Youth Soccer Plans » Free Youth Soccer Drills & Coaching Tips

Soccer Passing Drill - "Partner Passing"

1 comments — posted 2012 Dec by Youth Soccer Plans


This is the most basic drill to get young athletes comfortable with passing and trapping:

    1)  Have two players stand between 5 and 10 yards apart (depending on age of players) with one soccer ball;

    2)  After the basic instruction of passing and trapping has been demonstrated, have the players pass back and forth for about 3  minutes, working on hitting solid ground passes, trapping the ball and then hitting a pass back;

    3)  After 3 minutes, have the players move back 3 steps and proceed with (#2) again.

    4)  Keep moving the players back until they reach their maximum passing range (between 10-20 yards depending on age. 

    5)  Proceed to move the players closer together again until they reach the 10 yard distance again.

    6)  Each distance should be practiced for 3 minutes, which will make this drill last somewhere between 12-15 minutes.

    Passing and Shooting Youth Soccer Drill

    2 comments — posted 2012 Jan by Youth Soccer Plans

    Pass & Shoot

     Skill: Shooting (passing, long range shooting)

    Drill Set Up: Use only half of the soccer field.  Set up two goals facing each other.  Divide the players into 2 teams. Have half of the players on one team line up on one side of goal #1 and the other half at goal #2.  

    The Drill: Players at goal #1 have the balls. First player (goal #1) passes ball to middle.  Teammate from goal #2 runs out and stops ball with foot then shoots into goal (#1).  After shot, players change sides (goals).  Teams and players alternate turns.

    Coach’s Tip: Players need to get to ball quickly; learn to stop ball with one foot and shoot ball with other foot while on the run.

    Coach’s Tip: Change starting goal so that players will have to use their other foot to stop and shoot the ball.

    Challenge: First team to score 10 goals wins.  





    Defensive Drill (Blocking) - "Keep Away"

    0 comments — posted 2012 Jan by Youth Soccer Plans


    Keep Away

      Skill: Defense (blocking)

     Drill Set Up: All players form a large circle.  Have 2 defenders (defense) in the middle.

    The Drill: Players (passers) around the circle pass to each other while the defenders (inside the circle) move to stop or deflect the ball.  IF the defender blocks or knocks the ball out of the circle, the passer becomes the defender inside the circle and goes on the defense. 

    Coach’s Tip:  If you have a young team or new players to the sport and they do not voluntarily want to be defenders, coaches can chose the first 2 defenders.  If one of the defenders blocks, or intercepts the ball then they both get to come out. The passer becomes defender. The defender then chooses their replacement.  This encourages teamwork and fairness.

    Challenge:  Have the passers around the circle complete X # of consecutive passes (10 or so). Then the defenders must block or knock the ball out 2 times before they can come...

    Ball Control Youth Soccer Drill - "The Snake"

    0 comments — posted 2012 Jan by Youth Soccer Plans


    "The Snake Drill"

    This soccer drills helps work on the skill of ball control and dribbling (speed , back & forth movement)

     Drill Set Up:  Divide your youth players into 2 lines facing each other. Depending on age, (youngest) 20 yards apart or (older) from one end of field to the other.  You can use cones at first to assist with providing lanes for the player to dribble or for more advanced players, without cones.

     The Drill:  First player dribbles ball  down field in a snake like pattern to the next player who takes the ball and dribbles back to the other end (original starting point). Continue until each player has had a turn.

     Coach’s Tip 1: Encourage the players to keep their feet close to the ground and use short strides. To stay in control of the ball, players need to keep the ball close to them down the field.

     Coach’s Tip2: Have each player use different parts of their foot (outside, inside, sole) to maneuver...

    Shooting Drills - Crossing and Shooting

    0 comments — posted 2011 Dec by Youth Soccer Plans


    Drill Set-Up:  Line up two groups of players 25 feet from the goal.  One group will be the crossers and the other group will be the shooters (scorers).  The crossing group will be aligned against the right side of the field, and the shooter on the left.  Both groups should be wide enough to allow for a full pass and shoot.

    The Drill:

    • The coach will pass the ball ahead of crosser who is running into the pass.  The crosser will oen-touch is down the line and on the 2nd touch will cross it over to the shooter running into the goal-scoring positions.
    • Shooter should try to finish on one touch. The key is to accept the pass (cross) and to quickly shoot it towards the goal.  Accuracy and control is important

    Key Point:   Crosser should try to kick the outside of the ball to create spin away from the goalie.  The shooter's timer is important:  Don't want to be early or late. 


    Question of the Week: Best Way To Encourage Competition?

    0 comments — posted 2011 Dec by Youth Soccer Plans


    Question: How do I encourage my soccer team to be competitive without making it their only focus?

    Response: When you're encouraging a child to participate in any sport, you want to make it fun and enjoyable while still encouraging their competitiveness. If you create and use youth soccer drills you can build a child's abilities on the field and improve their ball handling skills all the more so, since they'll want to participate and learn.

    Share your thoughts on this or post your question below & you may be our next question of the week!

    Triangle Passing Drill

    0 comments — posted 2011 Dec by Youth Soccer Plans


    This is a basic youth soccer passing drill in which the soccer players will pass the soccer ball to their teammates, who will be meeting or trapping the ball. This youth soccer drill is done for control.


    Team the players into equal groups – preferably 3 or 4 per group

    The soccer players should create a triangle or square, depending on number of players with 5 yards between each

    Use a cone to create the players position

    The Drill

    The players will pass the soccer ball to each other a specific direction specified by the coach. The players should make a pass using the inside of their foot. The player meeting the ball will trap or accept the ball. They in turn will continue to move the ball around the formation. The coach will speak out to change directions or technique. Changing how the kids pass or meet the ball will ensure the players get practice at various skills.

    Keeping Soccer Drills Fun

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    Remember to use props and other tools to improve your beginner soccer drills and to keep them enjoyable. This means cones they can race around and a goal so that they can practice their aim when kicking. These things will make those youth soccer drills more effective but more enjoyable as well. They'll see how what they're learning helps them on the field and in turn they'll enjoy those practice sessions even more. Remember these tips when planning your own youth soccer drills for your team!

    Coaching Youth Soccer: When Less is More

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans

    It's hard not to overload your soccer players with too much information or too many drills. Keep the following points in mind next time you are coaching:

    Don't overload your players with too many youth soccer drills, information, rules or expectations in one coaching session. Young minds can only retain so much information at one time.

    Avoid using too many youth soccer drills that require the children to stand in lines and wait until it's their turn unless it's a really fast exercise. Your players will get bored, lose motivation and when it comes time for their turn, they won't put forth their best effort. If you're stumped for most of your practice sessions, you'll find exciting ones created by coaches at Youth Soccer Plans

    Soccer Tip of the Week: Coach Flexibly

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    We all like to plan and prepare for practice, especially if you are a first time soccer coach. While it always great to be prepared, remember to stay flexible! 

    If your plan or soccer drill just isn't working, don't force it. Try it a few times and adapt. Who knows, maybe if you introduce it on another day, you'll be more successful.

    Soccer Partner Dribbling Drill

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    This drill is executed with a partner. The pair of soccer players should work together to move the ball down the middle, while keeping the ball under control. Short passes along with dribbling between the two will be key.

    To execute the Soccer Partner Dribbling Drill:

    Create 2 lines of equal players

    One player will start with the ball and the other will follow closely behind. 

    The player which started will make attempts to pass the ball to the other player while they move down the soccer field. 

    The player receiving the ball will meet the ball, dribble the ball and return a pass back to his/her partner.

    Coaching Youth Soccer: To Praise or Not To Praise?

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    One of the hardest things to decide when coaching youth soccer players is when you should praise versus when to criticize. The best rule of thumb is to always remember the kids age and not take any situation too seriously. 

    Remember to offer both praise and criticism when running youth soccer drills. It is suggested that children learn best with a 5:1 ratio in favor of praise. If you criticize too much, your players will get discouraged, irritable and scared to try new things.

    3 Line Soccer Kicking Drill

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    Place cones at 3 different positions outside the goal:

    - One 5 yards away – out to the right of the goal.
    - One at 10 yards away – straight out in front of the goal.
    - One at 5 yards away – out to the left of the goal.

    Divide your team into three lines, one line at each cone.
    One at a time, each player will kick their ball into the goal.
    After kicking, the player should retrieve their ball and go to the next line.
    Have only one line kick at a time.
    Focus on the various kicks learned.
    Technique is the most important.

    Tip of the Week: Adding Players to Your Soccer Team

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    Adding new players to your soccer team can be difficult even under the best of conditions. The best youth soccer coaching drills can't help egos or prevent cliques from forming. Encourage communication among your team and make use of your senior players. Quite often, asking them for advice or designating a new player to each of them is a good way to make them feel important and respected, they may even take their new players under their wings to show them the ropes (whether they need it or not).

    Eye on the Ball or Not

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    Whereas most sports it is important to keep your eye on the ball at all times, soccer is different. When you have a forward kicking the ball or a defensive player looking for someone to pass to, they need to look where they are going, not down to the ground at the ball. This tactic can be a little tricky for newcomers to the checkered ball. Basically, it entails using your peripheral vision, instinct, and familiarity with the ball. Here are three tips on how to teach soccer players how to kick the ball without looking at it.

    1. Practice kicking and running with their eyes closed
    No, this isn't come ancient mysterious kung-fu technique, it’s a proven-effective practice. Kicking the ball and running with eyes closed develops an incredibly intuitive relationship with the ball, and teaches the player to trust their feet, not their eyes.

    2. Run and deflect
    Another effective drill is to have a player run down the sideline looking straight ahead,...

    Tip of the Week

    0 comments — posted 2011 Nov by Youth Soccer Plans


    Mastering the ball as if you have complete control over it is the key to becoming a great soccer player. Check out some of the all time great soccer players and notice how they effortlessly maneuver the ball like it was putty in their hands – this is want you want to do. The trick to having complete control over the ball is learning how it reacts with your body, and mastering that reaction. Here's a list of a few parts of your body that you can use in soccer to control the ball, and what they are best used for.

    1. Head
    Head butting the ball can have several purposes, like deadening a high kick or forwarding another player's kick down the field. Read our section on head butting the learn more about this soccer trick.

    2. Chest
    Since you can't move your chest very far like you can your arm or leg, the chest is best for deadening the ball and dropping it...

    How To Headbutt A Soccer Ball

    0 comments — posted 2011 Mar by Youth Soccer Plans

    Kicking the soccer ball is one thing, head butting it is quit another. It's amazing that more soccer players don't have black eyes and broken noses, or soccer ball patterns branded on their forehead from headbutting the ball. If you don't know how to properly head butt a soccer ball, you can easily injure yourself, or worse, turn the ball over to the other team. On that note, here are 3 tips on how to headbutt a soccer ball the right way, with losing some blood or the game.

    1. Don't close your eyes.
    No, I'm not referring to cheesy 1980s rock ballad by glamour rock band Kix, I'm referring to keeping your eyes open when a large object is coming towards your face. If you close your eyes while that ball is aimed at your cranium, you have no idea where it's going to land or where it's going to go.

    2. Have a plan.
    Are you deflecting a goal shot or passing to another player?...

    Five Soccer Coaching Tips to Live By

    0 comments — posted 2010 Oct by Youth Soccer Plans

    Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newbie, coaching youth teams is always a learning experience. Much like teaching, coaching is a trade that you can always improve on. Every year yields a different set of players, new personalities, and a new experience altogether. That being said, here are 5 tips that every coach can use, even if they've been in the coaching game for years and years.

    1. Use more positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement.

    Punishing a team member teaches them what not to do, but rewarding them teaches them the right thing to do. If you expect your team members to continue growing and becoming better players, show them the right way rather than focus on the wrong way as much as you can.

    2. Routine is good, but break the monotony ever once in a while.

    Drills, exercises and other routine practices always improve skills, but monotony can induce boredom. The last thing you want is for your players to lose interest...

    Controlling A Soccer Ball - Youth Soccer Drills

    0 comments — posted 2010 Oct by Youth Soccer Plans


    Hand-eye coordination is an ongoing effort with children, but it is imperative when teaching them how to play soccer. In order to make any progress in a game, a child must learn to control the soccer ball, which can be an art in itself. Children can commonly become frustrated when learning this art, so here is are five tips on how to get them started on the right track when learning how to control the ball.

    1. Kick with only one foot

    Though later down the line they'll need to learn to kick with both feet, it's important to teach kids to start off only kicking with their left or right foot. It should be whichever foot feels natural to them, you can find out which foot this is by simply asking them to kick the ball.

    2. Still balls vs. moving balls

    Kicking a ball that isn't moving is one thing, kicking one that is in motion is quite another. It's important to teach children...

    Welcome to our new site.

    0 comments — posted 2010 Aug by Joel Scully

   Our youth soccer site provides instructional soccer practice plans and soccer drills along with tips and coaching aids to assist youth soccer coaches. Our youth soccer instructional guide is designed to be easy to teach, easy to understand and fun to learn.

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