Success in soccer requires adequate and effective training. For u13 soccer players, soccer drills are very helpful because they help in developing specific soccer skills.

These soccer drills are designed to help the players improve their technical and tactical soccer techniques. Here, we lay out some of the top-rated u13 soccer drills.

Figure Eight Dribbling Drill

This is an incredible u13 soccer drill that aims at teaching the players how to dribble with different parts of the foot.

Setup

  • Form two 5 x 5 yards grids and place them approximately 5 yards apart.
  • Lay 2 training sticks in between the two grids about 3 yards apart.
  • On each end of the grid, place a cone such that each grid turns into a pentagon.
  • Instruct one player to start between the two training sticks. The player should have a soccer ball with them.
  • Each player will play for a minute before rotating with a partner.

Instructions

  • Instruct the player to dribble around the cones in a figure eight pattern while going through the two training sticks. The drill starts with no dribbling restrictions.
  • After that, the player should dribble to their left using the outside of their left foot and dribble to the right using the outside of their right foot.
  • After completing that, the player should dribble to their left using the inside of their right foot and then to the right using the inside of their left foot.
  • Each of the series described should last 1 minute before the player switches.

Coaching points

The coach should observe that the players

  • Dribble with speed.
  • Make controlled and quick touches while dribbling.
  • Keep the ball close and their heads up.

1V1 Diamond Shooting Drill

This exercise involves a passing combination that ends with a 1v1 contest to goal. The play also requires movement off the ball. The player that misses becomes the keeper and the play proceeds. This is a fun and competitive drill that u13 players love.

Setup

  • Form a diamond-shaped area using 4 cones about 20 yards from goal. Place the cones approximately 12 yards apart. The coach may adjust the size of the area depending on the age and skill level of the players.
  • Cone 3 will be closest to the goal while cone 4 will be the farthest. Cones 1 and 2 will be on the sides.
  • Instruct 3 players to position themselves at cones 2,3 and 4 respectively. Instruct the other players to line up behind cone 1.
  • Instruct one player to start as the goalkeeper. This player does not necessarily have to be the team’s goalkeeper since there will be rotations.
  • Ensure that there are multiple soccer balls near cone 1.

Instructions

  • Instruct player 1 to start the ball and make a pass to player 2. Player 1, after making the pass, immediately moves to player 2’s position.
  • Player 2, after receiving the pass, makes a pass to player 3 and then immediately moves into defensive position.
  • Player 3 makes a pass to player 4 and then immediately moves to player 4’s position.
  • Player 4, after receiving the ball, immediately approaches player 2 and they engage in a 1v1 battle to goal.
  • If player 4 fails to score a goal, they become the goalkeeper. If player 4 scores, there is no rotation, and the current keeper remains.

Coaching points

The coach should check that the players

  • Make quick movements off the ball.
  • Make good passing combinations.
  • Exhibit good defensive skills.
  • Move with speed and take any available on-target chances.

T-cone Dribbling Drill

This drill will train the u13 soccer players how to dribble with speed while making controlled touches and turns. It also enhances the players’ fitness.

Setup

  • Place 4 cones about 5 yards apart to form a T-shape.
  • Instruct two players to position themselves at the base of the T-shape with one soccer ball. One of the players will rest while the other plays.
  • Form multiple T formations so that all players can participate at the same time.

Instructions

  • The first player will start at the base of the T-formation and dribble around the middle-top cone then proceed to dribble around the right-top cone.
  • The player will then proceed and dribble around the top-left cone and then around the middle-top cone before returning to the starting cone.
  • The player will then dribble around the base cone and repeat the same dribbling pattern.
  • Each player will dribble continuously for 1 minute and then rotate with their partner.

Coaching points

The coach may limit the dribbling techniques to enhance the exercise, such as instructing the players to dribble with their right foot, left foot or bottom of the foot.

The coach should see that the players make close touches and that they dribble with speed.

The players should also make tight turns when dribbling around the cones.

4v4 soccer drill

This drill is meant to enhance various soccer skills including attacking, defending and passing. Players learn how to support the player with the ball while attacking. Defensive players learn how to provide pressure to the play and to cover the player with the ball. This exercise also teaches players how to delay the attack and to spread the field.

Setup

  • Create a 40 x 25 yards grid.
  • Create two small goals measuring approximately 8 feet wide on each end-line. Alternatively, you can instruct the players to attack the end-lines.
  • The dimensions of the field make it beneficial to make passes in the game and play the ball forward early.

Instructions

  • Each team will either defend a line or two small goals.
  • The players score by either stopping the ball along the line or in either small goal.

Coaching points

Offensive play

  • Vision –players should play with their heads up so that they can continuously see their teammates and the attackers.
  • Communication – players should be encouraged to communicate verbally and non-verbally.
  • Players should get into proper supporting angles and create passing options that optimize on time and space.
  • Players should create good goal-scoring opportunities.
  • Players should use short and long passing appropriately.

Defensive play

  • Players exhibit god defensive principles such as pressuring, covering and balancing.
  • The defenders ought to get behind the ball as much as possible.
  • The attacking players should show good communication.

Split The Defenders Drill

This is a passing exercise suitable for u13 soccer players. It trains the players how to pass to split two defenders.

Setup

  • Create an 18×18 yards grid
  • Split the players into 3 teams of 2 players each.
  • Create multiple grids so that more players can participate.

Instructions

  • Instruct two teams to start on the outside of the grid and work together while one team will start as defenders on the inside of the grid.
  • The two teams on the outside of the grid will attempt to keep the ball from the defenders positioned within the grid.
  • If a teammate of an outside team passes the ball between the two defenders, and their teammate from across the grid successfully receives the ball, that is considered a score.
  • If an attacking player makes a mistake and loses the ball to the defenders, their team becomes the defenders while the defending team joins the other team and they work together as attackers.
  • The defending team has to win the ball an extra time if they get split in order to qualify to become attackers.

Coaching points

The coach may enhance the play by limiting the number of touches an attacking player can make before passing.

The coach should

  • Make sure the attackers are creating space and passing accurately.
  • Encourage the players to communicate both verbally and non-verbally.

7v7 Scrimmage

This is a highly effective u13 soccer drill that focuses on team tactics and response to various game situations. The drill presents realistic training situations in a full-sided game. It is best done at the end of the training session.

Setup

  • Use cones to create a 60 x 40 yards field.
  • Place two full-size soccer goals on each end-line.
  • Divide the players into equal teams of 7. Each team will have six field players and a goalkeeper.

Instructions

  • Play the game with match conditions.
  • All soccer rules apply. Such soccer rules include corner kicks and goal kicks.

Coaching points

  • The coach may add some restrictions so that the drill can focus on particular skills.
  • Let the players learn from the small-sided game.
  • Ensure that they play with speed and they exhibit team coordination.

 Final Thoughts

For u13 soccer players, having fun with the drills they participate in is an important aspect since it can be a motivating factor. It is also crucial that coaches start with the less technical drills before they proceed to the more technical and tactical ones so that the young players can build confidence.

It is easier for the young soccer players to develop more technical skills if they already have some fundamental skills. Coaches can vary the dimensions described above depending on factors such as age and skill level of their players.

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