This section is intended to be a resource to help coaches find drills. We will start with individual drills, then share drills grouped by appropriate ages. If you'd like us to add resources for a specific age group, drop us a request in the chat and we will see what we can do!
Ball Mastery drills are excellent for any age. They encourage the players to stretch their abilities, and give them drills that they can practice at home on their own to develop skills.
The videos at the end of this section can be turned into effective ball-handling drills for all ages. We will start simple, then advance the drill until it is more complex than any of the players can finish. This stretches their skills.
Watch the videos and translate each skill into an exercise.
Line up your team on one sideline to start and demonstrate VERY slowly. Then use a combination of the following to advance the exercise until it is more complex than your players can accomplish.
- Start slow
- Reach a medium pace
- Now FAST!
- Now as FAST AS YOU CAN!
- Start holding still
- Now move forward, slowly
- Move forward at a medium pace
- Move Forwards FAST
- Now as FAST AS YOU CAN!
- Now do it all backwards.
It is very unlikely that any young kids are going to be doing these drills at high-speed while running forward with pace. Its more likely that players try, trip, fall down and laugh. If that happens... you win!
Older players may start doing these with pace. Make sure they do not sacrifice technique for speed. Encourage them to take the move and beat a defender with it.
Triangles, Inside-Outs, Outside-Ins, Rounders, Baby-Vs and the Squeeze! This video shows examples at slowly, then adds pace.
20 min Ball Mastery - Jack Folan
This is a literally a 20 minute cardio workout. Jack starts with stretching and whatnot, but soon gets into ball skills. He walks you through each drill, then performs it long enough to get a workout.
U6 - U7 Drills
Can't get me!
The goal of this game is simple. Hit the coach with the ball! Every player gets a ball and tries to hit... you! (Note: Every player having a ball means there ALL kids get LOTS of touches) This is a scoring drill and you are the goal. Move yourself to encourage different players to take different types of shots. Move closer for beginning players, or move further to teach your more advanced players to shoot from distance. Chances to hit you should be short, because that is the lesson you are teaching. "When you have your chance, SHOOT!"
For an added bit of fun, take a knee after you get hit. The player who hit you gets to pick an animal, and you have to make that animal noise. Nobody can hit you again until you yell... "CAN'T GET ME!!!!"
Set up approximately a dozen tall-cones around the field. Every player gets a ball. The goal of the players is to knock all of the cones down while you run and set them up again. This focuses on ball control.
Drills for young kids
U8 - U9 D
This is a finishing drill. Its one of the few drills that players may enjoy more than scrimmage. . There is only 1 goal, and everyone is trying to score on the same goal. If there's enough players you will have multiple games going on at the same time.
Divide your players into teams of 2. Each group of 2 or 3 players needs to be placed by a goal. Start the game, and keep score. When one team scores 3 goals, then that team rotates and moves up a field. If you only have 2 fields, just switch. If you have more than 2 fields, designate the fields in numeric order. 1-2-3, etc. The team that wins goes "up" and the rest stay. The exception is the #1 field. The team that wins stays, and the other team goes all the way to the last field.
This drill encourages quick shots and crowding the goal. It is a good drill to encourage your players to crash the goal and shoot.
Keep the drill moving by having a coach stand behind the goal and throwing a new ball into play every time the ball goes out of bounds.
The Numbers Game
Setup a small field. Divide your players into 2 teams. Give each of your kids a number "1,2,3,4,etc." and line them up on the sideline.
Call out a number to start the drill. "2!!!" Then, the 2s enter the field and play until someone scores, or the ball goes out of play. Then throw the next ball into the field and call out another number.
Keep the drill moving by rapidly throwing the next ball onto the field. Add in complexity by calling multiple numbers "2s and 4s!!!"
Be careful with this one because players end up standing on the sideline. Use your number-choices to make sure kids are playing and moving. Standing on the sideline should be a chance for players to catch their breath. If players on the sideline are cooling down or getting bored, then you need to speed up the pace. Get the ball into play faster, or calling more numbers at the same time.
Mojo does a great job of sharing videos for soccer coaches. This selection is curated for kids in the U8-U9 age range!