games described below can easily be incorporated into practice sessions
for young children. They're fun, simple to explain and help reinforce
basic skills without any pressure.
Light – Green Light
the very young Under 6 the game of Red Light – Green Light is an easy game
to learn and teaches the children to keep the ball close and under
has a ball, except the one player that is designated as the "light".
start to finish should be approximately 20 - 30 yards.
from the line opposite the "light".
then turns away from the group shouting out "GREEN LIGHT".
signal, the players start to dribble towards the "light".
"light" turns round, calling "RED LIGHT", players must freeze and stop
If the "light"
catches players or a ball still moving that player must take 5
player to cross the line where the "light" is standing is the winner and
becomes the new "light".
You can start the game
without using balls for younger players, then have them roll the
ball with their hands, then use their feet.
North –South – East and West
Players dribble where the coach tells them to, i.e. a direction as
suggested in the title or you can make it a colour or an animal, whatever.
This again teaches the children to keep the ball close and , hopefully,
shows them how to change a direction.
This is a very
popular game with the younger crowd. Place players in 2 lines
facing each other. Place one football in the middle of the each two
object of the game is to
draw the ball back using the sole of the foot. The
command to “Draw” is given by the coach. The fun part is that the coach
has to tell a story in which he uses the word “draw” to
signal the players.
example: Willy and his sister were working on cleaning their rooms. Willy
said “where should I put these socks? And his sister replied , “In your
Drawer.” Make up really
can add progression to this drill by having the players jog in place, have
the players only use the non-dominant foot, have the players move up a
ladder if they win and down if they lose the round and see who can get to
the top first.
Here is a game which involves both passing and dribbling that is fun and
engages players quickly. Also, although primarily an individual exercise
that allows for differences in ability level, if the players are ready, it
can quickly become a cooperative game where players work together to solve
Each player will need a ball. Player 'A' is "It" and is the only player
to start with a ball. All the other players around the outside of the
Player 'A' dribbles and tries to hit the other players below the waist
with the ball.
When hit, that player gets a ball and joins player 'A'.
The game is over when all of the players have been caught.
The last player caught is “It” and starts with the ball for the next
you think the task will be too difficult for the one player to get another
start of the game, start with 2 players being "It".
Coaching Points of Get-Em
players off guard.
Players not caught should run, jump, and use zig-zag movements.
A variation can be added by having all
players play with a ball
Here is another game that emphasizes dribbling that is fun and challenging
for players. Again, primarily it is an individual game that could lend
itself to small group cooperation if the players are ready.
Each player will need a ball, except those that have been designated as
"It". Players that are "It" need to carry a coloured bib or flag in their
hand. Players with a ball try to dribble without being tagged. If they
are, they exchange places with the "tagger" (The "tagger" hands the bib to
the dribbler and takes their ball).
Dribblers are safe in one of the designated bases. Only one player is
allowed in a base at a time. if a new player enters a base, the old player
must leave the base.
"taggers" when the players find the game to be easy.
seems about right to have one base for every 3 players, but, this number
can be adjusted either way to make the game constantly interesting.
This game can also be played by only allowing the "tagger" to "get"
someone by kicking their ball away, not just "tagging" the person. (a
variation on Shark)
Experiment with different combinations of "taggers" and bases to keep the
Basic Passing Game U7: Trick or Treat
This is a drill suggested by Ivan Mann, a coaching
colleague from the soccercoach- l mailing list.
Set Up and Execution
Make a square with pretty small sides - players line up on each side. Put
an adult in the middle of each side (that means four adults) holding a
dozen or so flat cones (you could use anything else similar size and
shape). 50 cones or 50 slips of construction paper will do.
a go signal, players dribble across the square, stop the ball with a foot
on it, say “Trick or Treat”, take a cone from an adult, turn
the ball, dribble back across,
take a cone, etc. When all the cones are gone, who has the most? This
requires dribbling at speed, avoiding the clump in the
middle, controlling the ball around an opponent, but minimal coordination
holding the cones.
After a few rounds dribble across the square, dribble around the coach,
and then stop the ball, say "Trick or treat," etc. Or place the adults
randomly in the square, moving at a walking pace. This makes them keep
their heads up and look for the target (i.e. the adult)
download this page
as a .pdf file