Fun Soccer Drills for kids age 5-9??

Discussion in 'Coach' started by destined22, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. destined22

    destined22 New Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Hello everyone, hope you are all doing great today. I have a favor to ask. Does anyone have any fun games/drills for kids age 5-9? I am starting a junior program with a club team. I am a high school coach who wants to help develop the junior program. I am seeking some new drills to try out with the kids. We will be focusing on passing and trapping this week. If you can send me some drills, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you.
  2. Elroy

    Elroy New Member

    Jul 26, 2001
    I don't think that this topic needs a new thread. There have been a lot of excellent suggestions on both the under 6 and under 8 threads. From a soccer standpoint, the quicker you get to keep away, the better. I've used most of my high school drills scaled down to meet the abilities of my players.

    Just be patient. They'll get it eventually.
  3. jameseyla

    jameseyla Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    try soccer golf
    have them stand about 10 yards apart. have one player stand with his legs spread, and the other with the ball. one tries to score by kicking the ball through the other's legs.

    it's simple but it keeps their attention
  4. Elroy

    Elroy New Member

    Jul 26, 2001
    Good game. You can also have them shoot at a trash can or soccer balls perched on pro cones. Even better is to have them collect a moving ball and then shoot.
  5. Sajuan

    Sajuan New Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    Central, PA
    Here are a few I use with my Micro 6 team:

    Stuck In the Mud--Great for dribbling and ball control.
    All players dribble within a denfined area. The size of the ara will depend on the # of kids. 1 player is "it". All the players dribble around the area and try to stay away from the player who is "it". Meanwhile, the "it" player dribbles around and tries to hit the other players (below the knees) with thier ball. Once hit, that player picks up his ball and holds it over his head and yells "Stuck in the mud". The other players then try to unfreez them by dribbling their ball between thier legs.

    King of the Ring (Knockout)--Great for dribbling, shielding and ball control.
    Players are once again in a defined. Everyone has a ball and the object is to try to knock the other players ball outside of the area. Instead of having the players sit and watch when their ball gets kicked out, have them come back in and keep playing. The player that knocks out the most balls is the "King"

    Tiger by the tail--Great for dribbling and conditioning.
    All players expect the "tiger" have a ball. Make the area a little bigger this time. The "Tiger" has a sock, string, etc. hanging out from the back of their shorts. When I say "go" all the other players dribble around and try to pull the "tail" off the "tiger". This is a harder drill for the players with the ball but eventually, they learn to cut down the angles and corner the "tiger".

    Terminator--Great for dribbling and ball control.
    One player is the terminator and has a ball. All other balls are placed in the corner of your defined area. The terminator must dribble around and hit the other players with the ball below the knees. Once hit, the other players run to the corner to get their ball and become another terminator. Keep playing until everyone is a terminator.

    These are just a few fun games which my team loves to play. Almost all my games center around dribbling. Before my games I usually have some warm-up/educational drills where I show them how to stop, pull back, push the ball with the inside and outside of feet.

    Hope these help. I have some more if you run out of ideas.
  6. coachdave

    coachdave New Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Leeds United AFC
    Nat'l Team:
    You could try this Robocop game which is designed to improve young soccer players' communication skills, co-ordination and feel for space.

    Robocop soccer coaching game

    In this game players move at walking pace, like Robocop - but with a ball. The main soccer skills objectives are to improve communication, co-ordination and getting a feel for distances.

    How to set up the soccer coaching game
    Rules for Robocop game

    • One player stands in each target zone to act as a target for the attacking team. They also serve the ball for the other team to counter attack.
    • The ball is thrown and caught between team-mates to reach the target player.
    • Players move with the ball at walking speed. They can pass freely and must pass if tagged by an opponent.
    • Opponents can only win the ball from an intercepted throw or if the ball is dropped.
    • Speed walking is allowed.
    • A point can be scored by reaching the target player from a designated third of the pitch, or after a minimum number of passes to encourage team play.
    • Be firm with the no-running rule.
    • Players must take time to be accurate with their throws. Any form of throw is allowed - over-arm, under-arm or proper throw-in technique.
    Develop the soccer drill skills

    Allow the ball to be headed rather than caught, if this will gain an advantage.

    Allow the attacking team to throw or head the ball into the goal rather than pass to the target player. In this instance the target player becomes the goalkeeper and tries to save.

    Energise your youth soccer coaching sessions with the help of Fun Soccer Games for 9 to 11 Year Olds and Fun Soccer Games for 5 to 8 Year Olds.
  7. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here's something I did with my first grade girls that worked really well for the players who were "soccer smart."

    Pair up 4 or 6 girls so you have 2 or 3 teams. Create an appropriately sized area. (It needs to be big enough that they have space to move in but small enough that the pairs can't just find their own corner to play in.) Tell Angela and Betty to pass to each other, and Christine and Danielle to pass to each other. Meanwhile, you run around the square trying to defend them. (I alternated trying to take the ball from A & B with trying to take it from C & D.) Angela and Betty can focus in on ONE player to pass to...that's about all they can handle at this age. But, because there are 2 other players in the area, they have to be aware of being "open" for a pass. And they have to be aware of the wild card defender, the coach, coming at them from an unexpected angle. I stopped from time to time to make a couple of basic points...if you can't "see" your teammate in a straight line because there's someone in the way, you're not open. Or, show them that the player with the ball can take a quick touch to the side to create a passing lane. Or, when a girl passes "into space," praise that. In fact, in general, specifically praise everything they do that's new that's also smart. They'll figure it out soon enough.

    Now, when I did this, my less soccer intelligent girls weren't there. Don't know if it would work with them. But the smarter girls made a hell of alot of progress with just 10-15 minutes of doing this. They put it into practice in the remaining games, and in our last game, we "passed off the park" a team that had beaten us twice. I wouldn't have believed that first graders could have played a passing game like that if I hadn't seen it for myself. We used space brilliantly, and without alot of "structure." They just figured stuff out and applied it.
  8. amikavpar

    amikavpar Member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Man, I like this one. Now I can't wait until August to try it out.:)
  9. Chris O'Leary

    Chris O'Leary New Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    My favorite drill is 1 on 1. In particular, it teaches aggressiveness on the defenders.

    Once my kids master that, I move to 2 on 1 (2 attackers and 1 defender).

    At first, I do both of these without a goalie and then add a goalie as the offense gets better.

    The offense scores in the main goal and the defense score in 2 Pugg 6 footers placed outside toward midfield to teach them to push the ball outside.
  10. briansnat

    briansnat Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    New York Red Bulls
    My players love to play handball. I break them up into two teams. Put a small goal using cones on each end of the field and they score by rolling the ball through the cones. Handball teaches them movement off the ball, how to move to and create space. Drop passing and wall passing. They have a blast doing it.

    After about 10 minutes I change the rules and they can no longer throw the ball to their teammates, they have to roll it. This introduces the challenge of finding clear passing lanes.

    After 10 minutes of that, then they need to use their feet and they are playing soccer.
  11. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Let me know how it goes.

    Another I use goes like this. Half the girls in pinnies, half not. It starts off 1v1. (At this age, no keepers...just two approximately hockey-sized goals separated by 6 yards, which represents the area a keeper would cover.) Let's say the pinnies have the ball. The blue player starts ~20 yards from goal, the defender about 6-8 yards. "Go!" Then you, the coach, count 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi, etc. I found 4 seconds works best; YMMV. At 4 seconds, you tell a blue player to join in the attack, making it 2v1. Count again, after 4 seconds, tell a defender to join so it's 2v2. Keep going until a goal is scored or the defense clears the ball.

    One thing this drill does very well is it teaches defenders how to play 1v1, but then adjust to a "man up" attack. It teaches the attackers how to separate and use space. And it teaches the offense the principle of playing fast, and defense the principle of working to hold up the play until help arrives.

    Another good feature is minimal line time because any single "game" of this can turn into 4v4, but it's not overwhelming. But you can do that without an asst. coach running the same drill on the other half of the field, which you kind of need in my drill above, if you have 8 or more players.

    Another fun one I did with 4 players was do a 2v2 scrimmage, but with the field 16 yards long, not 40 yards. Alot of funs for the girls. Alot of touches, and thinking about transition. It kind of hurts our defensive shape, but at that age, big deal.
  12. SoccerCanadian

    SoccerCanadian New Member

    Jul 1, 2010

    The best thing I could suggest is to do game oriented drills that keep a ball at their feet as much as possible so they continue to learn.

    Here are a some suggestions:

    1 - Soccer tag: Players dribble in a box while playing tag but must keep a ball at their feet the whole time.

    2 - Top Gun: Players dribble one side of grid to the other, while the coaches on the outside kick balls (LIGHTLY) into the grid. If the coaches ball strikes a "top gun" flying across the grid that player is out. Builds change of pace, and awareness.

    3 - Handball: Going away from the ball at feet trend, but still valuable is handball. Players pass ball with hands, no steps with the ball, so teamwork is really useful.

    This site is brand new but one I would suggest for more ideas, and hope you can find this useful! Have fun.
  13. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith New Member

    Aug 22, 2014
    Liverpool FC

    Try watching some videos online specific to kids around that age. Check out
  14. SoccerCoachBlogger

    SoccerCoachBlogger New Member

    Oct 1, 2014
    FC Bayern München
    I am a youth coach myself who has searched the web about this topic, too. Unfortunately I did not find a website fitting all my needs and that's why I started a blog myself recently about this topic : soccer drills for kids.
    I hope you'll find some ideas there and I would love to get your feedback! I'll post my drills there from time to time so that the blog keeps updated and contains a nice collection in the future.
  15. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    #15 rca2, Oct 1, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
    You have some nice ideas. Some suggestions.

    First think about what decision(s) you want the players to make. While we do some simple repetitive exercises to perfect technique, generally we want to train the brain to think as well as train the body to move. To do that you have to introduce at least 2 alternative movements.

    Second design your drills to build progressively. For instance I noticed that none of your drills included movements that began with dribbling. Most attacking movements build off dribbling. Keep in mind that passing and shooting are both striking the ball, essentially the same skill. And it is more gamelike to practice striking off a dribble. Likewise first touch is important. So receiving a service and dribbling is game-like as well. While the ability to 1-touch play is desirable, players need to learn to "walk before they run." They won't develop first touch skills by striking on the first touch. So by progressive I mean that the followup drills include the subject movement from the earlier drill. This provides reinforcement of the earlier drill and demonstrates how it relates to other movements.

    Third, players learn better if given the opportunity to use in game-like conditions the movements you drilled. So its important to follow up the technical drills with some type of game during the same session. It doesn't have to be 11v11. 3v3 is game-like for individual skills like dribbling, striking and short to medium passing. Ideally during a practice session you want to progress through individual movements, to small groups, and then to large groups. This makes it easier for the players to relate the trained movements to matches.

    Fourth consider the player to ball ratio. For ball skill exercises I like to have 1 ball for each 2 players even for senior players. For U-Littles I like every player to have a ball. For example a classic warmup is to pass in pairs within a restricted area while jogging around. The area should be small enough that the players have to look around to see where the open space is and their partner is going. It is passing off the dribble. It forces players to look around while dribbling. The players have to decide where to move and communicate their intentions. It is a simple drill, but it has a lot going on. Also later in the session these same movements, albeit at a more intense level, will likely be included in the training.
  16. SoccerCoachBlogger

    SoccerCoachBlogger New Member

    Oct 1, 2014
    FC Bayern München
    Hi rca2,

    first of all, great thanks for your feedback - it is really helpful and I totally agree to all of your four points. I've just started two weeks ago and want to improve the site with the points you mentioned! Further I want to build a little overview page where your player to ball ratio would fit in perfectly…
    You seem to have a lot experience as well, so if you have some drills you want to publish or share I would love to add them to my soccer drills page. Just sent me a private message of contact me if you want
  17. danielpeebles2

    Dec 3, 2013
    there's sooooo many pages with sooooo many drills.

    I really appreciated this site with amazon/ebay style 1-5 star ratings when I found it:

    mistakes I've made in the past:
    1. a certain website told me to do certain drills EVERY practice. like they were some kind of magic bullet drill that would elevate them to another level. yea right. young rec players aren't mature enough to appreciate that they are getting better at a certain task and will start to get bored and slow down. you don't have to do a certain drill EVERY practice.
    2. If a drill is too complicated for your players, then don't waste your time. If you have 4 practices left and a drill takes 4 practices to master decently, then they could have just been practicing a basic fundamental using drills/games that they already understand.
    3. set reasonable objectives for your team to accomplish on game day. youth soccer isn't fair (thanks to political or networking parents, kid growth curves, and other factors) and you get teams full of stars vs teams full of kids who mainly just cry and can't even field an even number of players. fortunately, the majority of young players don't actually care as much about winning as they do actually getting to play. and if you can reward them for different things with stickers to put on a chart or poster (cheap), patches (iron on patches can be bought for like 50c each), pizza or just lots of praise, then do that.
  18. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    Peter: You spammed all the current threads with links to your site. Now you are reviving old threads. Don't you think it is about time to stop spamming now? I don't mind someone trying to make a living, but it gets tiresome after 15 posts.
    nicklaino repped this.
  19. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2010
    Arsenal FC
    sorry, the hands of justice moved slowly on this one. Albeit decisively.
    cleansheetbsc and rca2 repped this.
  20. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Gee, and I thought that was going to be the magic bullet for me.
  21. jmnva

    jmnva Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Arlington, VA
    DC United
    I was all set to give my credit card information
  22. Oski123

    Oski123 New Member

    Oct 30, 2012
    Currently coaching U10 rec. My players consistently ask for 1 game above all others -- and it's been that way since U5 (though I've changed the game a bit over the years).

    We call it Zombie:

    Each player has a ball and dribbles around in a square. The goal is to shoot at and hit the Zombie, who is moving around the same square, but without a ball.

    At U5 and U6, the Zombie(s) can be as many older siblings as you can locate who are instructed to walk like Zombies, but not run. Once the Zombie gets hit once or twice, they are instructed to die a gruesome death, then get up and go again. At U7, the Zombies can do a little running. At U8 through U10, have one of the players be the Zombie, and let them run; when they get hit, the player who hits them becomes Zombie.

    Ideally, players are dribbling with their head up, taking shots at a moving target, chasing their ball once they miss, turning it, dribbling back, and starting again.
    equus and rca2 repped this.
  23. equus

    equus Member

    Jan 6, 2007

    I like the change! I did the same game but called, "Ouch!" where they tried to pass a ball and have it hit me. Then I'd grab my leg and shout "Ouch!" and watch them laugh. I like yours better. :)
  24. nicklaino

    nicklaino Member+

    Feb 14, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Manchester United FC
    When I trained little kids under 6 I moved with in a circle I kept calling to them saying where am I, and dribble to me so they would get their head up while dribbling. I would say pass to me when they got near me, and not just shoot to me so they would think pass and not shoot. Why get them used to shoot at a player. Trying to score do you shoot at a keeper?

    Another thing I did with in a circle everyone had a ball dribbling and tell them to dribble where a player they saw leave an area. They did not know it but that taught them to move into an open space with a ball.

    Then from that I told them to do it again, but also try to knock another players ball out of the circle. The last one in the circle wins the game.
    rca2 repped this.
  25. markos_rocia

    markos_rocia New Member

    LA Galaxy
    United States
    Nov 10, 2023

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