U6-U9 soccer coaching practice plan
Topic: moving with the ball
Author: Sam Snow
Originally published on Decatur sports. Re-used with permission.
Warm up: Body Part Dribbling
In a 15 x 20 yd area, each player has a ball. The players dribble freely in the area. When the coach says “NOW”, the players must stop the ball with any body part. Keep it going
Variation: After the players try it a few times, the coach will yell out a specific body part. Each player must try to stop the ball with that body part. Keep it going.
The coach gives praise for creativity and asks each player what body part they used.
Red Light – Green Light
When the coach says “green light”, players dribble their ball with their feet. When the coach says “red light”, players must stop their ball and stand still. When the coach says “green light” again, the players begin to dribble their ball again. Have fun with their imaginations…have the players make “brake’ sounds when coach says “red light” and have them make loud “motor sounds” when coach says “green light”.
The coach gives praise for creative movement, whether the ball is being carried with the hands or dribbled with the feet. The coach applauds dribbling with the feet, change of direction, etc. The coach highlights players that are dribbling the ball with their feet and asks if everyone can try to dribble the ball with their feet.
Sharks and Minnows
10 x 15 yd rectangular grid. Two players, the sharks, do not have a ball. The rest of the players, the minnows, each have a ball.
The minnows line up side by side along one of the 10 yd lines facing the other 10 yd line. The sharks position themselves inside the grid facing the minnows. When the coach says, “swim”, the minnows try to dribble their soccer balls past the sharks, safely to the other side of the grid. If a shark steals a soccer ball from a minnow or kicks a ball out of the grid, the minnow becomes a shark and the family of sharks grows. The minnows that make it safely to the opposite side get to swim again on the coach’s command. Continue until all the players become sharks.
If a shark steals a ball and can dribble it over any line of the grid, then the shark becomes a minnow and the minnow becomes a shark.
(These are games of inclusion…no one sits out.)
Minnows must keep ball close when being pressured by the sharks. Minnows must recognize open space so that they can speed past the sharks if the sharks are busy elsewhere.
Sharks must concentrate on stealing (tackling) the ball.
Get Outta’ There
Set up a 15 x 20 yd grid with a goal at each end. The goal is 3-4 steps wide using flags or cones. The players are divided into to teams colour coded with pennies. NO GOALKEEPERS.
The coach is located centrally on one side of the field, outside of the playing area. Each team lines up single file on both sides of the coach facing the field.
The coach kicks a ball onto the field. The first player from each team chases the ball and plays 1v1. The players shoot at the goal that is farthest from their starting position. If the ball goes out of bounds or is scored, the players must get off of the field immediately and return to the end of their line. If they don’t get off the field quickly, the coach yells,” Get Outta’ There!” Once the players are off the field, the coach kicks the next ball onto the field and the next 1v1 begins. The ball is the cue.
If the coach says, “ONE” before he serves the ball onto the field, then the game is a 1v1, like above. If the coach says, “TWO” before he serves the ball onto the field, then the game is a 2v2…2 players from each line play against each other.
The players get repetition on dribbling to beat an opponent. The players get repetition on shooting. They get the opportunity to defend 1v1. They get repetition trying to steal a ball from an opponent (tackling).
The coach must praise their effort and make the game exciting with his/her enthusiasm.
Cool Down Activity…Hit the Cone.
Cones are scattered around an large grid. Each player has his or her own soccer ball.
Players try to kick their ball so that it hits one of the cones that have been scattered around the area. They can start from various distances. After they hit one cone, they can try to hit another cone.
Coordinate this activity so that everyone isn’t kicking their ball at the same cone. Let them play and have fun.
Give generous praise for their effort and hard work.
Download this practice plan as a .pdf file