Being a soccer coach is challenging no matter what age you are coaching. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Parents seem to be all for starting their kids in soccer at a very early age.
It actually worked out very well since younger children have so much energy. Soccer drills help to improve passing, dribbling and scoring skills.
Hit The Coach
This drill teaches the players to dribble and kick the ball with both feet while looking up and not at the ball. All the players will be together since they are all chasing the coach.
Each player has a ball, players stand facing the coach, who is about five steps in front of them. When you say, “GO”, start slowly running away from them. They will start to dribble and chase you, trying to shoot and hit you.
When they hit you, allow them to choose an animal sound for you to make. Stay in a small area and have fun with them. Play 5 to 10 minutes or until they are tired.
Practice spectators can participate in this drill with the players. The players get to buzz like bees and kick the ball at the Giants and try to sting them. In this drill, the players will become familiar with using their feet to dribble and kick the ball.
Use 4 cones to make a square as big as you need for the amount of people playing. Each player has a ball. First, let the players know that the square is their beehive and they must stay inside.
The bees should dribble the ball, keeping it close to them as they buzz like a bee. After a few minutes, have the spectators go inside the circle. Explain that the spectators are giants and they are invading the beehive.
The bees should try to sting them with the soccer ball. Remind them they have to kick the ball and cannot touch it with their hands. Play about 10 minutes or until they get tired. It is hard to keep 6-year olds attention very long.
It’s time to teach our players to hit a target.
Build a 20 x 30 grid and give each player a ball. Make sure they know not to go outside the grid. The coach jogs around inside the grid as the players try to kick the ball and hit the coach. Be sure to make it a big deal each time they hit the bull’s eye. They should be proud of themselves, but make sure they are kicking with the proper part of their foot.
Cat and Mouse
This drill teaches the player to use his body to protect the ball by putting his body between the ball and the other player.
Build a 20 x 25 grid or bigger depending on how many players are playing. Each player gets a ball except for two players that are the cats. The mice (players with balls) start at one end of the grid dribbling their ball and protecting it from the cats. Once the ball is taken by the cat, that player sits out the rest of the game. The last mouse dribbling is the winner.
Red Light, Green Light
Players will learn to dribble, keeping the ball close so they can stop quickly.
Make a straight line of players side-by-side. The coach, who is 15 to 20 yards in front of them, turns his back to the players. The coach says, “Green Light”, the players start traveling toward the coach. When he says, “Red Light”, he turns around and the player that hasn’t stopped, goes back to the starting line.
Shark and Minnow
Once again, you are teaching the player to use his body to defend the ball between him and the other players.
Build a 20 x 25 grid and give each player a ball except for two sharks. The minnows (players with balls) start at one end and try to keep the ball from the sharks. Once the shark gets a minnow, he sits out the rest of the game.
One on One
This works on defense skills.
Place a ball between two pplayers.These players will race to battle for possession of the ball. The player that gets the ball continues to dribble until he has passed his opponent. Then, start again.
Players learn control of the ball, how to keep the ball close and stop quickly.
Build a 20 by 15 grid, take at least four players and give each player a ball. Each player dribbles their ball, after 30 seconds, the coach hollers, “Change!” players are to stop and get a new ball and start dribbling again. However, the coach grabs one of the balls and the player that doesn’t get a ball has to be out. Repeat “Change!” until only one player remains.
One-Touch Air Pass
Since passing is so important in playing soccer, it’s very important that the players learn to pass properly.
4 to 8 players get in a circle. Only use one ball and have them pass it using the tops of their laces, but the ball can’t touch the ground. Continue this drill at each practice, so the players can get better and better at passing.
Trick or Treat
This drill is for players needing to practice fast paced dribbling.
Use at least four players, each one gets a ball. Build a 15 x 15 grid. On each end, set out cones evenly for the players to be used as “treats”. Line up the players on one end and yell, “Trick or Treat!” The players will dribble to the other end, pick up a cone and come back and pick up a cone on the other end. Whoever picks up the most cones win.
We are going to improve passing the ball to your partner.
Make a circle with cones about a 5 to 6-yard radius. Put 8 cones in the middle of the circle. Use eight players paired off on opposite sides of the circle. They are to kick the ball to their partner, trying to knock down a cone each time. Continue until all cones are knocked down.
Find the Coach
The players are going to learn to find their target and chase it.
Have them close their eyes. Start running away from them in different directions each time you play. Tell them to open their eyes, then find and chase you. Over time, work with them, not only chasing you, but taking a ball away from you.
Stuck in the Mud
It is time to aim and put the ball between a player’s legs to rescue him.
Build a grid big enough for several players to be able to dribble. Each player gets a ball, except the “mud monster”. Everyone dribbles around in the circle as the “mud monster” works to tag the players.
When a player gets tagged, he stops and holds his ball over his head. He cannot leave the circle until another player kicks a ball between his legs to rescue him from the mud. It is over when only one player is left stuck in the mud and nobody left to rescue him.
Since the players have been using the other drills, let’s see how good they have gotten. Let’s try a little competition with accuracy and speed.
Okay, these guys are The Flinstones and need rocks (balls) taken home to make their house stronger. Build a square grid and put a player in each of the four corners. When you say, “GO”, players from each corner will run to the middle, where you have several balls on the ground.
Each player gets a ball and dribbles it back to his corner until all balls are gone. Then, count to see who got the most balls in their corner. That’s the Flinstone with the strongest house!
Keep Your Yard Clean
This is great for passing practice.
Build 2, 40 by 40 grids. Have two equal teams, one in each grid and each player gets a ball. When you say, “GO”, the team tries to clean their yard of balls and put them in the other team’s yard. After three to five minutes, stop them and see who’s yard is the cleanest.
Little, Little, Big
In this activity, the players work on the different kind of kicks.
Build a long grid. Tell the players each time you start, which kick you want them to practice. As they start at the end of the grid, have them dribble the ball to the other end with a little kick, a little kick, then a big kick. As they go along, they need to say it out loud. Little, Little, Big!
We have learned several offensive drills, but only a few defensive ones. This one helps teach them to defend their spaceship (goal) from bombs (balls).
Build a grid and set up two cones as the goal. Have two players on offense and two on defense. They must keep the bombs from the spaceship or they will blow it up.
Keep working with these 6-year olds and keep it fun. They won’t continue playing if it becomes boring to them or if it seems like work.
At this age, you are building their foundation, be sure that you build a firm one for many years of playing. They have plenty time to take the game serious, they shouldn’t start off that way.