Characteristics of U6 Players

         Short attention span.

         Can attend to only one problem at a time.

         May understand simple rules that are explained briefly and demonstrated.

         May or may not understand or remember: what lines mean on the field; what team they are on; what goal they are going for. We need to be patient and laugh with them as they get 'lost' on the field.

         Easily bruised psychologically. Shout praise often. Give "hints", don't criticize.

         Need generous praise and to play without pressure. No extrinsic rewards (trophies, medals, etc.) should be given for winning.

         Prefer "parallel play" (Will play on a team, but will not really engage with their teammates. Thus, a 3 against 3 game is, in reality, a 1 against 5 game because they all want the ball at the same time.

         Very individually oriented (me, mine, my).

         Constantly in motion, but, with no sense of pace. They will chase something until they drop. They are easily fatigued but recover rapidly.

         Development for boys and girls are quite similar.

         Physical coordination limited. Eye - hand and eye - foot coordination is not developed. Need to explore qualities of a rolling ball.

         Love to run, jump, roll, hop, etc..

         Prefer large, soft balls.

         Catching or throwing skills not developed.

         Can balance on their "good" foot.


Things You Can Expect

As coaches of these younger players there are things that we know that we can expect during training and games. If we know what to expect, we will be more effective in dealing with the hundreds of situations that come up. This will help us relax, and, in turn, allow us to enjoy the unpredictable nature of working with these children even more. Here are some of the things that we can expect.

         Most players cry immediately when something is hurt. Some cry even when something is not hurt.

         No matter how loud we shout, or how much we "practice" it, they can not or will not pass the ball.

         Somebody will come off the field in need of a toilet. Somebody will stay on the field in need of a toilet.

         The only player to hold a position is the goalkeeper (if you play with one). Don't even consider teaching positional play.

         Twenty seconds after the start of a game, every player will be within 5 yards of the ball.

         Several players will slap at the ball with their hands, or pick it up. Several parents will yell at them not to do that.

         A model rocket that is launched from a nearby field will get 99% of the player's attention. By all means, stop whatever you are doing and go watch for a couple of minutes!

         During a season, you will end up tying at least 40 - 50 shoe laces. They will do something that is absolutely

         During a season, you will end up tying at least 40 - 50 shoe laces.

         They will do something that is absolutely hysterical. Make sure that you laugh!