As you’re coaching your new group of young stars, let them dictate how the practice goes. Be open to varying your allocated time per drill.
If one drill is working great and the kids want to do it longer than expected, no problem! The key is that they are having fun while out there, and naturally they will be learning the basics of how to play soccer. Ball at their feet, and let them play!
Choose drills that have every player with a ball at their feet as much as you can. This will both keep them all more interested, but also slowly increase their natural ability and comfort with the ball.
Play lots of small sided games, and it is best to keep the numbers for a game LOW. Just have 3 v 3, or 4 v 4. Try to avoid having big games like 6 v 6 or more. The less players playing the more touch on the ball for everyone, and in turn the more fun they will have.
Although some of these games can be for older players as well, keep to just the basics for your beginner players… low pressure and LOTS of encouragement and support.
Kids Soccer Number Game
Numbers game is one kids love to play! Have you tried it with your team yet? They love to learn how to play soccer with this fun drill. Players line up in goal and each are given a number
– For numbers game, set up a field roughly 18 m by 27m.
– Set up teams, and number each player on each team 1-4 (go higher if need be)- Players start by standing on the goal line of their goal.
– Kick a soccer ball into the field, and you call out a number.
– Player of that number on each team come out and play 1 v 1 trying to score.
– Players not called act as goalies, but cannot leave the goal line.
– If you call out another number, players leave ball where it is, run back to goal line and the number called out comes out to play 1 v 1.
– Just keep simple and fun, try to keep players on the goal line.
– Encourage players to shoot low, below waist level.
– Remember, encourage successes and have fun with your players!
— Call out more than 1 number so it becomes 2 v 2 or 3 v 3.
– For players a little older, have them perform 1 “move” or “turn” before scoring a goal from our individual skills page.
Total time estimated:
– 10 minutes is good for young players to enjoy this soccer numbers drill
Go Go Stop
Go go stop is a game for kids that will teach them the basics of dribbling a soccer ball. They learn to keep the ball close to their feet, while picking up the basics on how to quickly stop a ball.
– Go go stop is set up in a grid 18m by 18m.
– Every player has a ball at their feet.
– The football coach calls out go repeatedly to keep players dribbling and moving.
– Players dribble on the “go’s”.
– Once you call out STOP, the players must stop the ball using the bottom of their foot as quickly as possible.
– Players should use the inside, outside and laces part of their boot to dribble the ball, while keeping the ball close to their feet as they dribble.
– Coach players that allow the ball to run ahead a few metres to keep it closer, ball ideally for this skill should be within a metre at all times to allow for a quick stop, or turn in a game.
– Remember, encourage successes!
– Have a competition, but don’t eliminate players. Call out the “fastest” to stop rather then pointing out the negative.
– Try left foot only, or right foot only.
– To get players in the habit of dribbling with their head up, hold your hand up for them to dribble and make a fist when you want them to stop, but say nothing. This forces players to keep their head up to watch you and not down staring at the ball.
Total time estimated:
– 5-7 minutes for go go stop dribbling practice.
Kids Soccer Crab Game
In this fun crab game for kids, players have lots of fun while dribbling around other players trying to take their ball away that are walking like crabs to win the ball.
– Crab game is set up with a grid roughly 18m by 27m.
– 2 players start as defenders or “crabs” in the middle. They walk on the facing upwards on their feet and hands.
– All other players have a ball on one end line.
– As always, demonstrate what you expect from your players!
– Players A try to dribble to the other side of the grid without having their ball kicked out of the grid or controlled by a “crab”.
– If a player loses their ball, they become one of the crabs!
– Winning player is last player standing with their ball.
– Works on players avoiding trouble and dribbling into space.
– Develops players ability to dribble while under pressure in a fun setting.
– Defenders should work together which builds communication and teamwork.
– Remember, encourage your players!
— Have the defenders stand up defending as they would in a game.
Total time estimated:
– 7-10 minutes is good for young players to enjoy this soccer crab game.