is not essential for a players development at the younger years. Yes, this can help, but the majority of coaches at grass roots level do not have the luxury of separating their group of players by ability. By keeping the group together you are teaching the concept of team. You are teaching the psychological mindset from me to we. Players can learn and develop quicker when they feel part of the process.

When you play 4v4 or 3v3 at the end of your practice you may place your stronger players together. You will need to monitor the small sided games and maybe in the future give the so called 'weaker' players an opportunity to play with the stronger players. This situation may not be necessary for many teams. You may just play all levels of ability in your small sided games and this is totally fine. The key to developing your players are your practice sessions. Are they fun? Are they realistic to the game? Are you teaching?

Below are exercises that are fun and teach the game.

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