soccer coaching game to improve dribbling and ball control skills

This game is called "Earthquake". The object is to improve dribbling and ball control skills.

Age range: U5s to U8s.

Difficulty: Easy.

Equipment: Some flat cones to mark out the playing area, a ball for every player.

Set-up: Create a playing area big enough for all you players to move around in freely. For 10 U6 players, a 20-yard square is a good size.

How to play: All the players dribble around in the playing area.

Ask them to dribble with different parts of both feet, i.e. "dribble with your left sole", "the inside of your right foot", etc.

When the players hear the coach shout "Earthquake!" they leave their own ball and have five seconds (that's how long an earthquake lasts!) to find another ball and stand with their foot on it.

Progression: Remove one ball every time you shout "Earthquake!". This puts a little pressure on the players to find another ball quickly.

Create two or three four-yard square safe zones in the playing area. Instead of finding another ball, players now have to dribble their ball to a safe zone within the five-second "Earthquake".

Coaching points: Encourage players to dribble with their heads up and keep the ball close while they are dribbling.

Have you got a drill or game that really works with your players? You have? Well, please don't keep it to yourself! Send it to steve@footy4kids.co.uk and I'll feature it in this newsletter.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.