I know a lot of people think that working with grown-ups is a lot harder than working with children, because grown-ups already have a formed personality, they have their own experience with the game of soccer and each of them needs to be treated as an individual at all times. For me, soccer drills for young players are a lot harder to apply, because you don’t have a lot of options to take in your relationship with them.
With grown-ups, you can base your coaching on a close relationship with them, on severity, professionalism, honor and several other concepts that might or might not work well with a group (still, all these options might be viable). With kids on the other hand, you’re basically stuck with providing them with a fun environment to play in. You can’t be “hard” on a bunch of kids. Yell at them and they’ll leave crying and not come back to training again. It’s as simple as that, they’re sneaky 🙂
So if you’re stuck with fun soccer drills, let’s make sure you make them really fun, so that your team of youngsters can both enjoy them and learn from them at the same time. Before presenting a few fun soccer drills you could try working with, let me just say that you can’t really train “passing”, or “shooting” or a single concept with kids. It’s not fun to shoot for 30 straight minutes, or practice throw-ins or whatnot.
You need to find soccer drills for your young players that combine these raw concepts, so that they practice them, even if unknowingly.
-Soccer Drills for Young Players – One Versus One Dribbles
The kids will love this one, it’s truly a fun soccer drill! Even as small children, when it comes to sports, we’re extremely competitive and with a one versus one dribbling drill, you get to put them head to head, competing.
What they compete for is up to you. For example, you could count a score like this: every time the attacking player manages to dribble the defender, he gets a point, but so does the defender if he manages to stop the dribble. Or, you could simply form two goals out of cones, one for each player and the score would be based on whoever crosses the opposing goal line with the ball at his feet.
More: Best Futsal Balls
-Soccer Drills for Young Players – Unbalanced Drills
Unbalanced drills usually refer to 2 versus 1, 3 versus 2, 4 versus 2 or 5 versus 3 group passing. Let’s say you have your youngsters playing 4 versus 2, which is the most popular version of the unbalanced group passing drill. Four players form a square of around 20-25 feet and two players form a smaller team in the middle of this square. The four players on the outside have to pass the ball from one another, without moving too far away from their corners, while the two in the middle need to get the ball away from them (touch it).
Additionally, you could ask the passing players to only use 2 or a maximum of 3 touches before the pass, but that’s not recommended if the kids you work with are really young. The player who loses the ball will go inside the square, becoming a runner in the team of two and the player who touched the ball earlier will take his place, thus keeping the 4-2 ratio. This fun soccer drill teaches kids several things:
>> it’s important to work as a group, regardless if you’re in the team passing the ball, or in the team that must recover it
>> it’s important to give precise passes, if you want the player to pass the ball back to you
>> sometimes it’s important to use first touch passes
>> it emphasizes on working in a tight space, which will prove invaluable later on
Provided you make these fun soccer drills actually worth the effort, it’s a win win situation: the kids will gladly come to training, knowing that they’ll be having loads of fun with their friends and you also get to teach them the basics of passing, receiving and dribbling. Once they get the hang of these soccer fundamentals, you can pass on to headers, shooting and more complex concepts.