If you are looking for some fun soccer drills for U8, then you will not need to look any further than this. This drill teaches the junior.
players how to receive the soccer ball and bring it under control on different parts of their body (not their hands or arms of course). This is particularly great for heading, volleying and controlling the ball with the chest and thighs.
Played on a volleyball court; the rules are exactly the same as in Volleyball except of course you cannot use your hands. The Tennis version is the same but it is played on a tennis court as a doubles match.
Two Touch Soccer.
Two touch soccer sometimes known as the ‘give and go’ training session. This drill will encourage your young under8 soccer players to find space on the soccer pitch and call for the ball. Two touch soccer forces the young players to bring the ball under control quickly, look up to find a pass and then run into space to receive the ball again.
This again is more like one of the soccer practice drills however it is not a free soccer drill, as there are rules and specific training benefits which you as a coach are looking for.
This one could not be simpler. It is a soccer match between teams of how ever many players you think appropriate, the only difference to a real soccer game is the players are only allowed two touches at any one time.
The younger players can struggle to understand this at first, let us be honest U8 in most Football Associations means the player are under the age of eight at the start of the season, so we talking about seven year olds. At this age the most natural thing would be to either kick the ball as far and hard as possible or to run with the ball until someone stops them.
Offence, Defense and Team play.
I am pleased to say right from the start this is a very simple soccer drill. In fact some might say this one is more like a game than a drill; however, in my mind
all drills should be more like a game; in this way you will ensure more enthusiastic participation from players, who after all at under 8 are only there to have fun with their friends, coaches who can sometimes struggle with soccer drills for kids and receive a lot of positive feedback from parents and the junior players alike.
One real advantage this type of soccer training has over many of the drills or other types of soccer practice you will come across; is it has many variables which will help to keep the soccer players interested in practice, at the same time as improving their technique and movement in many different areas.
This is drill is a fast moving game with short sprints, there is a definite benefit in terms of building stamina and the all around fitness needed to play the beautiful game.
Team play; this drill makes it essential the players work as a team in order to score a goal.
Shooting; in particular the accuracy of shots since, if a shot is misplaced it gives the advantage the opposing team and a shot on target will give a high probability of a goal.
Volleying the soccer ball and hitting the ball on the half volley, because when a soccer player learns how to master this skill he/she will be able to score a goal before the defenders can set themselves ready to defend their goal.
Trapping the soccer ball and bring the ball under control quickly, this gives a player a chance to lay the ball off to their team mate to set up a goal scoring attempt.
Passing the soccer ball to the advantage of a teammate to shoot and score.
Blocking, you will quickly see some players rush to the center line in a blocking maneuver in a similar fashion to that you would observe in a volleyball match.
Reading the game, the better players will naturally try to read which of the two offence players will shoot and try to move to intercept the shot before it reaches the goal. Reading the game is one of the soccer skills which will set the better players apart from the rest.
Faking out or feigning, players will quickly learn how shape their body to sell a dummy to the opposition, shaping to shot in one corner of the goal but scoring in the other. At this point players will start to pass the ball into the net (onion bag) with pace and accuracy.
This game is easy for the soccer coaches to set up and very simple for the soccer players to follow.
- Set up a small pitch not unlike a tennis court without a net, with two distinct halves and at each end place a goal.
- You will need a minimum of six players. Two teams of two players, (no goalkeepers are needed for this although you can add a goalie in later to add an extra dimension to the game.) You will have an extra team of two ready to take the field.
- Each team must stay in their own half of the pitch; no player is allowed to cross the center line. The players will be in the offence when the soccer ball is their own half and will be in the defense when the ball is in the opposition half. No player is allowed to handle the soccer ball in attack or in defense.
- The attacking players will shoot at the opposing goal, while the defenders will try to stop these shots from scoring a goal. The game is over when one team has scored two goals. It really is that simple.
- The winning team will stay on and play the next game, while the losing team will be substituted for the extra team, who will take the field and we start again.
- The teams will continue to rotate until the soccer coach decides to change things around.
This game can go on for as long as the coaches feel it continues to benefit the players.
Variations on this game are:
- Adding extra players to each of the teams.
- Adding goalkeepers to the game.
- Have just one player in each half.
Have one player in the attacking half and one player in the defensive half. This will introduce short passes and long passes into the game also marking, tackling and intercepting as well as reading the game and movement off the ball.
An extra variation is to have one defensive players and two offensive players in each half and vice-versa; however you will definitely need two goalies at this point.
I really like this drill because of all of the hidden benefits it has, the children like it because it is a game and since the teams are changing all of the time it rarely becomes important which teams wins, in fact you will hear the kids talking about who stayed on the longest rather than who won or lost each individual game.
If you have acquired some new soccer players to your squad or you have some complete beginners who have never played for a team before, this drill/practice/game is a great way to integrate them into your club.