Soccer Drills for Parents: The Amazing Things Kids Can Do

How proud would you be to watch your youth soccer player, much less your 9 year old, do a razzle dazzle on the pitch like this young kid does? This short video shows a U9 player executing the same soccer skill twice in a row with smooth precision and finishing very well. Who says you need a whole bunch of tricks in your skill set!

Now to play devils advocate. There are no easy gimmies in life just like there are no gimmies on the soccer field. This poor guy will be wishing for a long time that this didn’t happen, let alone that it was caught on tape. But all is fair in sports. The best attitude is to remember that you never give up, because the other guy can always drop the ball, or in this case, hit the post!

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Soccer Drills for Parents: Triangle Passing Game

Soccer is a game of passing and movement. Today’s Soccer Drill is a drill that is a basic yet teaches young players to move after passing the soccer ball to their teammate. The triangle passing drill will help young players work on one touch passing and moving up and down the soccer field. 

You can make this a speed drill too by using a stopwatch and challenging players to see how many times they can go around in one minute. Making drills fun helps improve skills and encourages kids to push themselves beyond their limits.

Soccer Drills for Parents: How to Kick a Soccer Ball

There are three basic kicks that all players should be able to do with confidence, with both feet.

Basic soccer kicks are passing, chipping, and shooting. 

For the basic pass you want to lock your ankle and drive through the ball with your instep. The ball should stay on the ground and you can vary the amount of force you use for the pass. Remember, the more force used on the pass the harder it will be for your teammate to trap the ball.

Chipping the ball is done using the foot closer to the the front of the foot. Lean back and drive through the base of the ball to loft the ball into the air. It is common to get backspin on the ball that can help give the chip pass some control.

A powerful shot is done by keeping the knee over the top of the ball and kick on the inside of the ball and really drive through it. Use the instep of the foot to create the most power. Practice with both feet to make your skills more balanced.

Soccer Drill: Kick A Soccer Ball With Power

Here is a simple Soccer Drill to show you how to strike a soccer ball for a shot on goal. Now there is no wrong way to put the ball in the back of the net, after all you can use your knee if it gets the job done!

But for sake of proper technique, and a way to practice striking the ball with power and force this demonstration is one to practice. 

When you approach the ball you want to plant your non kicking foot beside the ball. You should have your knee slightly bent to allow for balance and you toe pointed toward the target. Ideally you should have your knee over the non kicking foot to prevent the ball from soaring over the goal. Next you want to sweep your kicking foot forward in a motion that is quick yet controlled. More speed will give you more force on the ball. Lock your ankle with your toe pointed toward the ground, and strike the ball with the middle or strings of your shoe.

You can practice variations of this drill by striking the ball on different parts of the foot to experiment with control and direction of ball placement.

Soccer Drill: How To Play Midfield

As a coach and a parent you realize that if you don’t control the middle of the field, it is very difficult to win a soccer game. Midfield players are responsible for the largest area of the field and need to be in tremendous physical shape. Skills like passing, trapping, and making effective distributions with the soccer ball are essential. Watching David Beckham will show you how essential precise soccer skills are. Midfielders are the leaders of the team.

The main jobs of a midfield soccer player are:

1. To control middle of the field and support the offense on the attack

2. To support the defense in the back to prevent being scored upon.

I can speak from experience that at all levels of the game it is important to have talented players in the middle of the field. At younger ages like U8, U10, U12 you will find that weaker teams have the swarming bumble bee strategy where a group of three or more players suck the entire game into a small area of the field. This make it very difficult to move the ball up and down the field and in addition makes it difficult to score and make effective passes. More skilled players with direction from their coach like you can use in the simple video that follows will result in opening up the space on the field so that creative passing will allow more attacks on goal and less congestion in the middle of the field. Skills like effective trapping and square passing will allow you to maximize your efforts and cut down on chasing the ball all over the field.

Soccer Drill: How To Play Defense

Scoring goals in soccer puts points on the board, but good defense wins games. Your strikers can be the best in the world, but without a strong defense supporting your goalie your team will not win the game. 

The fundamental object of playing defense in the game of soccer is to prevent the other team from scoring. There are several ways to do this and all are important skills that when combined correctly can increase your chances of preventing a goal and stealing the ball.

The basic skill of soccer defense is to apply pressure to the player with the ball. This can be done by approaching a player with appropriate speed and angle to force the soccer player toward the touchline. By using this tactic you can actually use the end line as an extra defensive player. The end line cuts off the options for the offense as you force the player to it. It is important to use the appropriate angle of approach to the player with the ball. If you choose the wrong approach you can give the soccer player two options to escape. You want to approach the player at the right speed and angle to only give them one escape, and that is toward the end line. Check out the video here to see some simple applications of this skill in a drill setting. If you or your players can learn the best ways to use your angles and speed you will have a force to be reckoned with in the backfield.

Soccer Drill: How To Play Offense

When you think of offense on the soccer field you think of scoring goals. Players in the forward position are the highest goal producing position on the field. In order to get into scoring position, any player must work with his or her teammates to create space and opportunities for the ball to be played forward into the opposing team’s goal area. Playing the ball forward can be done using a series of dribbling, passing, player movement or runs, and sending high crossing arcs into the goalie area. This video will show a very basic drill that has a player passing a chip shot into the goalie box to create an opportunity for a shot. This drill can be done with a chip pass as shown, or a pass on the ground. This soccer drill can be modified to include passes from different sides of the field an the addition of defenders to make it more challenging to score.