Website Manager



7v7, 9v9 and 11v11 Training - Slides from our recent coaches' training
How to setup a practice - Slides for coach training

Coaching Materials and Resources

Coaching Materials & Resources

Thank you for participating in Lake Travis Youth Association soccer. LTYA Rec Soccer teams range in age from U4-U12+. We are a volunteer run organization that relies on parents and adults to continue leading and improving our program.

So what is "recreational” soccer? - Recreational soccer is, typically, an intra-club league that provides its participants the opportunity to learn the game of soccer, get exercise, gain new life skills and, most importantly, have fun.

The differences between Recreational and Competitive soccer are numerous and one should not be confused with the other.

In Recreational soccer, there are no tryouts.  Teams are created with all eligible players being allowed to play. There is typically little to no travel to play games in recreational soccer and most teams practice only one time per week during the season. The emphasis is on having fun in recreational soccer while competitive soccer is focused more on player/team development with the purpose of winning games/championships.

Parents – Understand that LTYA Soccer is a recreational soccer program run by volunteers. These volunteers are just like you with children of their own, careers and other responsibilities to manage while doing their best as a soccer volunteer. The full potential of our soccer resources are only realized with the help of parent volunteers. We do this for the kids of our community, so please look for areas (field maintenance, concessions, equipment management, fund raising, etc...) where you can volunteer to continue making this a great experience for our children.

Also, realize that our recreational coaches are also volunteers.  Some ask to be coaches while others are asked to be coaches. Practices are usually once a week for just one hour. When you take into account water breaks, getting kids focused and lined up, you really only have about 35-45 minutes of practice. Development is slow with that small amount of time.  Ask your child's coach if you can assist with practices even if it is just helping getting the kids organized. This leaves a lot of extra time during the week to practice soccer with your child while at home.

Though recreational soccer is mainly focused on having fun, there is an expectation that the players will develop and improve their soccer skills during the course of a season. This responsibility does not solely fall on the volunteer coach. Skills development along with fun should occur during scheduled practices, but the parents of the player, the recreational soccer association along with the player themselves are also responsible for development of soccer skills.

Some basic, fundamental skills (technical) for the game of soccer are:

  • Dribbling
  • Kicking (on goal & distance)
  • Passing
  • Receiving

Without first achieving some level of technical skills, players will not be as effective in the tactical aspects of the game.  It is almost impossible to expect players to execute a corner kick play, a kick off play, a goal kick, etc... if they are not able to properly pass, receive, dribble or kick the ball.


LTYA Soccer has adopted the rules of play published by the South Texas Youth Soccer Association (STYSA) and the Capital Area Youth Soccer Association (CAYSA). 



Making practices fun should be the number one goal.  Learning how to teach and develop while having fun is the challenge.  Coaches should arrive at the fields for practice with a practice plan already developed.  Your first practice of the season will be different from the rest. 

As a coach, think about the following plan for your first practice:

1.     Meet and greet players and parents.
2.     Let kids kick ball around while you talk with your new parents about:

Goal(s) for the season

  • Parent volunteers (assistant coach(es), team parent, etc...)
  • Pass around a contact sheet to collect phone numbers and email addresses
  • Get kids together for introductions and start learning names
  • Conduct Practice
  • At the end of practice, have players suggest and vote on team name for the season

LTYA Practice Materials U4 - U6

Having kids stand around either in a line or a group while one kid is doing a drill is a bad idea.  You will lose the kids, especially younger ages, quickly with this approach.  Find drills that incorporate all or most of the players. The best way to develop your team is to have them touching the ball as many times as possible during a training session.  If a drill has some of the kids standing around waiting their turn then break them into two or more groups. Get parents to help you during your practices. For this, LTYA has developed a 10 week training curriculum to help you plan every week - U4, U5,& U6 Curriculum

A good plan to follow is divide your practices into 3 parts:

1.     Individual ball skills – dribbling (starting, stopping, changing directions, tricks)

2.     Group drills – passing, defending, kicking, small-sided games, etc...

3.     Scrimmage – allow at least 15 minutes for scrimmage at the end of practice 

It is recommended to come to practice with a practice plan prepared ahead of time. 

LTYA Practice Materials U7 - U10

For older age groups we have prepared a short video series on how to structure a practice can be found here. These training videos outline an ideal way to structure practices for U7-U10 players in a three part series. This can also be adapted easily for younger age groups as well.

Practice Ideas   (Practice Plans by Age Group)

Individual Ball Skills

Dribbling – the most basic of all soccer skills is dribbling.  This should be the initial focus for the youngest of players and should be worked on at every practice no matter the age or skill level.  Proper dribbling is done by the possessing player keeping the ball close to themselves as they move the ball in a particular direction.   All areas of the foot can be used when dribbling this includes the inside, top and outside of the foot.

This is all about touch on the ball and control.  A great place to start is simply having your players dribble around within a large square or circle.  This allows for players to weave in and out of each other forcing them to learn how to dribble with their head up (avoiding collisions with other players) instead of dribbling with their head down.  Having kids line up in a straight line side by side and dribble down the length of the field and back is not the best way to work on dribbling. 

Dribbling Resources – dribbling in group

Kicking – one of the funnest parts of soccer for kids is kicking the ball.  They like to kick it all the time, kick it far and kick it as hard as they can.  The trick is teaching kids how to kick the ball properly and, just as important, when to kick it as opposed to dribble or pass it instead.  Even at the youngest of ages, kids need to learn the proper way to kick the ball.  The proper way is NOT with the toe of the shoe, which is how kids tend to naturally kick the ball.  The proper way is with the top of the foot or a better way to explain it to kids is with the shoelaces.  There have been plenty of U4 kids that have successfully learned how to kick the ball the correct way and the earlier they learn the better.  It just takes coaching, time and patience.

Striking Resources

Passing – as players mature in their understanding of soccer, they will better understand the benefits of passing the ball.  This is a hard concept for younger kids to understand so working on dribbling and kicking is the best focus for the younger ages.  Passing requires spacing of the players.  Once they understand to move into open space to get open for a pass, then they need somebody who knows how to pass (and they need to know how to receive).  Passing is best executed, and most accurate, by using the inside portion of the player's foot.  The same area as used for receiving. See this video of how to pass a soccer ball

Passing Resources – Passing/Receiving Triangle Game

Receiving – proper receiving of a soccer ball is done with the inside of the foot.   It is the same part of the foot used for passing.  A player can also work on receiving with other parts of the foot, but should master the inside of the foot first.  By being able to receive a soccer ball, a player can get the ball under control to dribble, pass or kick.  See this video of how to receive a soccer ball

Receiving Resources

Find other resources online: (US Youth Soccer – Player Development Guide)  - sample practice plans by age group  (search kicking, passing, receiving, dribbling, youth soccer, soccer drills, etc…)  (listing of videos tagged as "Youth Soccer Drills”

Small-sided Games:

Other Soccer Drills – SoccerInteractive - a number of soccer drill videos – Sharks & Minnows – Red Light/Green Light Drill – Musical Soccer Ball

Ball Control/moves – "Pullback” soccer move – start teaching this at U5/U6 and practice every practice no matter the age (make sure players don't try and stand on the ball) (pullback soccer move) (pullback soccer move)

Lake Travis Youth Association

2101 Lakeway Blvd. Suite 115 
Lakeway, Texas 78734
Phone : 512-261-1900
Email : [email protected]
Copyright © 2024 Lake Travis Youth Association  |  Privacy Policy |  Terms of Use  |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In