It is never too early to start learning how to properly play soccer. Coaches, it is never too early to start teaching kids the proper fundamentals. Learning studies have shown that children under the age of 8 have an easier time grasping sport knowledge when compared to older kids. This article will go into some U6 – U8 soccer practice plans and drills you can show your kids that will help improve their fundamentals as well as soccer knowledge.
When it comes to U6 – U8 soccer drills, the main focus should be “FUN”. It is more important to keep children engaged than to try and focus on technique. Don’t get me wrong, fundamentals are very important, but a child is more prone to grasp what you preach if they are fully engaged in your practice session.
U6 – U8 Soccer Practice Passing Drill
A very easy passing drill for U6 – U8 soccer players is to line up two sets of players 10 yards across from each other. One side starts with the ball and will proceed to kick the ball to the other player standing across.
Coaches should focus on showing how to properly pass and trap the ball. Passing should be performed with the inside of the foot, this gives the player passing more control over where the ball is going. Players trapping the ball should focus on stopping the ball and making sure it stays within arms length.
Fun Tag-Like Fitness Drill for U6 – U8 Soccer
This next drill has the sole focus of conditioning. Most U6 – U8 players do not find running fun. So, we make a game to get those little heart rates up. This is basically a game of tag, but in the soccer world it is called “Tiger Tails”.
Coaches start by setting up a perimeter of about 40 x 40 yards. Each player will have a flag tucked into their back. The name of the game is to be the last kid standing by not losing your flag.
Coaches can increase the difficulty of this drill by calling out directions they need to run. By changing directions quickly, the player also works on his/her agility. This is a fun drill that your U6 – U8 soccer players will enjoy.
Ball Control with “King of the Ring” Drill
Much like “Tiger Tails”, this next drill is also a last man standing drill. Set up a 40 x 40 yard box and each player will start inside the box with a soccer ball.
The goal of this drill is to protect the ball while attempting to disposes the other players. Last player standing with complete control of their ball wins. This drill will help players practice fitness, ball control and defensive tackling. The best part about it, is that the players will be more focused on winning than how much of a workout they are getting.
Traditional Set Pieces
U6 – U8 is a fun age of children to coach. You still want to keep it fun but you can also start incorporating set piece practices. Set pieces include direct free-kicks, indirect free-kicks and corner kicks.
Normally, teams with older players will only practice these types of drills with the players that are in charge of taking set pieces. However, with U6 – U8 soccer players, it is best to have them all take turns at free kicks.
Coaches can make this a competition where players that make the kick, move on and the rest get to defend it.
If you have a child under the Age of 8 and would like to get them started with soccer, be sure to check out the AYSO site. They have information on soccer sign ups near you.
These are only a few of the drills you can show to your U6 – U8 soccer players. Remember, it is more important to keep them engaged with fun than to bore them with tactics at this age. Building a love for the game comes first. My Soccer Clinic will continue to bring you U6 – U8 soccer practice plans and drills.
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