How Long Should Your Soccer Practice Be?

Typically the amount of time given for a soccer practice is what’s available after school or fit between other activities.

When it comes to the length of a soccer practice, it’s probably to break down the ages of the children as each age group has different attention spans and natural endurance capabilities. Keep in mind that each group of kids is different and some can and want to go longer than others. For very young players, it’s best to err on the side of keeping the practice short.

The suggestions listed in this article don’t have to be strictly adhered to. They are basically a starting point and what’s been observed as an “average” for a particular age group.

Players under eight years old should have a session that lasts about 50 minutes to an hour. Anything longer will likely be wasted time as the kids have usually had enough. The training session itself can be broken down into a short 10 minute warm-up, 10 minutes of technique introduction, 10 minutes of skill development, 10-15 minutes of a team game, and then 10-20 minutes of free play and fun activities that are either directed by the coach or whatever the players would like to do with themselves or each other.

Under-tens can go a little longer but not by much. Session lengths for this age should probably top out at 65 minutes. What’s accomplished in the sessions themselves is not too different from the under-8 age group. A warm-up can last about 10 minutes followed by 20 minutes of technique and skill development. Team games and free play can round out the remaining practice time.

Once players reach 11 or 12 years old, a practice of about an hour and a half will be fine. At this age athletes will begin to realize the necessity of practice and will understand that to be successful against their opponents work will need to be put in on days where there are no games. Feel free to structure the sessions any way that seems appropriate. A general guideline includes warm-ups for 10 minutes, followed by a longer period (half hour) of technique and skill development. The remaining time can be spent in team games or set plays.

Under-15 year old players can have a similar session breakdown as the under-12s. The total time spent in practice probably shouldn’t be less than 90 minutes and there’s nothing wrong with a 2 hour practice for this age group. Players will likely want to practice to get better although practices should be kept interesting and move along quickly.

In general, don’t keep players at a practice if there’s no need to. Children have a lot going on in their lives and soccer should be a fun outlet. If you continue to extend the practice time they will begin to dread going to practice. As long as it’s fun they’ll continue to grow as players and want even more training. Most players will naturally work on skills taught to them on their own anyway.

7 Responses to How Long Should Your Soccer Practice Be?

  1. samantha January 26, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    i luv soccer so much i want to be a soccer player when i grow up

  2. JJ June 8, 2017 at 4:45 am #

    very good…..nice presentation..thumbs up!!!!

  3. Soccer Dad January 24, 2019 at 2:42 pm #

    Great post about the length of soccer practice, do you recommend any other soccer sites? Like ?

  4. tala ahmed February 14, 2020 at 3:39 pm #

    Hi guys this is a useful article
    but honestly, i
    found online marketplace called “srotatcom” it’s an online social marketplace where you can find hundreds of the best deals and offers on soccer training for kids which provide a lot of soccer training in abu dhabi
    This is the link if any one needs

  5. Anonymous November 27, 2022 at 8:33 pm #

    Im actually scared I’m 12 years old and I’m a beginner I hope I can improve and become big one day I’m scared I’m not tho.

  6. Alprofessor March 10, 2023 at 3:23 am #

    Being the best cleaning company in Abu Dhabi, we maintain our contacts with customers and other business, and we look forward to creating places that make your life more healthy and cleaner.

  7. Carlos September 20, 2023 at 7:44 am #

    In terms of volume and frequency this article is actually backward. Older and larger kids with much more muscle mass and power shouldn’t be training at any high level of intensity for more than 45 minutes. Assuming they have sessions 3 times a week then the recovery required from a 2 hour session is at least a couple of days or more. Add in a game or two on a weekend (sometimes up to 4 at a tournament) and your fast tracking these players to go backward physically and over train. Younger smaller kids have less risk of over training as their body is lighter and is not as impacted by the intensity as much. Of course they would struggle though for attention for much more than an hour. Professionals spend most of their time in tactical classroom type sessions and recovery. They don’t work physically much more than an hour a day.

Leave a Reply

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)