General Development Characteristics
Physically, nine and ten-year-olds are still in the early stages of development.
Physical/Gross Motor Development:
- will participate enthusiastically in competitive activities
- will practice new skills over and over in order to perfect them
- will experience lowered frequency of minor illnesses
- may have fears of failure, not being liked, etc.
- may blame others or make up alibis to explain their own shortcomings or mistakes
- enjoy talking and hanging out with friends
- need reinforcement
- like to be a coach’s helper
- feelings can be easily hurt
- recall details with considerable accuracy.
- understand the concepts of cause and effect.
- enjoy putting on “shows” for parents and friends.
They’re growing up!
You will find U-10 players willing to join in games that require a moderate degree of strategy. Soccer skill building is best achieved in non-competitive games, so try to avoid lecturing. And remember, they will take what you show or tell them literally, so be sure to say exactly what you mean. Children at this age are starting to be self-critical, so make sure you are always positive in your approach. Traditionally, youth soccer is viewed from an adult perspective, using the 11-a-side game as a reference. We need to remember that children:
- must be treated as children, not as mini-adults.
- are essentially self-oriented and naturally relate only to a friend or two, not to groups of six or more.
- cannot sustain prolonged activity, and can function best with frequent rest periods.
- have a limited span of attention, so frequent activity changes are necessary.
- focus best when learning activities are fun.