Coaching soccer for kids 14 years and under is more sophisticated and complex than younger kids soccer. It can already be considered as youth soccer, where the drills that are used in this level can also be practical for adults training. Your goal as a coach is to create soccer drills for U14 that develop the players’ skills so they are ready to move up to the next level. With your help, you can start to mold the players into the athletes that they will become someday.
This age level is also very crucial as once they graduate from the U14 level, the next progression for them will be high school soccer — where varsity teams reach to state and even national tournaments, making them visible to college scouts. Here are two soccer drills for U14:
Change Direction Shooting
The first drill is called Change Direction Shooting. This will practice your players’ abilities to change direction on a whim, and shoot a ball in an instant move. Have the players line up one after the other about 20 yards from the goal. Stand about 10 yards from the line, with all the balls beside you.
Tell your players that once you pass the ball to them, dribble the ball as fast as they can towards you and right before they shoot the ball towards the keeper, point your hand to either left or right, guiding them to the direction or area of the penalty box where they will be shooting the ball. This exercise will make your players look up while dribbling the ball and practice their quick reaction time. You can also point to the left one second but actually point to the right, giving more pressure to your players’ quick reaction time.
One on One
The second drill is the basic One on One, but this time, before a player can beat a defender, they have to do a feint. Divide your players into two groups. You can group them according to positions, like one group are the defenders and the other, the attackers. Place one group on one side of a marked grid, and the other on the opposite end. Place all the balls in front of the defensive group.
With the blow of your whistle, the player in the front of the defensive group will pass the ball to the other group. The attacker must receive the ball and dribble his way past the coming defender. The only way he can get past a defender is by making a feint move, such as the body feint, step over, and the double scissors. After one group is done attacking, have them switch roles so everyone can practice their feints.