I'm starting this thread since I tend to clog up others with discussion of US youth soccer. I figure a separate conversation could make sense. So for the first post.... I know that there has been discussion on whether US youth soccer is training kids properly. I've mentioned that I believe US Soccer and most clubs are training kids based upon international standards of getting lots of touches, small fields and number of players, etc. Here is a quick synopsis that our club trainers sent to coaches about how the trainer-run practices (twice per week) are being run. "As discussed earlier this week, a training session is 90 minutes. These 90 minutes are broken down into 4 stages. These stages are broken down into intervals. The reason for these intervals is to give the players time to recover from work done. The players can take a water break and coaches can coach at a stoppage. Examples: Stage 1 = Technical Warm-Up. Cops and Robbers. 2 players are the cops and the rest are robbers. Play the game for about 1:30 minutes. After this interval, the coach picks two new robbers and asks questions about how to dribble (technique) and where to dribble to (tactics). Give the players the opportunity to answer and show the desired skill. To let them show it you give the players ownership, the next time another player wants to show off and you get to know that the players actually understand what they answer. After the next 1:30min. two new robber etc. Stage 2 = Small-sided activity. 4 vs. 1 keep away. Play the game for about 2 minutes and then switch defenders. While yu are coaching in the flow during the activity, you can give more specific information between intervals. You can have everybody be in the middle twice which equals 20 minutes! Stage 3 = Expanded Small-sided activity. 6 vs. 6 with two counter goals. You are always only coaching the team going to the big goal. The team going to the small goals is the managing team. Switch sides after about 7 minutes of play. During play you should coach in the flow, do no more than 1 to 2 stop-freeze moments and give individual references. In between the 7 minute intervals you give your analysis and tell them what they should do better in the second 7 minutes. You can also tell them what they did well and what you would like to see again. Stage 4 = Scrimmage 6 vs. 6 with two large goals. Keep the coaching during pay to a minimum, coach in the flow, but really don't stop-freeze anymore. You can coach more specifically in between the 8 minute intervals."