Innovative Soccer drills for kids. I will make modification’s so you can teach these to a physical education class & recreation level players. You’ll also be able to use these drills at your camp and with higher skilled travel players.
ON THE CALL
EQUIPMENT: 1 ball per player
- Set a designated area and allow players to dribble in any direction.
- Emphasize picking up your head and using all sides of your feet.
- Players are taught and told how to do a sole of the foot trap.
- Players will perform a sole of the foot trap on the coaches call and immediately continue dribbling after the call.
- After 30 seconds to a minute teach and add a roll.
- Add the following skills. Cut right, cut left, speed up, slow down, drag bag, drag back with L turn, step over, double step over, scissors, double scissors, maradona.
- TIP: Nothing wrong with challenging younger or inexperienced players with a drill like this. No harm done if they mess up.
EQUIPMENT: 1 BALL PER PLAYER
- Each player is matched up with a partner.
- One player is #1 and the other #2.
- #1 is the leader and #2 is the shadow.
- The shadow must do what the leader does. If they trap, speed up, cut left, drag back, etc… the shadow must do the same.
- TIP: Advise players to not kick and chase to get away from their partner. Emphasize keeping control of their ball.
- Switch leader and shadow.
- Switch partners.
WHO’S THE BOSS
EQUIPMENT: 1 ball per two players
- One player starts with the ball, 5 giant steps from a partner.
- Partner attempts to steal the ball.
- Whichever partner has the ball when the game stops on a whistle, will pick the ball up to show they won.
- OPTION: Allow partner who won, to give the other partner an exercise to do. For example: 10 push-ups, 20 jumping jacks, 15 second wall seat, etc….
- Partner that lost, gets to start with the ball on second go.
KING OF THE COURT OR FIELD
EQUIPMENT: 1 Ball per player
- Each player has a ball that they must stay with the entire game.
- The object is to keep their ball on the basketball court and kick everyone else’s ball off the court.
- As players get knocked out, you can make the playing area smaller and smaller.
- Switch to your volley ball court and than a possible smaller circle on your court.
- You also have the option to use poly spots indoors or outdoors to adjust the playing areas to any size you prefer.
- TIP: Kids will team up, so make them aware that they can’t make an alliance. It will be obvious once the game begins.
- If you play indoors, make the players aware if a ball hits off the wall and comes back in the court, they’re still out.
PASS THE X
EQUIPMENT: 1 Ball per 2 players
- I have painted X’s all over my gym floor for squad spots that I utilize in this game. If you have something similar I recommend using them or poly spots.
- With a partner, one player begins with the ball. The other player run’s any X in the gym.
- The partner with the ball will try to anticipate which X their partner is running to and make a pass to them.
- As soon as the pass is made, they’re immediately looking for another X to stand on and receive a pass.
- TIP: Make sure younger players are trapping first.
- NOTE: Older players can just go to an open space.
IN & OUT OF CONES (WITH VARIATIONS)
EQUIPMENT: Cones and balls
- Form however many lines you prefer.
- Set distance of cones to skill level.
- Speed dribble cone to one, instead of going in and out.
- Players dribble in and out of cones. Variation: Player must perform a 2 tricks before returning to their team, such as a scissor.
- OPTION: Make it a race.
- OPTION: Only allowed to use one foot or non-dominant foot.
- HIGHER DIFFICULTY: Place a defender on each cone that the attackers must dribble past.
- NOTE: The defender must keep one foot on the cone and they can’t switch feet, but they may pivot. Remember the drill is for the dribbler, not the defender.
CLICK HERE to check out an overlap video.
EQUIPMENT: 1 Large goal 12-18ft, soccer balls and 3 cones.
- You need a keeper in goal.
- 3 attackers and no defenders.
- Center forward passes a lead pass to right forward.
- Center forward goes behind right forward and makes a run to the right corner of the field.
- The right forward make a pass to the left forward and then the right forward makes a looping run to the far post.
- The left forward passes the ball to the center forward in the right corner and then makes a run to the near post.
- The center forward crosses the ball and the right and left forward attempt to score.
- Keeper will attempt the save.
- OPTION: Play with one defender.
- NOTE: This a great drill to teach overlapping (switching positions), crossing, finishing, heading and your keeper will get to work on stopping the cross.
EQUIPMENT: 1 ball per group and 3 cones
- First player in line stands 10 yards back from attacker.
- Attacker attempts to get past the defender.
- 3 ways to end the drill. 1. If the defender drives the attacker to sideline. 2. The defender makes a steal. 3. The attacker gets past the defender.
- Rotation: Defender goes to the end of the line, attacker becomes the defender and the next player in line becomes the new attacker.
- Set up 3 lines. One in the center and another on each wing.
- OPTION: Have defender pass the ball the to attacker to begin the drill.
- OPTION: Allow the center line to shoot at a goal with keeper if they get past the defender.
- OPTION: Add a second defender, so first defender can be more aggressive. Defenders must communicate with each other.
- VARIATION: Place two cones approximately 5 yards apart that the attacker must dribble thru after passing the defender. This increases the difficulty for the attacker.
- TIP: Teach players to stand in a boxers stance and up on balls of the feet, ready to move.
- TIP: It’s okay to move backwards if attacker has perfect control of the ball.
- TIP: Best time to steal is when the attacker first receives the ball or loses control.
GRADES: 2nd-8th (You can adjust the difficulty depending on age)
- RACE UNTIL YOU WIN: In this drill it’s just a straight running race. Line up your team or class in two straight lines.
- The first two runners in each line will race each other to the coach/teacher that is standing 50 yds away with their hands. First runner to tag your hand wins, the player that loses the race, must go to the end of the line and race another runner.
- This process repeats until you win. I prefer this more for more soccer team then Phys. ed. class, but it’s okay to do every once in awhile.
- CIRCLE JOG: The team or class jogs in a circular pattern. You can adjust the size of the circle by age.
- One player at a time will sprint around the circle while they jog. Once they return to their spot, the person behind them will repeat the process until everyone on the team has completed their sprint.
- SPRINT/JOG/WALK: Place two cones or soccer flags on the ground approximately 30 yards apart.
- The team will sprint, jog and walk around the flags on your call. 3 minutes is sufficient for middle school.
- TIP: 10-15 seconds is a good length of time to keep them in a sprint. High School age can handle 20-25 seconds. I also do this with my High School Wrestling team.
- DIAGONAL’S: The entire team will stand in a group near the corner of the field.
- They must sprint the goal line, jog diagonally across where the mid-line and sideline meet, sprint the mid line, jog diagonally to the far corner, sprint the goal line.
- Now they will work their way back, with a diagonal jog to where the mid-line and sideline meet again and this will continue until they return to the starting point.
- TIP: 1 diagonal down and back the entire field is enough for middle school. 2 or 3 could be completed by high school players. If you’re dealing with players below middle school, you can do half a diagonal which would end when they go from one end of the field to the other. They wouldn’t return back to the starting point.
- Option: If you’re dealing with really young players below middle school, you do the same drill on half of the field.
- If you want to increase the difficulty you can jog the goal line’s & side line’s and Sprint the diagonal’s.
- ON THE CALL: Players dribble in a designated area and you call out moves, such as drag back, step over, L turn, scissors, cut left, cut right, sprint, etc….
- This is an easy drill to give your team cardio or just a little warm-up for your Phys. Ed. class.
- RELAY: Make the team or class into two teams. Place 1 player from each team in a different location on the field.
- The first 2 runners start in the corner of the field. They will run until they tag their teammates standing in front of the goal. Once the tag is made, the two players standing in front of the goal, will run to their teammates waiting at the other corner.
- You can place your players in any location you wish.
- I usually end the race with the last two players giving me a high five.
- VARIATION: The same drill can be done while dribbling a soccer ball. Tip: The player with the ball, must trap it before their teammate takes it. NO PASSING. If one player passes too early, the race will be unfair.
- PYRAMIDS: Set your team/class in lines of 4-6 players.
- 1 pyramid would be up and back. Another words, the first player in line would run 30 yards, return back to their team and high five the next player in line.
- Example: A pyramid to 3 example. The first time it’s their turn, they would go up and back once, then up and back twice, then 3 times, 3 times again, 2 times and finish with 1 time.
- TIP: You can always shorten the distance or lessen the amount of pyramids. If you want to keep it difficult, but make it a little easier you can have your players only do the 3 times once, instead of twice. Adjust the difficulty for your age level, but middle school and high school can handle pyramids to 3 with a 30 yard distance.
- OPTION: To increase difficulty of the pyramid, you can require players to perform 10 push-ups or curl-ups before they jump back in their line. If you have 4-6 players in each line, they will have plenty of time to get this done and catch their breath.
- DIRECTION I POINT: Your players will spread out and face you and they must move in the direction you point and/or say.
- They must face you at all times. When they’re running right and left they’re shuffling.
- When they’re running backwards it should be on an angle left or right to mimic defending an attacker.
- OPTION: Same drill with a ball. You can increase difficulty by only pointing and speaking, so players are forced to pick up their when dribbling.
- SPRINT AND TRAP: Spread the balls out all over half of the field.
- Players will sprint to a ball, pick it up and toss for a trap (elevator, wedge, run thru, etc…)
- OPTION: Players must use foot to get the ball of the ground.
- BALL JUMP: Place about 7-10 soccer balls in an oval formation about 5-10 yards apart.
- Players will jog in oval formation and they must hop or jump over each ball.
- OPTION: You can increase difficulty by requiring players to make both heels touch their rear.
- COURSE RUN: This can be adjusted to your preference, but I’ll give you an example of one way I set up this cardio course for my U15 team.
- Example: Back peddle, shuffle back on angles, across agility ladder, in and out of cones, sprint forward, sprint hill (if you have) jog down and repeat. No ball.
CLICK HERE for competitive soccer drills.
Soccer Wall Ball
I want to thank my 5th grade Students for giving me this idea!!!
Equipment: 1 wall, rubber kick ball or Soccer ball. Chalk may be needed if you’re playing outside.
CLICK HERE to see a video of this game.
- This game can be played with 10 players at the same time, but each player will get less action.
- I recommend 2 v 2, 3 v 3 or 1 v 1 v 1.
- Set a serving line approximately 15 feet from the wall.
- Place another line 3 feet from the wall. The serve must land past the 3 foot line after hitting the wall on a serve only.
- All contact with the ball is thru kicking. You may add contact with the head or chest for a touch before kicking the ball. NO HANDS.
- If a player kicks the ball and it hits the ground before contacting the wall, that player must touch the front wall before another player kicks it into the wall.
- If a player misses the wall, kicks the ball out of bounds or doesn’t touch the wall with their hand off a bounce kick, they’ll receive a point.
- The player with the least amount of points will win the game.
- Allow multiple bounces when the ball comes off the wall before another player kicks it. OPTION: Only allow 1 or 2 bounces.
I hope you can add these games to your classes or practices. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.