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Youth Soccer

Tips, ideas, and resources for parents and coaches of kids playing youth soccer.

I just picked up some Pugg Goals, and I am going to break them in today at practice with this drill. It looks like a fun game to work on dribbling, offense and defense.

Pirates of the Pugg - soccer drill for 10 years old and under

I purchased a bigger goal last season for practice, but I like these even smaller goals, because they come in a set, they're easier to transport, and they give the kids an even smaller target, so they have to work more on their placement.

This list of foods for soccer players is intended for tournaments, but I think it's also good for the snacks coaches and parents bring to games. I'm from the old school of soccer snacks and like to provide fresh fruit, like orange slices. I don't get people who give kids Fritos at half-time.

Simon Says with soccer balls is always a hit with the players. They're so busy having fun, listening to what I'm saying, and competing with their friends that they don't realize that they're refining their ball control.

Simon Sez - soccer drill for 10 years old and under

I start my practices with Sharks and Minnows, because it's a fun, light way to break into practice. I use a grid, made out of cones, about 20X25 yards, and each player has a soccer ball, except for the shark(s). The players with balls (the minnows) dribble around the grid and try to keep their ball away from the shark(s). The shark(s) try to steal the ball from the minnows and kick it out of the grid. Minnows who are knocked out become sharks. The last minnow is the shark in the next round.

Sharks and Minnows - soccer drill for 10 years old and under

I got these for my daughter's this year, because there are so many balls floating around at practice and on game day, and it's very easy to lose one in the mix. These loud, but fun balls stand out, and that makes things a little easier.

This is a neat training tool to prepare kids for unexpected bounces.

When I got my equipment to coach my son's soccer team for the first time, I was provided with a ball, uniforms for the players, and some cones. But in the actual gameplay, we used small goals for the 5 year old league. So, I picked up one of these pop-up goals for practices, and it enabled my team to get used to the type of goals they'd have in games.

I'm not sure what's typical in the average youth soccer league, but we have practice once a week. That's not enough to really refine skills, so I suggest that kids hone their skills at home. To that end, I'd highly suggest getting some cones - I like these, because they stay up when it's windy. They are great for practicing dribbling and agility, as well as for makeshift goals.

Ouch! is one of my favorite drills, and I usually end practice with it. I slowly jog around the coned off grid we used during practice and players try to kick their balls at me. I tell them they have to hit me 25, 30 or whatever times before practice is over. I yell OUCH each time they hit me. They have so much fun with the silliness of the game that they don't realize they'll practicing their ball handling and shooting on a target.

Ouch! - soccer drill for 10 years old and under