There are multiple u9 soccer drills that kids can participate in to enhance their soccer skills. In this post, we describe a few of the most effective under 9 soccer drills that focus on a variety of fundamental soccer skills.

Quick Transition Game

This is a very effective U9 soccer drill primarily focused on attacking and defending skills. It teaches young players the fundamental soccer principals. This drill can be modified to a significant degree to showcase many soccer aspects.

Setup

  • Form a 35 x35 yard grid and place two goals on each end.
  • Split the players into 3 teams of 4 players each and assign a color to each team (Color 1, Color 2 and Color 3)
  • Have a goalkeeper stand in each goal.

Instructions

  • The drill starts with Team 1 attacking team 2.
  • Team 3 starts with two of their players starting at each of the two goals – each of these two players will act as neutral supporting players for the respective teams (either team 1 or team 2)
  • If team 1 scores against team 2, team 1 should quickly retrieve the ball and go head to try and score on the opposite end-line.
  • Team 2 after being scored on becomes the supporting players while team 3 gets into the designated pitch to play against team 1.
  • This team rotation process continues until the first team to score 5 goals wins.

Coaching points

The coach may instruct supporting players to only play in one-touch to make the exercise more intense. The coach can also determine that the attacking players must play through the supporting players for the goal to be eligible.

Coaches should focus on fundamental soccer defending and attacking principals. They should also encourage the young players to move to good space and angles for more effective play support.

Transition Drill

This is a dynamic exercise that focuses on transitioning from offense to defense. This is a quick paced drill and is suitable for U9 soccer players.

Setup

  • Set up a 15 x 20 yards grid using cones.
  • Set up two small goals (about 1 yard) on each end.
  • Split the players into 2 teams (team 1 and team 2)
  • Each team starts at corners of the grid diagonal to each other.
  • Each team will defend the goal that is closest to where they are positioned.
  • Players should form a line and have a soccer ball with them.

Instructions

  • The coach plays a ball into the designated area to begin the exercise.
  • A player from each of the two teams plays a 1v1 against each other to their assigned goal.
  • The play proceeds until the ball goals out of bounds via the end-line or one of the teams scores a goal.
  • The defender leaves the pitch, and the first in line on the defensive team immediately gets in to attack the designated goal while playing against the same attacking player.
  • The attacking player must quickly transition and defend their particular goal.
  • The play proceeds until one of the teams scores 5 goals.

Coaching points

The coach may vary the play and instruct a 2v2 or a 3v3 play. The coach should guide the kids on identifying transition situations and how to take advantage of such situations when playing both offensive and defensive.

Attacking From the Midfield

This is a highly effective attacking soccer drill that is focused on building an attack when the player is in the midfield. It is designed to train the midfielders on moving forward into the attacking third.

Setup

  • Use cones to divide the soccer field into thirds. The drill will use the middle third and one of the attacking thirds.
  • Have a keeper start at the goal.
  • In the designated defensive third, 2 defenders play against 2 attackers.
  • In the middle third, 4 offensive midfielders play against 3 defending midfielders.
  • The coach stands on the sidelines

Instructions

  • The coach serves a ball into the offensive midfield players.
  • The attacking midfielders aim to immediately penetrate the attacking third by playing into one of the attackers in the attacking third.
  • All players must remain in the respective third except for the midfield player that advances the ball into the attacking third.
  • The midfielder that makes the pass to one of the attackers in the attacking third immediately moves to the attacking that, and they play a 3v2.
  • If the defender gets possession of the ball, they should try and retain the ball against the attacking team.
  • The coach should ensure that there is an adequate supply of soccer balls. The series can be restarted at any time.

Coaching points

The coach should guide the young players on proper spacing and angles when receiving passes (supporting). The coach should also encourage a fast-paced exercise and great transitioning.

3v3 Plus 3

This u9 soccer drill trains young players on keeping ball possession. It involves imparting various soccer skills such as passing, receiving and angle of support. With this exercise, the young players are expected to be aware of their surroundings so as to navigate successfully.

Setup

  • Use cones to create a grid measuring about 20 x 20 yards.
  • Split the players into 3 teams of 3 players each (team 1, team 2, and team 3)

Instructions

  • Instruct team 1 to start as the defense team.
  • Team 2 and team 3 are required to maintain ball possession among them. They are required to cooperate and ensure that team 1 does not gain possession of the ball.
  • If team 1 takes possession of the ball, the team that made a mistake (either team 2 or team 3) will become the defending team.
  • The play continues with the team that made a mistake being the defenders while the other two teams work together to keep possession of the ball.
  • If one of the teams plays and the ball goes out of bounds, that is considered a loss of ball possession and the team responsible for the loss becomes the defending team.

Coaching points

The coach should observe that the kids make good first touches and passes. They should also ensure that the players face the field and that they demonstrate a proper angle of support. The coach may restrict the number of touches a player can make in a row to make the exercise more challenging.

2v2 challenge

This 2v2 u9 soccer drill involves players engaging in a 2v2 competition while attacking the goal. The drill focuses on transitioning, and it demands that players be fit to a considerable extent. It is an intense and very effective soccer drill.

Setup

  • Split the players into 2 teams each with a goalkeeper.
  • Place 2 cones 30 yards apart and about 20 yards from the goal.
  • Instruct each of the two teams to line up behind each of the two cones.
  • Use cones to set up a 5 x 5-yard grid approximately 10 yards past the two cones. Place all the soccer balls in this grid.

Instructions

  • Instruct 2 players from each of the two groups to enter the field.
  • Assign one team to be the defense team and the other to be the attacking team.
  • The attacking team will attempt to score at the goal while the defenders will attempt to shut down the attack.
  • If the defenders win the ball, they are required to dribble the ball and leave it within the grid. Two other players from the defense team will then immediately step out and get a soccer ball from the grid and start their attempts at scoring at the goal. The two attacking players that lost possession of the ball must leave the field, and two new players from their team should step in and defend.
  • If an attacker shoots and the goalkeeper saves it, or the on-goal attempt misses, and the ball goes out of bounds, the attacker should quickly get the ball and dribble it back into the 5 x 5-yard grid. That attacker then lines up at the end of their team’s line waiting for their other turn. The attacking team then sends in another attacker when the attacker that missed the shot leaves the field. As the attacking team sends in another player, the defense team moves quickly to the grid and attempts to take advantage of the man-down situation so as to gain ball possession.
  • The team that scores a goal receives a point. The defender closest to the ball is required to get the ball and dribble it into the box. Meanwhile, the attacking team moves rapidly to the box in an attempt to take advantage of the man-down situation.
  • The first team to score 10 goals wins.

Coaching Points

The coach should guide the attacking players on how to build attack quickly and throw the defenders off-balance. They should also encourage a quick transition from defending to offending.

Final Thoughts

The dimensions described here may be varied accordingly depending on the coach’s opinion of the players’ ages and skills level. It is important that the kids have fun while participating in these drills as this will boost their self-drive.

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