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US Youth Soccer releases Spatial Awareness coaching guide

Download Spatial Awareness [ PDF ]

FRISCO, Texas (September 30, 2014) -  US Youth Soccer is excited to announce the release of "Spatial Awareness - A Progression for Coaching the Tactical Use of the Field of Play through Concepts of Space." The new coaching education resource provides youth coaches with an age-appropriate approach to teaching players tactical concepts that utilize concrete and abstract spaces on the field of play.

Spatial Awareness features a simple structure to guide all coaches through the steps of strategically training players on the tactical use of spaces on the soccer field. Principles are broken down by age group, from Under-6 through Under-19 - gradually broadening players' awareness of space and the use of space on the field, which can lead to more enjoyable and attractive soccer.

"This new coaching guide from US Youth Soccer is another great resource for coaches and clubs to utilize as they continue to develop players of all ages," said Sam Snow, US Youth Soccer Director of Coaching. "It provides direction for age-appropriate training, aiding coaches from the youngest age groups to the highest levels of youth soccer. I'm confident this guide will prove to be useful to coaches and players at all levels and provide an increased understanding of the tactical approach to the game."

Spatial Awareness is also considered a companion piece to the  Player Development Model  released in 2012. The Player Development Model is a curriculum designed to serve as a standard to guide each of US Youth Soccer's 55 member State Associations and more than 5,000 clubs on how to effectively train athletes of all levels and abilities.

Available for coaches of all youth age groups and abilities, the Spatial Awareness coaching guide can be downloaded  here  or by going to the US Youth Soccer  Coaching Education Document Center .

For more information on coaching resources and other tools for coaches, parents and administrators, visit

The 11+ - a complete warm up to prevent injuries

Warming up prior to playing and training is a matter of routine for any serious player. A smart warm-up not only improves your performance, but also helps you to prevent injuries. "The 11+", the new injury prevention programme from FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), provides a complete, football-specific warm-up and can easily be integrated into a daily training routine.

"The 11+" is divided into three parts: it starts off with running exercises (part I), moves on to six exercises with three levels of increasing difficulty to improve strength, balance, muscle control and core stability (part II), and concludes with further running exercises (part III). The different levels of difficulty increase the programme's effectiveness and allow coaches and players to individually adapt the programme. "The 11+" takes approx. 20 minutes to complete and replaces the usual warm-up before training. Prior to playing a match, only the running exercises are performed, for about ten minutes.

"The 11+" has proven to cut injuries by up to half - if performed correctly and regularly. When it is adopted together with the values of fair play, it enables you, as a player or coach, to protect yourself, your team and your opponents and thus increase everyone's enjoyment of the game.