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 the act of both. Set up some exercises where the kids form a line and kick balls that are set in place, once they've conquered that move on to balls in motion.
3. The Wall Exercise
Kicking, blocking, deflecting, and stopping the ball should eventually become fluid motions. You can work up to this instinctive act by performing the wall exercise. Find a brick wall, like on the side of a school building, and line the children up facing the wall. Each child has to kick the ball against the wall and return the kick three times.
4. Learning to kick without looking
Even though children's attention should be focused on the soccer ball, they also need to look where they're going. You can help them practice this by having them kick the ball in a straight line while looking ahead the whole time.
5. The Wall Exercise pt. 2
Once they have conquered the basic wall exercise, have them perform the same exercise but this time switching from left to right foot.