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Ages 10-11 (Learning to Play)

Alec A'Hearn

Child Development

Players that have developed moderate to high technical skills will need to be encouraged to build individual confidence.  The team becomes successful with molding the individualized player into a team format.  At this age kids begin to compete with each other naturally increasing the desire to win or to succeed. 

Player Developmental Goal

These ages are the skill hungry years.  Motivationally, children are geared to learn skills at this time, therefore, this is an ideal opportunity for focusing on building the skills of the game onto the movement skills of the children.  Competition opportunities reflect basic development principles such as; equal playing time for all.   

Our Philosophy

Small Sided games are imperative at this age as this provides the maximum exposure to the players interaction with the ball.   With an emphasis on technical development of the player, we limit practice games to a maximum of 4 players.  For team development (game awareness) this number is increased to no more than 8 players.

A high emphasis is placed on the education of parents and players on lifestyle factors (nutrition, hydration, recovery and support) that are underlying for player development.


This is an introductory year to travel soccer and is the first year players are introduced into the official Travel soccer program.  At this age, division by gender is not important as all youth play at similar levels.  Rangers teams may be coed or divided into boys / girls, depending upon the number interested and the breakdown in gender.

At  this level, the focus begins to change to team tactics and game awareness.  A moderately high emphasis is still placed on technical development.  Players with moderate technical skills and physical skills are invited to join competitive travel teams and are placed in competitive leagues.  We make every attempt at this age to create a solid foundation for future competitive soccer for all teams.

Coaching Strategies

 Ranger coaches for this age group key in on a few important concepts that are the building blocks for the future development of the player and team.

     1.  Commitment:  At the U12 level, players and parents are asked to show a high level of commitment to practices and games during the seasons. 

     2.  Player Confidence:  Players are encouraged to challenge themselves by playing multiple positions and being aggressive during play. 

     3.  Conditioning:  The habits the players develop at this age are foundational for how they develop as individuals and as teams.  As such, an emphasis is placed
      on physical training off the field and in playing in multiple sports. 

      4.  Goal Setting:  The Rangers coaches will continually work with their players in setting goals, then support them as they strive to reach them.

What does your child need from you?

During this stage, players need to have a lot of positive reinforcement.  This is an important age as we are intensively focusing on individual technique and skills.  Players need to know that those on the sidelines acknowledge and support individual plays.  It is very important that you do not try to instruct your player from the sidelines. This is confusing as thier coach is instructing them as well. To develop a great soccer player at the 13/14 level, you should follow the lead of your child.  Provide opportunities for them to further develop their individual skill, but please do not push.  Players at this age are just learning to play with team members and need time to develop that skill.  Socialization is becoming more and more important.

Fall Training (August through October) 

Fall Practices: 

Begin around August 15th.  Teams will practice two times per week with an additional academy practice.  During the fall season the coaches are evaluating the players and designing practices around the strengths and weaknesses of players and teams. 

Fall Games:

 Teams will be placed in the ISL or other competitive league through fall.  U11 teams will be placed in the division that is most comparable to their level of player development.  As the team builds in talent they will earn the right to move up into the next division. 

Fall Tournament:

  The teams will participate with the Rangers Academy in a tournament designated by the Club in which all teams will be attending.  This will require an overnight stay. Under special circumstances, a second tournament may be added.

Winter Training (November – March)


Team practices will not be conducted in November and December.  This allows the players to have a brief soccer break.  However, we encourage all players to attend their weekly academy practice and to participate in our winter club soccer league.  In January, we add a team practice to their weekly training.  This allows the coach to begin working on the team weaknesses that were identified in the fall league play.


  We recommend participation in our winter indoor leagues.  Indoor is vital to the players development as it allows coaches to focus on their individual techniques and their individual tactical development.    We rotate players through multiple positions so that they have a better understanding of how to play all positions on the field.  This is part of the players learning to play the game. 


  No official tournaments in winter.

Spring Training (April – June)

Around the first of April, team practices will move outdoors.  We will be having two team practices each week and one academy practice.  It is very important for the development of the team for players to participate in all the practices.    
Spring Games:

The teams will continue in the ISL leagues.  Those teams that are highly successful in the Fall league may be moved up to the next higher competitive division.  Generally, there are 6 – 8 league games and a state tournament. 


Teams will participate in a tournament attended by the entire Club.  This is usually in April or May. 

We would like all the kids to attend the Rangers Camp held in June and work with the Rangers coaches.