While technical skills are important fundamentals for all young soccer players to learn, teamwork plays an equally crucial role in a team’s success. Beyond individual ability, good soccer players should be able to work in harmony with their entire squad. Youth soccer coaches can employ a number of strategies to help their players develop good teamwork skills, including incorporating team-oriented play into each practice.
Instead of simply focusing on drills, coaches should set up team scrimmages and positional plays to help players learn to interact with their teammates in a variety of situations. Players should learn where and how to play each position, as well as how each position contributes to the team as a whole. In this vein, it is important to ensure that all players attend every practice session and fully participate in training activities. Only through practice can players become familiar with their teammates and learn how to effectively react to one another.
Moreover, outside team activities can greatly support team unity, translating to improved teamwork on the field. Outings such as hiking, paintball, or laser tag are all fun possibilities that can help young players bond with one another and develop a true team mentality.