Did you know that the most played outdoor team sport in Australia is soccer, and that soccer also ranks in the top ten for television audience? At Kidzphyz Sports, we understand how important the game of soccer is, which is why lots of our programs include soccer activities, drills and practice matches.
Fun soccer games and training drills are an integral part of any coaching program and the key ingredient should always be just that, “fun”. Below are some great fun games for you to try with your kids and team mates. When teaching kids, a mixture of skills and game sense should be the priority, but they are all about having fun while they learn.
Sharks and Minnows
Begin with a square field about 30 meters across (this can be adjusted depending on how many players are participating). Start with two players within the field as defenders (or sharks) and the rest of the players outside (as minnows), on one side of the square, all with balls. The players on the outside or “minnows” with the balls must dribble across the field without getting their ball kicked away by one of the defenders! If their ball is stolen, they become an “octopus” and they must stop where they lost the ball and act as a stationary defender against anyone else who dribbles near them. This continues until everyone is caught and stopped and the last two players to get caught become the new sharks in the next round! This is just one of the many fun soccer drills we run during our sports programs at Kidzphyz Sports.
Have lines of 10 cones set up about one meter apart from each other. Have the players dribble in a slalom, going in and out between the cones, then turn and dribble or pass the ball back to a teammate. You can do this in several progressions, having the players use different parts of their feet to dribble through the cones (for example, inside, outside, and bottom of the foot), or additionally using a single foot (either left or right) or alternating depending on the age and skill level! As they become better, you can gradually move the cones closer together in the set up and incorporate more difficult technical skills regarding the parts of the foot used and different turns at the end! Doing this as a relay with several teams is a great way to have fun, practice their skills, and compete with their friends and fellow players.
Brazilian Soccer Warm Up Drill
This drill focuses on practicing touch and technique while having fun with the ball! Have players pair up in groups of two, with a soccer ball between each pair. Have them begin simply by passing the ball back and forth along the ground from around 5m apart, taking as many touches as they want or need to control the passes. As this progresses (if they are skilled enough), have them practice using different parts of their feet to pass the ball and controlling the ball with different parts of their feet. The next progression is then to limit them to using only two touches or one touch to pass the ball. Next for those a bit more skilled, have one player take the ball in his hands and toss it to the other player. Have them practice volleying the ball back with the inside, outside, and laces of their foot (around five tosses per foot for each part of the foot). Switch throwers regularly and have them alternate doing the same! At Kidzphyz Sports, we often run this soccer drill at our school holiday camps as it’s a great warm up drill teaching agility and fine-tuning techniques.
Make groups of seven players and have them form a circle with five players on the outside and two players on the inside (this can also be done with four on the outside and one on the inside or larger groups on the outside with more defenders in the middle). The five players on the outside must pass around the ball and keep it away from the two players on the inside! The goal is to reach 10 passes, or if they are more advanced 20 passes without the two players in the middle touching or taking the ball! This helps the players on the outside develop better passing skills and learn to make smarter passes and it helps the group in the middle improve their defending skills, teamwork, and communication. As a bonus, you can give bonus points for the group of five if they play a pass that splits or goes between the defenders in the middle! Once the defending team has stolen the ball you can change the longest defender for whoever lost the ball or change the whole defending team if they have been working hard defending for a while.
Soccer golf drill
Set up an obstacle course with the equipment that you have and pick a cone that will serve as the hole. Then have the players take turns trying to get the ball as close to the cone or “hole” as possible! Keep track of who gets closest to the hole or hits the cone with the least kicks. This can also be adapted where you place two cones in a straight line from each other and have teams of two split up so two players stand at each cone, one from each team. Then the teams take turns kicking and seeing who gets closest to the cone. The next progression of this would be having the teams see who can control the ball closest to the cone, with the teammate passing the ball towards the other teammate next to the cone to see who can control it closest. The final, most difficult progression involves the teams seeing who can control the ball out of the air closest to the cone; so, one teammate would pass the ball in the air and the other would try to stop it out of the air with one touch as close to the cone as possible!
Ball Juggling game
The juggling game is as simple as it sounds! If the players know how to juggle a soccer ball, this game is a perfect way for them to practice and get better! It can be played in two ways. Players can either juggle the ball as long as possible or they can try to juggle the ball as many times as possible, (although it is likely that the most times is also the longest this is not always the case!) For as long as possible, players will keep the ball in the air using anything but their hands or arms. The last player to let the ball touch the ground wins! In the case of juggling the soccer ball as many times as possible, players will count how many times they juggle and the most juggles win! Make sure if you’re doing this multiple times to praise the kids for beating their own records and improving rather than only praising the winners, like we do at Kidzphyz Sports! During our school holiday camp programs, we give away daily spot prizes to the most improved players, encouraging the kids to try harder to get the best out of their training sessions.
At Kidzphyz Sports’ soccer camps, kids can benefit from these and many other fun and useful soccer training drills and can increase their skills significantly while having a great time!