When it comes to children’s sport the most important thing for a coach, parent, teacher, or anyone wanting to develop a kid’s skills and passion for the game is to make training fun.
If the kids don’t enjoy themselves, they’ll soon lose interest and be back on the couch playing video games.
The best way to do that is to translate (sometimes boring) training drills into fun games that capture the imagination of the kids.
So, let’s look at some Fun Soccer Training Drills you can try at home (get the neighbourhood kids together), on the training field or down the park with friends.
Relay races are a great way to develop the important skills of dribbling, turning and passing. It can also develop fitness depending on how far away you place the cones from each other.
- Soccer balls
- Cones or markers
- Break the kids into group of 3-4. The less kids in each group, the more running they’ll do and have less downtime. Smaller groups stop kids getting bored when waiting in line.
- Line the cones up in two parallel lines 15 metres away from each other. If you want to develop more fitness you can make them 20 or 25 metres apart. Create a lane for each of the groups.
- Players must dribble the ball to the cones go around it and return to the starting position. *Alternate between different dribbling techniques to develop skills.
- The player can only pass to the next player in line when they are with 5 metres of the starting position
- The passing player must tag the next player in line before they can start dribbling
- The first team to go through all the players and be back sitting down wins. *Increase the number of times each player must dribble to extend the game and increase fitness.
Tag Games are a great way to replicate the real movements of a soccer game and help teach kids how to dribble and pass under pressure. It’s also a great warm up drill before games.
- A soccer ball
- Vest to designate taggers
- Designate ⅖ of your players as taggers. If you have 5 players, you’ll have 2 taggers. If you have 10 players, you’ll select 4 taggers.
- Give the ball to a non-tagging player.
- The object of the game for the non-tagged team is to keep the ball off the tagging players and not get tagged. You can set a time limit to give them an objective.
- The object of the game for the tagging players is to tag non-tag players when they have the ball until they are all frozen.
- If a tag player tags a non-tag player whilst they are in possession, the non-tag player must freeze in that position with their legs apart.
- A frozen player can only be unfrozen if their teammate passes the ball through their legs.
To get used to this game you can start without a ball and the instead of passing through a frozen player’s legs a teammate must crawl through their legs to unfreeze them. Once they understand the rules, then add in the soccer ball.
Accurate passing is obviously a very important soccer skill, but passing back and forward can get boring, quickly. So, to make things fun we can create games that incorporate passing drills into them.
- 7 cones (each station).
- 5 soccer balls (each station).
- Place one cone and one ball as the starting position.
- Walk out 10 metres and place two cones 2 metres apart.
- Walk out another 5-10 metres depending on the age and skill level of the kids and place 4 cones in a line spread over 15 metres, each with a soccer ball placed on top.
- Try to keep the number of players at each station low (2-3) so the game flows. This will obviously vary depending on how much equipment you have and how many players you have.
- Players wait at the starting position for the whistle, when the whistle blows they dribble the ball in between the first two markers stopping the ball in line with the markers.
- They then pass at one of the 4 cones with the balls on top.
- They then run and collect the ball and dribble back to the starting position to tag the next player.
- The first team to knock all 4 balls off the cones wins.
- To speed up the game you can let the next player in line start dribbling once the player in front has taken their shot at the cones.
*Note if you do not have enough balls you can simply aim at the cones and when they are hit that counts as a knockdown. Also, if you only have enough players or equipment to make one station you can race against time instead.
There you have it. Some quick, simple games that incorporate all the skills and techniques of soccer. Any drill or skills development can be transformed into a fun and engaging games. You just have to get a little bit creative and see how you can create some goals or a competition for the players to give them an objective to aim towards.
Another great way to improve your child’s soccer skills is at sports camps during school holidays. At Australian Sports Camps, we run 3-day soccer camps around the country for kids aged 6-16. Join us at the best sports camps in the country.