Fun Soccer Drills for kids

You will find 5 free sample Drills from the book Fun Soccer Drills that Teach Soccer Skills to 5, 6, and 7 year olds below, or click on the Home page for a PDF file of 16 sample games from this book.

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Follow the Coach

 

Skills
Varied

Drill Description
Each player lines up in single file with a ball behind the coach, who also has a ball. The coach leads the team around the field while doing several soccer-related things with the ball (i.e.,  dribbling, kicking, throw-ins, etc.) or funny things (i.e., run while holding the ball on top of your head, touch your elbow to the ball, sit on your ball, etc.). At any time the coach can quickly turn around and, if he finds any player who is not following the action, then the coach gets one point; if all of the players are following the direction, then the team gets a point. At the end of the activity if the coach has more points than the team does then the whole team must do an exercise, silly song, or whatever the coach requests. If the team accumulates more points than the coach, they get to think of something silly or an exercise for the coach to do.

Variation
Play follow the leader with different commands, and the last player to follow the command must go to the end of the line. You may allow the player in the front of the line to take three turns calling out commands before going to the end of the line and trying to work his way back to the front.

Coaching Tips
Talk about the ready stance of lightly bouncing on the balls of your feet with legs slightly bent, and have the players show you they are ready before starting this drill. Between tasks, you might want to yell “ready stance.”

 


 

Earthquake

 

Skills
Moving quickly to the ball
Working together as a group

 

Drill Description
Set up a square big enough for everyone inside to have room to dribble freely. The players dribble around in the area, avoiding one another and avoiding the coach who puts pressure on slow moving players. When the coach yells “earthquake” everyone must leave her own ball and find a new one before the earthquake is over (after the coach counts to five). If any player has not found a new ball by the end of earthquake, then the whole team must run a lap around the square or do some other activity announced by the coach. 

Variations

  • Use disc cones to make small triangles around the field. When the coach yells “earthquake,” each player must find a triangle to stand in for safety before the count of five.

  • Set up cones around the outside of the square. When the coach yells “earthquake,” each player must dribble around one of the cones and back into the square. No two players can dribble around the same cone.

Coaching Tips
Remind players to dribble with their head up to see where they are going and to keep the ball in control when dribbling. Also emphasize teamwork by encouraging players to quickly find a new ball when the one they want is taken by another player.
 

Passing Into the Square

 

Skills
Accurate passing
Controlling the weight of your pass

 

Drill Description
Using cones or disc cones set up four small squares two yards by two yards, each placed ten yards apart from the others, thus forming a large square with the small squares as the corners. Start in one square, and everyone has a ball and tries to kick it so that it rolls into the next square and comes to a stop inside the square. Everyone should kick to the same square but take turns. If a ball stops inside the square, the kicker gets a point. After everyone has kicked, go to the square the balls are in and the players kick to the next square from this spot. Continue around the square in this manner until one player gets four points and declare him the winner. If you have a large team, divide the group into smaller teams and set up several squares.

 

Variations

  • Set up a large circle of squares and divide the group into small teams of two to four players. Start the game with one team in every other square and have them move around the circle, kicking into the next square.

  • Set up one square for each player in a large square or rectangular shape with space between each square. When you say “go,” everyone passes into the next square, moving in a clockwise direction. Each player is passing into a square that another player is already standing in. After each round, everyone goes to the square they were just aiming at and kicks their next ball from there. After taking a turn at each square,  ask the players how many points they got.

 

Coaching Tips
This drill is good for players who blast the ball hard even when just passing to their own team or players who kick it too soft. 
 

Hot Potato Ball

 

Skills
Quick movement

Drill Description
Set up a circle of cones or use the center circle of a regulation size soccer field. Select one or two players to stand in the middle of the circle while everyone else stands around the outside with the soccer balls. On the “go” signal, everyone on the outside of the circle kicks his ball into the circle. Those in the middle kick all of the balls out and must stay in the middle until there is a moment when there are no balls in the circle. Once a ball is kicked out, it can be kicked back in by anyone. 

Coaching Tips
A fun high paced drill that most players really like. If the players in the middle kick the balls far out it is easier for them to win the game.
 

Capture the Ball

 

Skills
Dribbling with speed
Dribbling against a defender

Drill Description
Using disc cones, set up a line across the field and divide the team into two even groups with one team on one side of the line and one on the other. On each side, make a box out of cones that is at least five yards behind the center line. Place three balls inside each box. Players try to go across the line and get the balls back to their own side without getting the ball taken away from them before they cross the line. Once a player runs across the line she can get tagged before getting to the box and sent back to her own side; if she makes it to the box she is safe till she leaves the box. Defenders may not enter into the box on their own side. When a player is dribbling out of the box the defenders may take the ball away and then the ball goes back into the box and the player must return to her side before trying again. Any ball that is successfully dribbled across the line is added to the box on that team’s side.  The first team to get all six balls is declared the winner.

Coaching Tips
This can be one of those never ending games since the balls can go back and forth. I like to call the game to an end and declare it a tie when both teams have three balls again.