Games for very young players

Walking the dog

Walking the Dog is a great way to introduce ball control and dribbling to very young football players. It also encourages the development of spatial awareness and soccer vision. Even children as young as two or three will learn how to keep the ball close to them while running and I’ve used this game with […]

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“They’re all bunched up!”

By Ihor Chyzowych That’s what I hear at every U-8 youth soccer coaching course I teach. My reply is always the same: “That’s OK!” Then I get the puzzled looks from nearly every coach or coach-to-be. The kids know what they’re doing, it’s the parents and the new coaches who are confused. Adults see the […]

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Piaget for soccer coaches

Not all of Piaget’s stages are relevant to youth soccer coaches – unless you are into coaching six month old babies! His theory of intellectual development, however, (when combined with what we know about how children develop physically), provides a very useful framework for all our children’s soccer practice sessions. The article below takes Piaget’s […]

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Soccer coaching and pre-school children – what to expect

What to expect from U-6s Coaching pre-school, (i.e., under six), children is a lot of fun! Their enthusiasm knows no bounds, they will turn up for practice in the most severe weather conditions imaginable and they smile all the time!! Developmentally, however, they are very different from children who are just two or three years […]

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How to coach pre-school children

It is important to understand at the outset that players coming to any sport prior to the age of 6 years old, in general, do not do so by their own choice. As a result, their coaches need to give them something about which to get excited. Further, at this age, learning to play soccer […]

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Sharks and minnows

Play in a large grid. Half the players have balls and are the minnows. The rest don’t have a ball and are the sharks. The Minnows start at one end of the grid. The Sharks stand on the opposite line. The Minnows must try to cross the Shark’s line without losing possession of their ball. […]

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Bumper cars

Objective: This game improves dribbling skills, passing technique and encourages players to keep their heads up. Age group: U5s to U9s (you also need a few willing adults) Number of players: Whole team. Set up: Create a 20×30 yard playing area with flat cones and a smaller rectangle just outside the playing area. How to […]

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Beep, beep!

This simple little game is excellent for improving the co-ordination and balance of very young players. It also helps them get used to finding space and changing direction. Number of players: Whole team. Equipment required: Flat cones, a ball for every player. Age group: U4s to U8s. Set-up: Create a playing area big enough for […]

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