These seven drills were designed for youth soccer players in the 12- to 14-year range but they can be easily adjusted to suit younger children.
Setup – Players form pairs; partners stand 10 to 20 yards apart, with one football between them.
Sequence – Partners kick safe passes back and forth. The receiver signals for the pass by moving up slightly, then drops back again after passing it back.
Players can use lines marked on the field for orientation and to correct themselves if their passes aren’t straight.
Setup – Set up four cones in a row, at 1-yard intervals (three goals). Two players stand on opposite sides of the center goal with one ball between them.
Sequence – A passes the ball through the goal to B, who dribbles it to the right and passes it back to A through the outside goal. A dribbles the ball back to the middle and passes through it to B again. B dribbles the ball to the left and passes it back to A through the other outside goal. A takes the ball back to the middle, and B takes it to the outside again. A and B switch roles after several repetitions.
Setup – Two players at opposite corners of a square, 10 to 20 yards apart. Each one has a ball.
Sequence – This exercise improves timing and a player’s feel for the speed of the ball. Both players pass simultaneously. Each one passes straight down one side of the square, then runs to receive the other player’s pass.
At the beginning, players should stop the ball each time so that their passes are truly straight (otherwise, players tend to pass diagonally at first).
Setup – Two players (A and B) stand about 20 yards apart. Each one has a ball. A small goal (about 1 yard wide) stands in front of each player. A third player (C) stands in the middle.
Sequence – C runs a short distance toward A, receives a pass through the goal and one-touches it back. C turns around and repeats the same sequence with B. After several rounds, one of the outside players switches positions with C.
Setup – Players B and C stand in front of a goal with goalkeeper, each one at a cone. The other players stand directly in front of the goal, about 30 yards away. Each one has a ball.
Sequence – The first player in the group (A) passes to B, then moves up to a central cone and shows for a pass. B kicks a square pass to A and overlaps. A passes the ball to C and runs to B’s cone. C passes the ball to B at the end of the overlapping run, and B shoots. After shooting, B moves to C’s cone, and C retrieves the ball.
Players can’t pass until their receivers move up and show for the ball. Pass the ball right to your receiver’s feet.
Setup – Place two cones in front of a goal with goalkeeper, one 16 yards to the left and the other about 22 yards to the right. One player stands at each cone (B and C). The other players stand directly in front of the goal, about 30 yards away. Each one has a ball.
Sequence – The first player in the group (A) plays one wall pass with the player at the near cone (B), then another with the player at the far cone (C), and finally shoots. B and C move up and show for their passes. After a few rounds, B and C switch positions with other players.
Place the near cone on the right and the far cone on the left, so that the shots come from the other side.
Setup – Place two small goals in front of a goal with goalkeeper, somewhat off to the right. The first small goal is parallel to the penalty box line, about 20 yards away from the goal. The second is perpendicular to the first and 17 yards away from the goal. Players with balls stand about two yards away from the first small goal.
Sequence – Each player passes through the first small goal, runs around it, and then passes directly through the second. Then the player runs around it and shoots directly.
Focus on developing a feel for the ball and well-timed passes. Rearrange the goals after a while, to train both feet.