Youth Soccer Flashcards

created for nine year olds • appropriate for any age


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The Ultimate Soccer Player


Always Be Smiling

We are here to have fun!

Smiles are infectious! Smile for your teammates, for your coaches, and at your opponents.


Always Be Talking

Be a field general!

Always let your teammates know your intentions by calling out plays and/or by asking for the ball. 


Always Be Moving

If you are standing still, you are probably doing something wrong 😀

Always be moving FAST to the best space on the field to receive or to intercept a pass.


Always Be Practicing

Jump rope, dribble, juggle, and shoot every day.

Use your weak foot more than your strong. Stay fit and strong all year long. 

Success Tips


Use The Force


settle, inhale, look, exhale, kick


Play Your Position

Don’t run all over the field, you will be exhausted by halftime. Focus on dominating your portion of the field. Don’t be crossing from left to right, or right to left. Stay on your side of the field.


Use Ball Gravity

When you control the ball, sometimes it makes sense to MAKE the opponent come to you. This is called “using ball gravity” to pull the opponent into a weaker field position.


Win Every Throw-in

Everyone moves fast toward the throw-in area, and then we make smart throws fast! 

When defending, we cover our opponents like a WET blanket.


No Field Drama

If you are hurt, stay down!

If you are frustrated or mad at yourself for making a mistake, get up, smile, and find the best space on the field to be. No pounding the ground. Your team needs you!


Always Be Moving

Players are assigned a position; each position has a coverage area* (Right Wing shown in green); players are coached to always be moving (ABM) within their coverage area.

We measure motivation by observing what happens before and after touching the ball.

We tell players to NEVER touch and stop; when the ball is in your coverage area, repeatedly go after it; or rapidly go to the best place in your coverage area to receive or to intercept a pass.


*Depending on skill, speed, and stamina, we let players ‘lengthen’ their coverage areas.


Hold Your Shape

Every formation has a shape. As the ball moves up and down the field, the formation should hold its shape. Even when everyone is packed near the box, the formation should hold its shape!

Attacking Tips


Create Elephant Space

On attack, Always Be Moving (ABM) to Create Elephant Spaces (CES) between you and every defender.

Elephant spaces are big enough for an elephant to walk through!


Avoid The Middle

When driving the ball toward the opponents end of the field, don't play through the middle (that’s where everyone will be). Drive the ball to the corners and cross it!


Superheroes Get Stuffed

Superheroes that try to drive the ball through multiple defenders always get stuffed. Don’t get stuffed. Play to the corners and cross the ball to your teammate.


Attack Together!

Don’t be left behind! 

Every attacker should be moving forward as fast as the attacker with the ball.


Follow Your Shot

Don’t stop after shooting on goal. Follow your shot all the way to the goalie.


Flip The Field

Attackers with the ball always attract traffic. If you have elephant space, sometimes the best decision is to kick the ball to the opposite side of the field.

Defending Tips


Show A Shoulder

When approaching an attacker that has the ball, show your right shoulder to steer the attacker left. Show your left shoulder to steer the attacker right.


Don't Dive In

First, use the shape and position of your body to force the attacker into the weakest possible position…then go for the ball.

watch the video


Cover Your Attacker

If we are not attacking, we are ALL defending!

If the other team has possession of the ball, everyone’s job is to cover any attacker that is in their coverage area.


Defeat The Cross

Good teams know how to cross and score. The Left Defender must cover the left side of the box, and the Right Defender must cover the right side of the box. Stay on your side. PYP.


Defend Never Land

Never Land is the shaded area that surrounds our goal and the penalty area, and extends all the way to midfield.

Everyone defends Never Land, including offense!

We control Never Land.

Unless you have Elephant Space, don’t pass or ask for a pass in Never Land.

Drive the ball out of Never Land.

Move the ball out to and up the sidelines (see direction of arrows).

If the ball reaches the purple shaded area near our net, you are to EJECT the ball from the field of play on your first touch.

Keeper Tips


Empty Your Head

Goals and mistakes happen. The best keepers have short memories. You have less than sixty seconds to recover. Breathe, smile, and get ready for the next attack.


Keeper Ready Position

Come three steps out of the net. Use the goal posts at the opposite end of the field to align yourself. 

Bend your knees. Get up on your toes. Put your arms, hands, and fingers down. Turn your palms toward the attacker with the ball.

Watch this video.


Keeper Radar On

As an attacker with the ball approaches, get into the Keeper Ready Position.

Your chest is now a tracking radar.

Angle your body and quickly shuffle from left to right (without crossing your feet) so that your chest is always centered on the potential path of the ball.

Watch this video.


Attack The Floaters

Don't wait. If the ball is floating toward you, jump through oncoming attackers and toward the ball with one knee in the air. Yell "keeper" loudly! Use your hands to scoop the ball into your waist.

Watch this video.


Knock Down Rockets

If you try to catch a rocket shot, it will go right through your hands. Knock down or punch away rockets instead.


Be A Monster

You are the monster of your box. You're hungry. The ball is your lunch. Attackers are your desert. Don't hesitate. Yell like a monster. Pick up the ball before an attacker can get to it.


Avoid The Middle

Avoid the middle dude. There's hardly ever a good reason to punt, throw, kick, or roll the ball into the middle of your team's side of the field.


Roll The Ball

Unless you can kick the ball like a guided missile, on goal kicks, roll the ball to one of your defenders instead. Don't turn over the ball by punting it to the other team.


Crush Corner Kicks

On corner kicks, stand at the goal post that is furthest away from the corner kick (the back post); this way you can charge forward to Attack The Floaters (ATF). Have one of your defenders cover the post nearest to the corner kick.


Organize Your Defenders

Don't let your defenders daydream. Confidently guide your defenders into positions where they can help you to Defend Never Land (DNL), Defeat The Cross (DTC), and Crush Corner Kicks (CCK).


Slow Motion Option

Once you have control of the ball, sometimes the best decision is to move slowly enough to let your team recover and get ready to attack.

At other times, the best decision is to move quickly enough to take advantage of an unorganized opponent.

In all cases Organize Your Defenders (OYD) first.


Kick The Pass

Don't forget, when your teammate passes the ball back to you, you can't pick it up. You have to kick the ball first.