5 Great Soccer Drills For Kids

Updated: May 1



The beautiful game is the most popular sport in the world and for good reason! It's easy to pick up and play with very little equipment and can be played almost anywhere. When introducing kids to the organized game for the first time, it's important that you strike a balance between drills that keep the kids engaged but still provide the right environment to help them develop their skills


No matter what level of soccer you've played, it can be difficult to develop drills that are age-appropriate for the team that you are working with. Keep in mind that no matter what drill you choose, the kids should always be having fun. With the younger age groups, breaking the game down to its core skills is a great way to think when designing a good drill. The drill should allow for lots of repetition and exploration. When kids are first learning the game, let the drill itself be the coach and the coach be the guide.


Let's go through what a drill is, what makes it good, and some examples of some drills to try at your next practice.


What is a drill?


A drill should provide the frequent repetition of skills necessary to progress through the stages of skill acquisition towards skill mastery. Coaches should use a variety of different drills across training sessions and training programs to ensure an athlete does not get bored and learns to use the skill in a variety of different situations.


What makes a good drill?


A good drill allows a kid to repeatedly practice skills that are found within the real game while progressively adding more variables as they improve. In the context of soccer, introducing the core skills such as controlling the ball, dribbling the ball and kicking the ball is a great place to start before moving on to more complex skills in more variable environments.


When first introducing the game of soccer to kids who have little to no experience, it is important to make modifications to help enforce proper technique and instill good habits. Canada soccer recommends using a size 3 ball which is both smaller and lighter. This will allow the kids to properly perform the skill without making adjustments to their motor pattern to compensate because the ball is too big or heavy for them. When playing modified versions of the soccer itself, it is also recommended that you use pug nets instead of larger goals so that players can feel the joy of scoring goals and start falling in love with playing the game.


 

Want more great drill ideas for soccer? Check out the Athlete Era Soccer app available on IOS and Android!


 

Here are 5 great soccer drills to try out next practice!


1. Nascar



How to set it up

Set up a 15x15 meter grid with a smaller 5x5 meter grid on the inside.

Have each player grab a ball and scatter around the grid with the middle grid off-limits.

Players will use the area like a track and will move around the inside grid in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise formation.

How it works

The objective of the drill is to listen to the coach and do the requested command.

The players will start by dribbling a ball around the track.

At random, the coach will yell out commands that consist of changing speed, direction, and stopping.

Variations

Get the child to perform the drill with their parent

When the coach yells "STOP", have the children pick up the ball.


2. Mailman



How to set it up

Create a 30x20 meter grid with a square box in each corner.

Have every player start with a ball with an extra ball placed in each corner.

How it works

The objective of the game is to dribble from one box to another then grab a new ball and dribble that ball to the next box.

Players will use the bottom of their foot to stop the ball and get a new one.

Play for 3-4 minutes then switch to a variation

Variations

If the coach yells "turn", players put their foot on the ball and dribble in the opposite direction

Visit as many zones in one minute as possible

Get coaches or parents involved by running around the grid and acting as "mean dogs" trying to steal the ball way


3. Clean your house



How to set it up

Create two 15x15 meter boxes with a 5-meter neutral zone in the middle.

Divide the group into two teams and have every player grab a ball.

How it works

The goal of the game is to keep all the balls out of your house and put them in the other team's house (box).

The team with the most balls In their house at the end of the game has to make a funny face

Variations

Play parents vs kids

Increase the size of the boxes so that kids have to shoot the ball further


4. Playground soccer



How to set it up

Set up a 15x25 meter grid with two pug nets situated at each end. Place balls around the outside of the grid.

Encourage the parents to pair up with their children.

If the parent is not present or does not want to play, pair the player with another pairing.

How it works

The objective of the game is to score in the pug net.

Players will play their parents in a 1 vs 1 game. You can score in any net.

After scoring, the player retrieves their ball and tries to score in another one

Variations

Add pairings together so two players can play against two parents


5. Ground ball


How to set it up

Get each player to pair up with either their parent or another teammate.

Have each pairing grab a ball and stand about 5-10 meters apart.

If paired with a parent, have the parent start in a kneeling position with the ball.

How it works

The objective of the drill is to shoot the ball into the arms of the kneeling parent.

The parent will start by rolling the ball to the child who either hits the ball while it is moving or stops the ball and then shoots it along the ground back to the parent.

If players are paired with another player, have them switch roles after 8-10 shots.

Variations

Work on both the weak foot and the strong foot

Have players take a few steps towards the ball and shoot.


 

Want more great drill ideas for soccer? Check out the Athlete Era Soccer app available on IOS and Android!


 



FOR EVERY COACH & EVERY ORGANIZATION

Choose your sport to learn about all features & benefits