Two games from the Warm up Chapter of the book
Fun Soccer Drills that Teach Soccer Skills
to 5, 6, and 7 year olds
Follow the Coach
Each player lines up in single file with a ball behind the coach, who also has a ball. The coach leads the team around the field while doing several soccer-related things with the ball (i.e., dribbling, kicking, throw-ins, etc.) or funny things (i.e., run while holding the ball on top of your head, touch your elbow to the ball, sit on your ball, etc.). At any time the coach can quickly turn around and, if he finds any player who is not following the action, then the coach gets one point; if all of the players are following the direction, then the team gets a point. At the end of the activity if the coach has more points than the team does then the whole team must do an exercise, silly song, or whatever the coach requests. If the team accumulates more points than the coach, they get to think of something silly or an exercise for the coach to do.
Play follow the leader with different commands, and the last player to follow the command must go to the end of the line. You may allow the player in the front of the line to take three turns calling out commands before going to the end of the line and trying to work his way back to the front.
Talk about the ready stance of lightly bouncing on the balls of your feet with legs slightly bent, and have the players show you they are ready before starting this drill. Between tasks, you might want to yell “ready stance.”
Soccer Obstacle Course Chase
Make an obstacle course that requires players to run, dribble, kick, and throw-in. You might even use coaches or parents for different sections of the course where the players have to dribble around, kick to, etc. Set the team up in a line with your fastest players first. Give each person the same amount of head start before sending the next person. Challenge the players to catch up to, and to pass the person in front of them when going through the course.
If you set the course up in a large area with plenty of space between each obstacle the players will get lots of exercise during this drill. This is a good time for a coach to observe the techniques of individual players to see what skills the team needs to work on the most.