Passion - strong and barely controllable emotion.
The ages of 10 through 13 years of age are when a passion for the game fires up.
These are the years of rapid growth as players emotionally, mentally and physically begin to transform themselves and mature. These are also transitional years in the development of soccer players that see focus shift from a primary emphasis on skill development towards tactical application of skills in the game environment. Both work loads and work rates increase as the ability to concentrate and focus strengthen and mental toughness begins to develop. Coaching begins to transition from predominantly enthusiastic toward introducing an element of being more demanding.
Receiving - The player's first touch on the ball. Receiving on the move. Playing bouncing balls cleanly. Taking a ball out of the air. Turning with the ball as part of the reception.
Shielding - The ability to maintain the ball under pressure remains critical but should in some ways diminish as other skills become stronger decreasing the need to employ shielding skills as often.
Combining Dribbling and Footwork to maintain possession while defeating an opponent through individual moves or combination passing.
Passing - The ability to accurately convey the ball to a teammate with appropriate pace. Developing knowledge of both how to and when to pass short, intermediate or long and the techniques for doing so. The push pass remains the primary pass but the ability to play a driven ball, a bent ball, a chip using various surfaces of the foot become a stronger focus.
Contain - The ability to be patient on defense. Stay in front of the ball carrier to slow forward progress of the attack.
Force - The ability to take options away from a ball carrier and make him predictable thereby allowing your teammates to easily provide defensive help.
Tackling - Teach the cues for when it is appropriate to tackle as well as the proper technique for doing so. Do NOT attempt to tackle when the ball is between the ball carriers feet. Stay BIG when tackling. Do not dive in, stab or turn sideways.
Tactics the Passion stage of development should focus on developing pace of play through the ability to make quality decisions under pressure.
Positions - Players should continue to be given access to explore all positions. Interchangeability is becoming an ever increasing consideration in modern systems of play that specialization at this age is no longer an option. This is the only way to develop an awareness for the game in its entirety. Emphasis must be on developing an understanding of all principles of play and exposing the player to the total game.
Physical Training - Any and all fitness work at these ages should be done with the ball. Both dynamic (pre-game or pre-training) and static (post game or post training) stretching should become a staple. Core training for strength, explosiveness, balance and agility should begin to be introduced.
Psychological Training - Training and playing should remain FUN! Exploration of the game should be encouraged to foster imaginative and creative problem solving abilities. Mistakes are still okay. Mistakes are still learning opportunities. Discipline increases as demands increase.
The Game - 4 v 4 without goalkeepers or 5 v 5 with goalkeepers remains a staple of training. The game itself moves to 11 v 11 and focuses on developing and sustaining a coordinated effort to establish rhythm when attacking and developing and sustaining a coordinated effort focused on disrupting and destroying the opponents rhythm when defending.