Best Youth Soccer Drills; Dribbling – Part 1

Youth Soccer Drills DribblingMusical Chairs; and fitness; Ages 8-12
Variations on this dribbling drill can include adding different moves and varying the size of the circles. These changes will enhance their fitness levels.

Create one small circular grid and one large circular grid.

Players will have their own ball and will dribble around the small large grid at a decent pace, avoiding each other and maintaining a heads up position. After they have been dribbling for a specified amount of time, call out the word ‘Switch’. When the word is called out, each player must stop their ball, leave it where it is located and run around a cone in the outer circle, then run back into the small circle to a new/different soccer ball. It’s important that this is done quickly and that they go to a completely different soccer ball. The players will then continue dribbling.

Once the players seem comfortable with the new dribbling concept, remove one player’s ball. This player must now run around the drill without a ball. Next call of ‘Switch’ occurs and players will once again run to the outside of the circle, then back into the smaller one. Players that end up without a ball after the change has been called has to run around the grid.

Haunted House aka Big Square/Little Square; Ages 8-14
Younger kids seem to like the Haunted House name, while older kids prefer the Big Square/Little Square name.

Set one a 25×25 large grid (or big square) and a 10×10 smaller grid (or little square) within the larger grid. The smaller grid on the inside is called the ‘Haunted House’.

One team of players can be called the ‘Zombies’ and start inside the “Haunted House”

4-8 players on the outside will dribble from one side of the grid to the other side, dribbling through the ‘haunted house’. If a Zombie steals the ball, they get to go outside and the one that lost the ball becomes a ‘Zombie’ and must play inside the ‘haunted house’. 1 point is received every time a player dribbles through the haunted house without the ball being taken. Game time is 10-15 min.

Heading Activity; Ages 11-14
Variations on this can include mouth shut, eyes open.

Set up a single 30×30 yard grid with a smaller 3×3 yard grid inside.

There will be two groups of players; one group will be on the outside of the grid with a soccer ball in their possession. The players on the outside of the grid run or show to a player on the outside. Player on the outside of the grid underhand tosses the ball to the player inside the grid who showed for them. That player will then head the ball back to the outside player. The game repeats with players seeking to show to different players that the last.

1 v 1 Dribbling and Fitness; Ages 6-12
Create a line on the field. Pair up your players and have them sit cross-legged (Indian style) and with each facing away from the field (or can be facing towards the coaches). Each pair will have a soccer ball between them.

The coaches will go around and kick the various balls away from the pairs and into the field. Once the ball enters the field, each of those players will get up and move as quickly as they can to win and, using dribbling will return back to the line. Each player that successfully wins and returns the ball to the line earns one point. The player with the most points win.


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