Soccer training at the youth level differs from soccer training at the professional level. Making training fun and exciting for the youth is almost as important as learning and practicing skills. After all, having fun drills is regarded as the primary reason why a child participates in any sport, not just soccer.
So, in addition to being informative, challenging, and stimulating, any training session must be fun and exciting. To address that aspect, we present the best fun drills for youth soccer team training sessions, with the emphasis, of course, on the fun.
Remember that these fun drills are just suggestions; any changes can be made to make these games easier or more difficult, depending on the age group you are coaching. A successful coach is creative and enjoys problem-solving and assisting players in developing their games. That is exactly what these games should do.
why do you have to make soccer practice fun?
We’ll be very clear in our responses to these questions. Kids despise things that are forced upon them, and we don’t want soccer to be that for them! That is why we must make it enjoyable. It all comes down to coaches and parents demonstrating the fun aspects of soccer training to your child.
Soccer practice can be exhausting for children at times. Especially if the goal is for them to become professionals in the future. To capture the kids’ attention and make them fall in love with the beautiful game, we must first show the fun parts of the game before the competitive ones.
Let us begin with a guaranteed entertaining game of freeze tag. The concept is simple, but that is where the fun lies. After all, the tag is one of the most popular children’s games, and there’s nothing like it for getting some soccer practice in.
how to play freeze tag?
The coach must first explain the simple game to the players and then transform them into Mr. Freeze. Every player has a ball at his or her feet and dribbles away from the coach, who is required to touch them. If a player is touched by the coach, they must freeze by holding the ball on top of their head.
Only when a player crawls under them or the ball passes between their legs do they stop freezing. At this point, they can throw the ball down and resume dribbling. It is advised to keep the field of play smaller than usual, putting control to the test.
takeaways from ‘freeze tag’
So, with just one game, you can get your players to both enjoy and learn. They learn running with the ball on their feet, urgency, passing, precision, and teamwork by working together to free each other.
It also warms up the coach like nothing else because he has to be fast as well. Otherwise, the game is pointless. If you want to make the game more difficult, have two people play as Mr. Freeze and pile the pressure on the other players.
The ‘Ouch!’ Drill
One of the approved fun drills for teaching players control and letting off steam on the always-demanding coach. This one will also require some sportsmanship on your part.
How to play ‘ouch’?
The concept is straightforward. You create a 20 by 20 grid with 6-8 players depending on the ages of the players. And the goal of the game is simple: hit the coach. And the coach has to say “ouch” whenever a player hits him.
You can always change the dimensions of the grid in which it is played based on the skill level of the players. If players are having difficulty hitting a moving coach, you can become stationary and let them hit you a few times to gain confidence.
If it becomes too easy, you could challenge the players to only hit you with their weaker foot or add any other task to do before hitting you.
This expression alone makes it extremely entertaining and allows players to see their coach as a human being rather than an authoritative figure who is always telling them what to do. Every hit earns a point for the player and helps them improve their passing and shooting accuracy.
The ‘Simon Says’ Drill
The reason that so many of these fun drills are named after popular games and fun activities other than football is to familiarize children with the concepts. This is especially beneficial for children under the age of eight, who may struggle to grasp difficult drill concepts.
how to play ‘simon says’?
This game is also simple. Depending on the level of coaching, you create a grid. Your instructions must be followed by 7-8 players. Turn to the right, start dribbling, stop the ball, and other directions depending on what you’ve been working on are just a few examples.
You can issue a Gotcha! to anyone who does not follow your instructions. The player with the fewest gotchas wins.
These enjoyable drills improve the players’ listening skills, dribbling, and passing. And incorporating a few different instructions, such as skipping or jumping through the ball, can help the players develop some agility. Overall, this one is entertaining while also getting the job done.
Four Goals is a drill that can help children become future strikers and develop a love of scoring.
how to play ‘four goals’?
The game begins with four goals in each of the grid’s four corners. This game is usually played in teams of two, but twelve players can also play in teams of three.
The ball remains in the center, and the players sprint from the nets to the center, take the ball to the net, and kick it in. Only when they kick the ball in does their teammate begin with their attempt to put the ball in the net.
If a player misses the net, he or she must retrieve the ball and try again. When the timer runs out or your supply of balls runs out, the team with the most balls in the net wins.
This drill emphasizes speed, shooting ability, and ball control. Likewise, a sense of urgency always motivates children. It also introduces the children to the concept and motivation of scoring goals. You can also identify players with natural scoring ability and coach them to become effective goal scorers.
This is football’s equivalent of musical chairs. It’s not just a youth fun drill; it’s one of the most acclaimed fun drills in all sports. Professional players from prestigious clubs such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG, and others are frequently seen playing ‘rondo’ in training sessions and pre-match warm-ups.
how to play ‘Rondo’?
The setup is simple, and it would be an excellent drill for slightly older children. The idea is that there are more players in the grid than there are balls at any given time. So the players begin with the ball and dribble for a few seconds before leaving it after any auditory input (such as a whistle) from you.
They now switch to another ball, and the two or three players who did not have the ball try to capture one as well. Finally, this game teaches players the value of agility and instills in them the value of regaining possession.
There is a chance of some tackling or collapsing, so it is best suited for slightly older children.
Bringing In Some Competition
This drill can help kids simulate matchday situations. The goal is to have as many three-person teams as possible in a grid. There is only one goalie and each team plays separately. Children enjoy being around the ball and close to the action at the youth level.
This game ensures that the players are always close to the ball, but the challenge is that they are also too close to each other. In a 20 by 20 grid, four teams of three players each could be formed.
introduce the ‘contest’:
The fun comes from making it into a tournament where the last team to score in a round is eliminated. As soon as one team scores, they can rest for the rest of the round. They also advance in the competition. The spirits must be kept high in order to keep the competition going. This drill emphasizes teamwork in order to create opportunities.
The grid would be so crowded that a single player would never be enough to win the World Cup. As a result, it encourages quick passing and engages everyone in the game. This may be a good drill for older kids who are familiar with the fundamentals and can play basic football but not on the full field.
These were some of the most enjoyable youth soccer team training drills. The goal was always to make them as enjoyable as possible.
The first game, freeze tag, helps children improve their speed while playing the traditional game of tag. Ouch is all about precision and accuracy while also allowing children to laugh. Simon Says is a highly customizable drill that is sure to become your favorite as a coach.
The Four Goals drill focuses on shooting and urgency, and it is certain to develop future goal scorers. The World Cup of Soccer Drill improves teamwork and passing, while exchanging the ball works on regaining possession of the ball.
All of these games serve various functions while ensuring that children have fun and that training sessions are never boring. This allows them to make training their favorite part of the day and keeps them interested.
Here are Some of our Favourite Football (Soccer) Cleats
Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the cleats worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current cleats, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out in these cleats? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc.
Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific cleats.
What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.
On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.
Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.