Originally Posted by Riddick
It all starts getting serious when they reach 9 years. Not long a go I was playing at the age of 10 and was amazed at how structured small games were becoming. Teamwork skills start to develop a great deal at 9-10 years, which is when it becomes serious
What is interesting here in the US is we have what are called "Carpet Bagging" coaches from England. Guys from England coming over with big credentials from England. (Carpet Bagging is a term used to describe Northern oppportunists that invaded the south after the Civil War)
Here in the United States, we are trying to teach technical abilities of the Brazilians with the organization of the Dutch. So, most clubs and US Soccer are trying to rid themselves of the English influence on our game and transform ourselves into our own style.
Tactics are 9-10 are to the detriment of a players technical development, which I believe even the English are starting to now acknowledge needs to be reconsidered.
At my club, we focus purely on technical ability at that age, making sure our kids have confidence with the ball and are willing to take on players 1v1, 2v1 on the dribble. So far, it seems to be working.
I think the French got it right when the director of youth development fired youth coaches that focused on winning and not player development. It is one of the contributions that has made the French program one of the best in Europe now along with the Dutch and the Portuguese.
(The current US plan was written by Carlos Queroz of Man Utd).