Player Ability by Division

Player Division Ability
What should be known by the end of a season in a division.

Player Understanding and Ability


Dribbling is the art of using the feet to maintain possession of the ball, on the ground, under control,
while moving.

  • Use all major surfaces of the foot.
  • Knees should be slightly bent and body leaning slightly over the ball for balance.
  • Arms should be relaxed and used for balance and protection.
  • Players should play with their head up as much as possible, enabling them to see the field as well as the ball by utilizing peripheral vision as their ability progresses.
  • Ball should be kept close.

Instep Kick

The instep kick is used to kick the ball and, as players get older, for long passes and shots on goal.

  • Prepare Plant Leg (supporting, non-kicking foot)
  • Place support foot next to the ball pointed in general direction of target (distance from ball will depend on height of the player).
  • Bend knee slightly.
  • All weight should be on plant foot.
  • Use arms out to sides for balance.
Instep Kick


A throw-in is used to restart the game after the entire ball has crossed the touch line, whether on the ground or in the air.

  • Face the field of play.
  • Have part of each foot on the ground, either on or behind the touchline when the ball is released.
  • Use both hands and deliver the ball from behind and over the head in one continuous motion.
  • Use the "W"/Butterfly method of holding the ball: touch thumbs together and grasp ball in hands.
  • Feet must be kept on the ground until ball is released.

Penetration & Delay

Attack - Penetration: Advancing the ball past opposing players by dribbling, passing and shooting.

Defending - Delay: To slow down the attack by closing gaps and denying space for the other team to work in. Once the attack is slowed, your team can attempt to take the ball back.


Inside of The Foot Pass

This technique is used to advance the ball or to maintain possession by passing to a teammate.

  • Prepare Plant Leg.
  • Prepare Action Leg.
  • Body should be over the ball, moving forward.
  • Move leg straight forward toward target, ankle locked and toe up.
  • Strike at the center of the ball with the inside of the foot.
  • Follow through.
Inside of the Foot - Push Pass

Inside of The Foot Control

This technique is used to control the ball using the inside of the foot in order to maintain possession and prepare for the next move.

  • Move into path of the ball.
  • Prepare Plant Leg.
  • Prepare Control Leg .
  • Contact center of the ball with center of inside of the foot (in curve/arch).
  • Withdraw action leg straight back as contact is made in order to cushion the ball.
  • Prepare ball for your next move.
Inside of the Foot - Ball Control

Support & Cover

Attacking - Support: Supporting teammates by creating safe options for the player with the ball.

Defending - Cover: Supporting the player(s) challenging the ball in case they are beaten.


Width & Composure

Attacking - Width: Attacking on a broad front (players spread out) stretches the defense and creates space for players to advance.

Defending - Composure: Compressing or restricting the space the attacking team has by “shepherding” them into a confined area makes it easier to defend and regain possession of the ball.



Tackling is used to take the ball away from an opponent or to maintain possession.

  • Prepare (front) Plant Leg (supporting, non-tackling foot).
  • Prepare Tackling Leg.
  • Move tackling leg straight forward.
  • Lower body and lean slightly forward.
  • Strike at the center of the ball with the inside of the foot. Block through the ball with your body weight.
  • Follow through.
Tackling - Front Block


Goalkeeper is a unique and exciting position. Goalkeepers are the only players on the field that are allowed to use their hands to play the ball, so long as they are within their own penalty area.

Note: We start with Keepers at U10.

  • Body Position.
  • Hand Position.
  • Throws
  • Punts

Mobility & Balance

Attacking - Mobility: Players changing positions (filling in for one another when necessary) and moving off
the ball creates numerical advantages and thereby attacking/scoring opportunities.

Defending - Balance: Reading the attack and providing an equal or greater number of defenders than
attackers at the point of attack, while simultaneously covering the vital area near the goal.


Top of The Thigh Control

This technique is used to control the ball in the air using the top of the thigh in order to maintain possession and prepare for the next move.

  • Move into path of the ball.
  • Prepare Plant Leg.
  • Prepare Controlling Leg.
  • As the thigh contacts the ball, cushion by withdrawing the controlling leg towards the ground.
  • Move leg from hip to drop the ball at feet.
  • Prepare ball for your next move.
Top of The Thigh - Ball Control

Sole of The Foot Control

(Rolling Ground Ball) This technique is used to control the ball on the ground using the sole of the foot or to bring a bouncing ball to the ground in order to maintain possession and prepare for the next move.

  • Move into path of the ball
  • Prepare Plant Leg
  • Prepare Controlling Leg
  • As ball arrives, contact the back of the ball with the foot in a wedge position controlling the ball lightly between the foot and the ground.
  • Prepare ball for your next move
Sole of The Foot - Ball Control


Juggling in soccer refers to keeping the ball in the air without it touching the ground utilizing all parts of the body except, of course, the hands. While juggling in and of itself is not a technique to be used in games, it is a tremendous way to develop your players' "touch" or feel for the ball, thereby improving his or her ability to perform techniques.

This technique inherently includes heading, please consider that as a factor.


Creativity & Composure

Attacking - Creativity: Creating opportunities for advancement, possession and scoring by utilizing individual skills such as feints and fakes while dribbling.

Defending - Composure: Staying calm and collected in the face of an attack by maintaining proper defensive techniques and positioning.


Laws of The Game - 2016/17

  1. The Field of Play
  2. The Ball
  3. The Players
  4. The Players' Equipment
  5. The Referee
  6. The Other Match Officials
  7. The Duration of the Match
  8. The Start and Restart of Play
  9. The Ball In and Out of Play
  10. Determining the Outcome of a Match
  11. Offside
  12. Fouls and Misconduct
  13. Free Kicks
  14. The Penalty Kick
  15. The Throw-in
  16. The Goal Kick
  17. The Corner Kick
Indirect Free Kick

You can find more information in the AYSO Training Material.