Football is a sport of great speed, precision, and coordination. It’s not a sport which is mastered overnight. It requires you to put in a great deal of hard work over a span of many years.
The key to becoming a great football player is building a base of fundamentals. Kids must learn basic dribbling, passing, and shooting fundamentals before they can move onto a more complex style of play.
How do kids learn these fundamentals? By engaging in particular drills. Here are 10 football drills for kids.
The Tri-Skills drill teaches young players how to dribble and turn. A small triangle is formed using cones and players are split into groups of two. The first player enters the center of the triangle and performs a dribbling move. Once the player exits the triangle they must perform a turn with the ball to face the triangle. The second player then enters and performs the same exercise. The two player continue to take turns performing moves for about 20 to 30 seconds, then rest and repeat.
1V1 Mini Game
The 1v1 Mini Game is a great way for kids to experiment with evasive skills and change of pace whilst running with the ball. Think of safety when setting up avoid scenarios where kids could dribble into each other by allowing buffer zones. Keep rotating so opponents are changed regularly. Rotation also allows a period of rest, so control how long rotation takes depending on how fatigued the players seem. You could also give some brief hints to the whole group in order to give them a rest.
Games should be no longer than 1 minute maxim. If enough cones are available, progress to a small goal on each end-line for kids to score in.
You will also need a good supply of spare balls, as they tend to go everywhere when shooting is introduced.
The 3v1 drill is a drill which helps kids to improve both their defense and shot accuracy. To set the game up, you must establish a 3-yard X 3-yard box. It’s a good idea to establish this box with cones.
Once the cones have been set up, place a ball in the middle of the cones. No player is allowed to go inside the parameters of said cones.
There will be 3 offensive players, and 1 defensive player. The offensive players will pass the ball back and forth, kicking the ball toward the center ball in an attempt to hit it. All the while, the defensive player must try to stop the ball which is being passed.
The Shooting Game
The shooting game is one of the best forms of soccer practice for kids. This game involves two different teams, both of whom are separated by a line of cones. In the middle of these two lines of cones is a goal.
This game begins with a goalkeeper from one team in goal and a shooter from the opposite team taking a shot. Regardless of whether this shot is made, blocked, or missed, the shooter will assume the position of goalkeeper. Then, a player from the opposite side will take a shot.
This process will play out back and forth until the officiator decides to end the game.
This drill teaches players how to approach defenders. As the player approaches the defender, he or she pretends to take the ball with the outside foot stepping to one side while dropping the shoulder. Then the player takes the ball with the outside of the opposite foot, pushing off in the opposite direction, accelerating away from the defender.
Game Time 2 Touch
Players are to work on receiving and disposing of the ball quickly in a game format. It helps players consider what they will do with the ball before they receive it and position themselves to maximise the chance of a positive outcome.
- Set up a field 30 meters x 30 meters
- Place 2 x 1 meter goals using agility discs at opposing ends (4 in total) 2 meters inside the corners.
- 4 to 6 players on each team (one team wearing bibs) contesting their opponent’s goals.
- Players to be encouraged to take a first touch away from defenders, play it first time; run into space; give a clear line of pass.
- Players who take more than 2 touches are to surrender the ball to their opponents.
If an odd number of players, one player alternates between the teams as possession alternates ie the play with the team that has the ball (Joker). If 2 touch is too hard for players’ skill level, make it 3 or 4 touch.
Something a lot of kids have trouble with in soccer is spreading out from each other on the field. To help teach this concept, you need to consider playing spread out.
In this drill, you will separate players into two teams. Players on each team will throw the ball to each other, catching it in their hands. When a player has caught the ball, he or she can not move until he or she has thrown it to a teammate.
The opposite team will try to steal the ball. The last team which has the ball at the end of the game is the winner.
One of the more classic soccer drills is killer whale. This is a game in which 12 to 16 players go inside of a circle of cones and attempt to keep their respective soccer balls within said cones.
While 10, 12, or 14 players will have soccer balls to protect, 2 players will be the “killer whales,” and attempt to knock those balls out of the cones. This is one of the best soccer drills for 6 yr old, promoting ball security and defense.
Stop Turn is another move players can use when approaching defenders. Players shorten the stride to decelerate, then quickly use the foot to stop the ball and pull it behind the plant leg, pivot quickly, then with the outside of the other foot, take a second touch to get away from the defender and get the head up.
Knock out is a drill which promotes ball protection and defense. In this game, a large circle is established. After this circle is established, each player will go inside of it with a ball of his or her own.
Once the whistle is blown, each player will try to knock every other player’s ball out of the circle, all the while protecting his or her own ball. The participant with the last remaining ball in the circle is the winner.
Learn More Football Drills for Kids
Interested in learning more soccer drills for kids? Hoping to help your child brush up on his or her soccer skills?
All these drills can all be modified to accommodate both age groups and skill levels. Further, they are all relatively easy to explain, demonstrate and set up. As a result, they are some of the best football drills for kids allowing them to enjoy the experience, learn and improve and they won’t even know it!