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Free Soccer Drills, Games, And Practice Exercises

If you’re a youth soccer coach, you know that keeping your players engaged and active during practice is key to their development. Below you’ll find all of our soccer drills, games, and exercises to help you do just that! These drills and activities are perfect for coaching kids and teenagers aged 4-19 and cover all the essential skills young soccer players need to master. Like everything on QuickStartSoccer, these soccer drills are FREE to use in your coaching sessions. So, what are you waiting for? Choose a topic below to see the latest drills and exercises.

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Warm Up Drills

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Passing Drills

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Shooting Drills

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Dribbling Drills

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Turning Drills

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Transition Drills

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Small-Sided Games

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Soccer Dribbling Drills For Kids

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3v3 To Target Players

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You Pass, We Score | Passing Drill

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Attitude To Shooting

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6v3 Transition Game

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35 Game-Changing Soccer Drills To Try With Kids

They’ll get a kick out of it!

Kids doing soccer drills such as cone maze and gates dribbling.

There was a time when Americans didn’t fully appreciate the game of soccer, but those days are over. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport for a reason. One of the best things about soccer is that all you really need to get better is a ball! In order to succeed, players need good footwork, passing, dribbling, and shooting skills. Teams also need to have good communication. Get your touches in with our favorite soccer drills to improve your young athletes’ game!

Soccer Passing Drills

1. pass and move.

This drill encourages the oh-so important skill of moving after you pass. It also includes variations so kids can try wall passes and then one-touch passes once they’ve mastered the simple pass and run.

2. Triangle Passing

Set up four red cones about 10 yards apart, and then place a single blue cone in the center. The central player’s job is done once they’ve completed four triangle passes. This drill works on moving off the ball and getting into a support position.

3. Possession

Designate an area of the field as the playing area using either cones or preexisting lines on the field. Divide the players into two teams and give one of them pinnies so you can easily distinguish the two teams. During play, teams score points by stringing together a predetermined number of passes. Be sure to encourage players to find open space so they aren’t all chasing the ball and forming a clump. For a variation, add a player that will play with whatever team has the ball so the team with possession always has more players.

4. Two-Ball Passing

This drill encourages players to think quickly with the ball at their feet since three players work to keep two balls away from a single defender.

5. Receiving and Turning Drill

This drill runs through a series of movements where players receive a pass with different parts of the foot and practice turning. Players are the receivers for about a minute before rotating with one of the passers. This drill works on a number of things such as checking in and out, timing of the service pass, and communication between players.

Soccer Shooting Drills

6. finishing off a cross.

Soccer drills that mimic real-game scenarios are very effective. This drill allows players to practice making good crosses while teaching strikers to time their runs and get a piece of the ball. Encourage players to use different parts of their body to get the ball in the back of the net, but be mindful that heading isn’t allowed for younger players.

7. Four-Cone Shooting

This drill works on passing as well as shooting since it requires patterned passes to occur before a shot is taken. There are multiple different variations shown in this video.

8. Shooting Technique

Going over proper shooting technique is so important. This video covers the basics like leaning over the ball and shooting with your laces.

9. Lightning Shooting

Soccer drills that promote a healthy sense of competition while also being fun are always a hit with players. In this fast-paced shooting drill, players line up outside the penalty area while one player starts in net. The first player in line shoots, and if they make their shot, they get to head to the back of the line. If they miss their shot, they become the goalkeeper. Whether they save the shot will determine if they are out or get to rejoin the line. The last player in line is the winner!

Soccer Dribbling Drills

10. technical cone maze.

We love that this dribbling drill gets the player a lot of touches on the ball while working on changing directions and keeping the ball close. You’ll want to make sure you have a lot of cones on hand so the maze can be challenging.

11. Sharks and Minnows

Sharks and Minnows is one of those soccer drills that should be a staple of any good youth soccer practice. Set up cones so there is a starting line and an ending line, then have players line up along the starting line. The players (the Minnows) must get from one side of the ocean to the other without having their ball kicked away by the coach (the Shark). Once a player’s ball is knocked away, they become a Shark too!

12. Gates Dribbling

Before playing, set up cones in pairs to create gates all around a designated area of the field. Then, challenge players to see how many gates they can dribble through in a predetermined amount of time. Be sure to stress to players that they need to keep the ball close so they don’t shoot the ball through the cones.

13. Dribbling Drills for Older Players

This video shows a number of different dribbling series appropriate for older players using just a number of gates created from two closely placed cones. Players dribble normally up to a cone and then do a dribbling movement such as inside to inside, outside to outside, or rollover between the gate.

Soccer Practice Drills

14. pinnie snag tag.

This drill is definitely a crowd-pleaser. While it can be played as a warm-up without a ball as shown here, you can easily amend it for soccer by adding a ball at each player’s feet. Designate a playing area using cones, then have each player place a pinnie hanging out of their shorts. Players are out when either their ball is kicked out of the area or their pinnie is pulled out. The last player standing is declared the winner.

15. 1 v 1 With Odds and Evens

Before getting started, you will need to assign every player a number. Have odd-numbered players stand to the left of the goal while even-numbered players stand to the right. Then, have players sit on the ground with their backs facing away from the field. The coach stands around midfield with a large pile of balls.

Once ready to begin, the coach calls out an odd number and an even number at random and throws a ball out to them. The players fight to win possession and score a goal for their team. Remind the players that no one is designated as either offense or defense since there will be a tendency of younger players to want to clear the ball once they win it. Instead, encourage them to immediately head to goal. We especially love that this drill instills a no-quit attitude in players while also working on their listening skills.

16. Juggling Horse

Divide players into small groups, then challenge them to keep the ball in the air using their feet, thighs, or chest. If the ball hits the ground, the team receives a letter. Once a team has spelled H-O-R-S-E, they are out of the round.

Soccer Footwork Drills

17. two-cone drill.

It’s amazing how many different variations of foot skills can be done using just two cones as your base. We especially love that it forces players to use their non-dominant foot as well as different parts of their foot.

18. Touches, Touches, and More Touches

This video goes through a number of different types of touches including formations, rolling toe taps, L-turns, etc. For each different skill, it designates a set number of touches to aim for so kids can improve their footwork quickly.

19. Soccer Trainer

A soccer trainer like this one is perfect for solo training since it keeps the ball close even when practicing kicks. It also encourages a good first touch as the ball comes flying back at you.

20. Technical Circle

This training drill focuses on a little bit of everything including throw-ins, juggling, and passing. It can be used as a warm-up or can be made into a competition between players.

Soccer Defense Drills

21. clean your backyard.

Before playing, divide the players into two even teams and give them an equal number of balls. Then, create a moat in the middle of the field between the two teams. The teams are challenged with “cleaning” their backyard by kicking the balls into the other team’s yard. Any balls that land in the moat must be removed by the coach. This drill is especially effective at teaching defenders how to clear the ball by leaning back and getting underneath the ball.

22. Defending Techniques

A good defensive stance is crucial to becoming an effective defender since lunging and other missteps increase the likelihood of getting beat.

23. 2 v 2 With Four Goals

Set up four small goals on the field with a goal in each of the field’s corners. Designate one of the teams as the defenders, then have the offensive team attempt to score in any one of the four goals. This drill works on good defensive techniques like getting low, making the field small, and making the steal.

24. Walk Through Goal Side, Ball Side

One of the most valuable skills to have as a defender (in soccer but also in many sports) is understanding the concept of goal side, ball side. While walking through real-game scenarios is not always fun for players, it is often necessary. Set your players up as shown in this video, then have the offense move to various spots on the field while the defenders position themselves between the the player and the goal.

25. Small-Group Defending

In this video, a professional soccer player demonstrates different ways of defending depending on the situation. He runs through 1 v 1, 2 v 2, and 3 v 2 drills. Concepts include taking away the passing lane and communication between the defenders.

Soccer Goalie Drills

26. two-cone goalie drill.

First, set up two cones just to the right and left of the two goal posts about 10 yards out from the goal. Then, yell “left” or “right” to the goalkeeper, who must race to that cone before saving a rolling ball coming at them.

Diving is a necessary part of goalkeeping, but it can be intimidating for new goalkeepers. Try some of the basic drills in this video to introduce the safest and most effective ways to dive for the ball.

28. Catch and Release

Soccer drills should work on players’ reaction time, including goalkeepers. Set up one large goal for the keeper to stand in, then set up two smaller goals farther down the field on the left and right flanks. Finally, throw the keeper a variety of balls to practice catching and quickly throwing toward one of the smaller nets.

29. Footwork

This video gives a lot of good ideas for working on a goalkeeper’s footwork using just a ball, a partner, and some cones. Goalies run in and out of cones in various ways while catching balls that are tossed toward them.

30. Reaction Training

This video reviews ways in which a goalkeeper can take away an angle on a close shot such as from a through ball. It also shows goalies how to be in the best position possible to make a save.

Soccer Drills for U8 and Under

31. Musical Footballs (0:13 – 1:09)

Place all the players around a circle and then fill the circle with several soccer balls—one less than the number of players. Players then run into the middle and retrieve a ball. Whoever doesn’t get one is out. This continues until you have just one winner.

32. Bring It Home (1:12 – 1:49)

Before playing, you’ll want to set up with one large square with four smaller squares in the corners. Divide the kids into four teams, each with a home square. The goal is to get all of the balls into your team’s home base before time is up. And yes, players are allowed to steal from one another’s area.

33. Trick or Treat (1:52 – 2:03)

Have one large rectangle with cones on either side of the field. Have kids dribble back and forth retrieving cones (treats). The player with the most cones at the end of the game is declared the winner.

34. Traffic Light (0:04 – 0:34)

This is a simple game with four commands: green light, yellow light, red light, and gas station. On green light the players dribble forward quickly, on yellow light the players slow down or walk, on red light they stop, and on gas station they quickly jump and then sit on the ball.

35. Counting Touches

This drill is perfect for the toddler-to-preschool crowd who are new to soccer. While it starts with basic touches on top of the soccer ball while counting, it becomes increasingly more difficult as they become accustomed to each step.

What are your favorite soccer drills to play with your team? Come and share in our We Are Teachers HELPLINE group  on Facebook.

Plus, check out  fun basketball drills to try with young athletes ..

Getting better at the world's most popular sport requires practice. Check out our soccer drills for developing the next generation of stars!

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  • Soccer Coaches Blog

7 Fun U8 Soccer Drills for Kids

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The soccer drills chosen to include in this list are ones the kids will love and be excited about. The soccer drills are intended for players under the age of 8 years old. These soccer drills for beginners can be a great addition to any youth soccer practice plan. It is critical that coaches at this level make practices fun and exciting and therefore we put together this list of 7 soccer drills that U8 soccer coaches can include in their practice plans. These drills are explained in detail and supported with diagrams and animations. On our soccer training and skills videos page you can find simple drills and techniques to help young players with basic fundamentals.

The drills include soccer concepts that are important for the U8 age level such as dribbling drills , small sided games , ball control techniques , decision making , and developing a love for the game . The list of U8 soccer drills in this article include:

  • Fill the Bucket
  • Empty the Bucket
  • Clean the Room
  • British Bulldog
  • Controlled Craziness

Why Should U8 Soccer Drills be Fun?

It is absolutely crucial that coaches make practices fun while coaching the at the U8 age level. According to an article published on https://believeperform.com the #1 reason kids play sports is to have fun. In fact, in their study showed the top reasons why kids play sports in the following order:

  • To have fun
  • Get exercise
  • Improve skills
  • Make friends
  • Challenge themselves
  • Participate in something they are good at
  • Play on a team
  • To relieve stress
  • To emulate their role model

If we want to keep our kids engaged and excited about sports, in this case soccer, then we have to listen to them and place FUN at the core of our practice planning. If you are interested, US Soccer has also released their guidelines for the U8 age level which can be found here .

Drill #1 - Fill the Bucket

Anytime you add a race or competition into a drill the level of excitement by the kids for that drill increases. This drill not only adds a level of competition but it is also a great soccer dribbling drill.

Divide your players into two teams of at least 3 players each. Each player will need a soccer ball for this drill. Use the diagram below as a guide for how to set up the drill.

The goal of the drill is for each team to get all of their soccer balls into the “bucket” and all the players back to the end lines. The first team to complete this task wins that round.

Fill the bucket is a fun soccer drill for kids that works on ball control

Drill #2 - Empty the Bucket

This drill is the opposite of “Fill the Bucket”. The most efficient way to run these two drills is to run them back to back and alternate between the two because this drill requires no setup after the first drill because all of the soccer balls are in the “bucket”.

The setup is exactly the same as the previous drill, “Fill the Bucket”, but now the balls start in the “bucket”.

This time players will race to remove all of their soccer balls from the “bucket” and get all players back to the end line with their soccer balls.

Empty the Bucket - U8 soccer drill diagram

Drill #3 - Clean the Room

This soccer drill emphasizes kicking the ball. It is a fun game in which players will try to keep their side of the field (their room) clean of any soccer balls. Players clean their room by kicking the balls to the other half of the field. The coaches, or designated players, will be on the other side of the field and try to kick balls back into the room.

Split the field up into two halves and scatter all of the soccer balls around in the player’s half of the field. Place two coaches or other players in the other half of the field. Make sure the field is clearly marked into two separate halves.

The players will try to “clean” their room completely of any soccer balls. They have to go quick and try to play the balls away from the coaches so it is hard for them to keep kicking the balls back into the “room”.

Clean your room fun soccer drill for 8 years old and younger

Drill #4 - British Bulldog

There are a lot of names for this popular game. Another common name is “Sharks and Minnows”. The base variation of this game is played without any soccer balls. Variations can be added to make game more challenging. For the average U8 player it is great to play this game with a soccer ball so they are getting as many touches as possible during practice.

Make a rectangular field about 15 yards wide by 30 yards long. Using discs or cones make out three equal sections as shown in the diagram below. The two sections on the end are the safe zones while the zone in the middle is the danger zone. Place all of the players on one of the end lines with their ball. The two designated “bulldogs” are placed in the danger zone without soccer balls.

On the whistle, players on the end line will try to dribble through the danger zone to the other safe zone without having their ball stolen by one of the “bulldogs”. If they have their ball stolen then they become a “bulldog” for the next round. Play until there is one player remaining.

British Bulldog Soccer Activity for under 8 players

Drill #5 - Freeze Tag

Don’t underestimate the value of a good old fashioned game of Freeze Tag. Young players always love this soccer activity and there are athletic benefits as well. Variations can also be added to include soccer balls.

Mark of a square field using discs or cones that is about 10 x 10 yards. Give one or two players a penny, they are “it”. On the whistle the players that are “it” will try to tag the other players. If a player is tagged then they must stay frozen until they are touched by another player on their team.

The objective of the game is for the “it” players to tag all of the players so they are all frozen at the same time. The players try to keep the game going as long as possible.

Give the players a ball have them dribble within the designated field while trying to keep the ball away from the “it” players. If players get tagged then they must open their legs wide and can only be un-frozen when another player kicks the ball between their legs.

Freeze tag U8 soccer activity diagram

Drill #6 - Controlled Craziness

Here is another fun soccer drill that is great if you are working on kicking fundamentals. It allows players to kick the ball numerous times within the parameters of the game.

You can keep the 20 x 20 yard field you had set up in the previous drill. Every player will get a ball.

Each soccer player will dribble the ball within the designated field and try to kick or pass the ball so it hits another player’s ball. Each time they successfully hit another player’s ball they will get a point. Players need to keep track of their own points until the coach blows the second whistle which signals the end of the game. Because the game requires a bit of honesty it is a great time to discuss honesty, responsibility, and accountability with the team.

Controlled Craziness fun soccer activity for players under 8 years old

Drill #7 - Four Goals

This game is not only fun but incorporates ball control and kicking. The game will also get players excited to score goals.

Place four goals using nets, cones, or discs set up in a cross formation like shown below in the diagram. All of the soccer balls should be placed in the middle. The number of soccer balls should be slightly greater than the overall number of players. Place two player at each net. Both players must start to the side of their net on the goal line.

The players will run to the middle, grab a ball, dribble it back to their net and kick it in the net. Once they have kicked it in the net then their teammate can go. If they miss the net they must retrieve their ball and kick it into the net before their teammate can go. Because there are slightly more balls than players some teams will score more goals than other teams. When all the balls are gone add up the number of balls in each net.

Diagram of Four Goals, a fun soccer game for U8

Recap of these 7 fun Soccer Drills

This article is posted simply to give youth soccer coaches some new and fresh ideas. Each one of these drills will not only create excitement but allows for basic soccer training fundamentals. We hope you find value in these drills. If so, please feel free to download the pdf below which contains each of the drills in this article.

Download a PDF file of these Fun Soccer Drills

Download 3 U8 Practice Plans

Additional Resources

  • View a list of U8 Soccer Practice Plans
  • Find more great soccer drills for kids

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10 Best U6 Soccer Drills

For U6 soccer players, it’s all about dribbling — and their favorite cartoon characters.

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10 Best Soccer Dribbling Drills for U6, U8 and U10

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  • Tennessee State Soccer Association
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110 Soccer Skills Kids Can Do From Home

Soccer videos and fun ball mastery drills for players to develop skills at home. subscribe to our soccer challenges youtube playlist for more up-to-date ideas..

Laurie Bell

Laurie Bell

Heja Youth Sports

With youth sports activities suspended in most countries around the world, you can still have fun as a team. Challenge your players to try these skills at home!

Harry Hazard ’s 7 Football Skills To Try At Home

Daily ‘soccer homework’ with aberdeen fc youth academy, the ayso united juggling challenge, 5 footwork drills you can practice anywhere with soccer pro rachel daly, 25 small-space ball mastery skills to challenge your team from joner 1on1, footwork with us soccer legend mia hamm — part 1 & part 2, riyad mahrez’s 3 favorite skills you can try at home, the 1000 juggle challenge — 5 keepy-uppy variations by become elite.

Do you coach, or help run a sports team?

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Practice the “pull-back-push…explode” with beast mode soccer, coach cruz ’s 5 cone indoor drill — (rolled up socks work too), 5 simple wall pass challenges for your team by become elite, daily soccer challenges from empire school of football, 50 more ball mastery exercises your players can do from home with 7mlc, train at home with your team using heja now — free & simple team communication app.

Laurie Bell

Written by Laurie Bell

Laurie is a football player from England. He’s a growth marketer & editor of Heja’s youth sports blog, who loves sport for its impact on his and others’ lives

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Soccer Tryouts

  • Jul 4, 2023
  • 11 min read

Top 10 Soccer Drills for Youth Players to Practice at Home

soccer practice at home

Kick-Starting Your Home Training

In the world of soccer, practice is the cornerstone of success. Whether it's a professional player preparing for a major tournament or a young enthusiast honing their skills in the backyard, consistent practice is key. This blog post is designed to guide youth players through the top 10 soccer drills they can practice at home, helping them improve their skills and understanding of the beautiful game.

The importance of regular practice cannot be overstated. It not only helps in developing and refining soccer skills but also fosters a deeper understanding of the game's nuances. However, practice isn't confined to the field or training sessions with the team. In fact, some of the most significant progress can be made right at home.

Practicing soccer drills at home allows youth players to work on specific skills at their own pace, without the pressure of competition. It provides the freedom to repeat drills as many times as needed, focusing on areas that require improvement. Moreover, it instills a sense of discipline and commitment, traits that are invaluable both on and off the field.

In the forthcoming sections, we'll delve into a selection of soccer drills that youth players can easily practice at home. These drills are designed to cover a range of skills, including ball control, passing, dribbling, and more. Each drill will be explained in detail, providing instructions, benefits, and tips to ensure effective practice.

The Significance of Regular Practice

In the realm of soccer, the mantra "practice makes perfect" holds a profound truth. Regular practice is the linchpin that connects raw talent to skill mastery. For youth players, understanding the importance of consistent practice is the first step towards soccer proficiency.

Regular practice aids in the development of essential soccer skills such as ball control, passing, dribbling, and shooting. It allows players to familiarize themselves with the ball, enhancing their comfort and confidence on the field. Moreover, it fosters a deeper understanding of the game's tactics and strategies, enabling players to make smarter decisions during matches.

Beyond skill development, regular practice also contributes to physical fitness. Soccer is a physically demanding sport that requires endurance, agility, and strength. By practicing regularly, players can improve their fitness levels, enhancing their performance on the field and reducing the risk of injuries.

playing soccer in backyard

Setting Up for Successful Practice

Before diving into the soccer drills, it's crucial to establish a conducive environment for practice at home. A well-prepared practice area not only enhances the effectiveness of the drills but also ensures safety. Here are some tips to help youth players set up their home soccer practice area.

1. Space Selection: Choose a space that is flat, open, and free of potential hazards. This could be a backyard, a driveway, or even a spacious indoor area. The size of the space will depend on the drills, but even a small area can be effective for practicing skills like ball control and passing.

2. Equipment: The essential equipment for soccer practice includes a soccer ball and a pair of soccer shoes. Cones or markers can be useful for setting up drills, but household items can also serve the purpose. For example, a pair of shoes can act as a makeshift goal for shooting drills.

3. Safety Measures: Ensure the practice area is safe. Remove any objects that could cause tripping or injury. If practicing indoors, make sure there's enough clearance from breakable items. Always wear appropriate footwear to prevent slips and falls.

4. Warm-Up Area: Designate a small area for warm-up exercises. Warming up is crucial before starting any physical activity, including soccer practice. It prepares the body for the workout ahead and helps prevent injuries.

5. Hydration Station: Keep a bottle of water nearby to stay hydrated during practice. Regular hydration is essential, especially during intense drills or on hot days.

Once the practice area is set up, it's time to start practicing. But remember, the key to effective practice is consistency and focus. It's not about how fancy your practice area is or how advanced your drills are. It's about showing up, day after day, and giving your best effort.

Furthermore, regular practice cultivates mental toughness and discipline. It teaches players to persevere in the face of challenges, to remain focused on their goals, and to strive for continuous improvement. These are valuable life skills that extend beyond the soccer field.

However, effective practice isn't just about quantity, but also quality. It's essential for players to practice with purpose, focusing on their technique and learning from their mistakes. This is where home practice comes into play. Practicing soccer drills at home allows players to hone their skills in a focused and pressure-free environment.

Drill 1: Mastering Ball Control

The first drill in our lineup focuses on ball control, a fundamental skill in soccer. Good ball control allows a player to receive passes smoothly, maintain possession, and maneuver the ball around opponents. Here's a simple yet effective drill that youth players can practice at home to improve their ball control.

The Drill: Juggling

Start by standing in a comfortable position with the ball in your hands.

Toss the ball slightly above your waist and let it bounce once on the ground.

As the ball bounces up, gently tap it with your foot, trying to keep it in the air.

Try to juggle the ball as many times as you can without letting it touch the ground.

Alternate between your left and right foot, and try to maintain control of the ball.

This drill helps improve your touch and familiarity with the ball. It also enhances your coordination and timing. Remember, the goal is not to juggle the ball hundreds of times, but to improve your touch and control. Start with a few juggles and gradually increase as you get more comfortable.

Drill 2: Perfecting the Pass

Passing is a fundamental skill in soccer that enables players to move the ball between each other and advance up the field. A good pass can be the difference between maintaining possession or losing the ball to the opposition. Here's a simple drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their passing skills.

The Drill: Wall Pass

Find a solid wall and stand about 10 feet away from it.

Pass the ball against the wall and control it when it returns.

Try to keep the ball close to your body and control it with one touch.

Once you've controlled the ball, pass it back to the wall.

Repeat this process, aiming for accurate, controlled passes.

This drill helps improve your passing accuracy and ball control. It also enhances your first touch, an essential skill when receiving passes during a game. Remember to use both feet when practicing this drill to develop your skills evenly.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by increasing the distance from the wall or trying to control the ball with different parts of your foot.

Drill 3: Dribbling Dynamics

Dribbling is a vital skill in soccer that allows players to maneuver the ball around the field and evade opponents. It requires a combination of ball control, agility, and spatial awareness. Here's a fun and effective drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their dribbling skills.

The Drill: Cone Weave

Set up a line of cones (or any other markers) about 2 feet apart from each other.

Start at one end of the line with the ball at your feet.

Dribble the ball through the cones, weaving in and out without touching the cones.

Try to keep the ball close to your feet and control it with both the inside and outside of your foot.

Once you reach the end of the line, turn around and dribble back through the cones.

This drill helps improve your ball control, agility, and footwork. It also enhances your ability to change direction quickly, a crucial skill when dribbling past opponents during a game. Remember to keep your head up as much as possible during the drill to develop your spatial awareness.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by reducing the space between the cones or trying to complete the drill faster. You can also practice using only one foot to dribble through the cones, which can help improve your weaker foot.

Drill 4: Shooting

Scoring goals is the ultimate aim in soccer, and being able to shoot accurately and powerfully is a skill that every player should develop. Here's a simple drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their shooting skills.

The Drill: Target Practice

Set up a target in your practice area. This could be a specific area on a wall, a makeshift goal, or even a particular spot on a fence.

Stand a reasonable distance away from the target.

Take a run-up, then strike the ball towards the target.

Try to hit the target with each shot, focusing on both power and accuracy.

Retrieve the ball and repeat the process.

This drill helps improve your shooting accuracy and power. It also enhances your ability to strike the ball with both feet, which is a valuable skill in a game situation. Remember to practice shooting with both feet to develop your skills evenly.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by increasing the distance to the target or reducing the size of the target. You can also practice different types of shots, such as low drives, high shots, or curling shots.

Drill 5: Heading

Heading is an essential skill in soccer, used both defensively to clear the ball and offensively to score goals. Here's a simple drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their heading skills.

The Drill: Bounce and Head

Toss the ball into the air and let it bounce once on the ground.

As the ball bounces up, jump and meet it with your forehead, aiming to direct it upwards.

This drill helps improve your heading accuracy and timing. It also enhances your ability to jump and meet the ball, a crucial skill when heading during a game. Remember to keep your eyes on the ball and use your neck muscles to generate power.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by trying to direct the ball towards a specific target. You can also practice different types of headers, such as defensive headers (aimed high and away) and offensive headers (aimed towards the goal).

Drill 6: Agility and Speed

Agility and speed are crucial attributes for any soccer player, allowing them to quickly change direction, evade opponents, and reach the ball faster. Here's a drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance these skills.

The Drill: Quick Feet Ladder

If you have an agility ladder, lay it flat on your practice area. If not, you can create a makeshift ladder using chalk or tape.

Stand at one end of the ladder.

Quickly step in and out of each square of the ladder, one foot at a time. Try to touch every square and maintain a fast pace.

Once you reach the end of the ladder, turn around and repeat the process in the opposite direction.

This drill helps improve your speed, agility, and footwork. It also enhances your coordination and balance, which are crucial for maintaining control of the ball during a game. Remember to keep your head up and maintain a steady rhythm throughout the drill.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by trying different footwork patterns. For example, you could try hopping through the squares, using sideways steps, or weaving in and out of the ladder.

Drill 7: Defensive Dominance

Defense is a crucial aspect of soccer, and being able to effectively tackle and intercept the ball can turn the tide of a game. Here's a simple drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their defensive skills.

The Drill: Shadow Defense

You'll need a partner for this drill. If a partner isn't available, visualizing an opponent can also work.

Your partner will act as the attacker and you'll be the defender.

As the defender, your goal is to mirror the attacker's movements, staying between them and the goal.

Maintain a defensive stance and focus on quick footwork to keep up with the attacker.

This drill helps improve your defensive skills, including positioning, footwork, and anticipation. It also enhances your ability to read the game, a crucial skill when trying to intercept passes or tackle the ball during a game.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by increasing the speed of the drill or introducing a ball. The attacker can dribble the ball and the defender's goal is to try and win possession.

Drill 8: Building Endurance

Endurance is a key attribute for any soccer player. The ability to maintain a high level of performance throughout the entire game is what separates good players from great ones. Here's a drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their endurance.

The Drill: Soccer Circuit

Set up four cones in a square, each about 10 feet apart.

Start at one cone and sprint to the next cone.

At the second cone, perform 10 jumping jacks.

Sprint to the third cone and perform 10 push-ups.

Sprint to the fourth cone and perform 10 squats.

Finally, sprint back to the first cone and rest for 30 seconds.

Repeat the circuit 5 times.

This drill helps improve your endurance, strength, and speed. It also enhances your recovery time, which is crucial for maintaining performance during a game. Remember to maintain proper form during the exercises to prevent injuries.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by increasing the number of circuits or reducing the rest time between circuits. You can also introduce new exercises into the circuit to target different muscle groups.

Drill 9: Tactical Understanding

Soccer is a game of strategy and understanding the tactics of the game is as important as physical skills. Here's a drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their tactical understanding.

The Drill: Mini Game

You'll need at least one other player for this drill. If more players are available, you can create small teams.

Set up a mini soccer field in your practice area, with two goals.

Play a game, but with a twist: before anyone can score, each player on their team must touch the ball at least once.

This encourages passing, movement, and strategic thinking.

This drill helps improve your tactical understanding, teamwork, and communication. It also enhances your passing and movement off the ball, crucial skills for game situations.

Drill 10: The All-Around Challenge – The Soccer Obstacle Course

The final drill in our lineup is designed to test all the skills we've covered so far. It's a fun and challenging way to put your skills to the test and see how much you've improved. Here's how to set up your own soccer obstacle course at home.

The Drill: Soccer Obstacle Course

Set up a start and finish line in your practice area.

Between the start and finish line, set up various stations that each focus on a different skill. For example, you could have a dribbling station where you weave through cones, a shooting station where you aim for a target, a heading station where you head a ball into a bucket, and so on.

Start at the beginning of the course with the ball at your feet.

Navigate through the course, completing each station as quickly and accurately as you can.

Once you reach the finish line, rest for a minute, then repeat the course.

This drill helps improve all your soccer skills, including ball control, passing, dribbling, shooting, heading, agility, speed, defensive skills, endurance, and tactical understanding. It also enhances your ability to transition quickly between different skills, a crucial ability during a game.

As you get more comfortable with the drill, challenge yourself by increasing the complexity of the stations or trying to complete the course faster. You can also introduce new stations that focus on specific skills you want to improve.

importance of soccer practice

The Power of Practice: A Closing Note

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide to home drills for youth soccer players, it's important to remember the power of practice. Soccer, like any sport, requires dedication, effort, and a lot of practice to master. The drills we've covered in this guide are designed to help young players develop a wide range of skills, from basic ball control to tactical understanding.

But remember, the key to improvement is not just in the drills themselves, but in how they are practiced. Consistency is crucial. Make a schedule and stick to it. Practice these drills regularly, and you'll see improvement over time.

Also, don't forget to challenge yourself. As you get more comfortable with a drill, make it more difficult. Increase the speed, reduce the time, add more complexity. This will ensure that you continue to grow and improve.

Finally, remember to have fun. Soccer is a game, after all, and it's meant to be enjoyed. So while you're working hard to improve your skills, don't forget to enjoy the process.

Keep practicing, stay dedicated, and most importantly, have fun on your soccer journey. The field is yours to conquer!

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We built this guide to help modern day coaches with soccer practices, tips, and the basics of youth soccer coaching.

On our website you will discover a collection of 1000+ free drills and practices with printable text, graphics and video animation.

Also you can use our search tool and access the exercises by skill type or age group to narrow down your search results.

The site contains technical drills ( dribbling ,  passing ,  finishing ,  ball control ,  heading ,  goalkeeper , tactical ( attacking ,  defending ,  possession games ) and along with other information related to coaching soccer. Print and/or download as much content as you like.

For reference, soccer technique refers to a player’s ability to perform specific mechanical movements such as kicking or trapping the ball. “Technique in soccer is always linked to the objectives of the game. It is, by definition, goal oriented. It is a means to an end.” The mark of an experienced player is smooth, efficient motion and the ability to elegantly transition between different soccer techniques and moves.

Soccer skills can be developed through repetition, observation or visualization and of course through soccer technique training. With regular soccer technique drills and soccer practice of specific movements or basic soccer techniques, the player builds confidence and the target motion becomes natural to him.

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Soccer Homework - 200 soccer drills to practice at home - Volume 1: Included : all drills in video! (Soccer Homework - Soccer drills and challenges to practice at home)

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Soccer Homework - 200 soccer drills to practice at home - Volume 1: Included : all drills in video! (Soccer Homework - Soccer drills and challenges to practice at home) Paperback – December 16, 2023

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How can I use homework to help players get better?

The Coaching Manual

Jan 4th 2019

Written by The Coaching Manual

How can I use homework to help players get better?

Generation X (Box)

As a product of Generation X, I sometimes wonder if I look back at my own childhood through rose-tinted spectacles. Did we really enjoy that much freedom and were summers so much longer then? Unfortunately, research suggests I'm not. A study by JCB in 2013 found that children in the modern era are spending (on average) 10 hours per week less outdoors. It's a genuine problem.

The consequence of this, for football, is that children aren't learning the game by playing it anymore. The games which Bobby Charlton describes in this fantastic documentary (skip to 6:51) don't happen nowadays.

But these games weren't just a feature of Charlton's childhood. Most Generation X'ers and even the Millennials born before 1995 will attest to weekend games on the local park, which went on for hours.

So what happened? It would be disingenuous to solely blame X-Box or Playstation. However, the rise of games consoles and other technologies must certainly be considered as one of many contributing factors. The reasons for less time outside are complex and require detailed analysis to do the topic justice. It's not something I want to dwell on for too long. We know children play outside less, so what can we do about it?

Practice makes perfect

The main thing these unstructured games gave us was practice; hours and hours of it. The beating heart of these games is what the Football Association would now call the social corner. That is, groups of friends, schoolmates and team mates across different age groups who just wanted to play. The games went on and on, perhaps starting with 5-a-side, growing to 15 or 16-a-side and dwindling eventually to a couple of mates taking free kicks at each other until they heard the unmistakeable tones of mum calling them home for tea-time.

It was this footballing culture in the United Kingdom, which created a conveyor belt of exceptional players from Charlton through Dalglish, Hoddle, Gascoigne and then to the likes of Giggs, Gerrard and Lampard. The same can be said of other hotbeds of footballing talent globally. The street games of Buenos Aires, Amsterdam or Rio de Janeiro have produced an embarrassment of riches down the years. It was based on a repetitive process of learning the game through playing it for very long periods in the park or on the street.

Pic 1-1

Without this time, how can we help children to plug the practice gap?

Endless ball mastery sessions probably aren't the answer.

I know that this will cause consternation amongst some coaches who rely on basic ball mastery drills as the foundation of their coaching delivery. But, ask yourself why there's suddenly become such a large focus on these ball mastery practices and on fundamental movement? To me it appears that this is a remedy to one symptom of a much bigger problem.

Naturally, these practices are delivered with a genuine desire to help children. We suspect that players are becoming less technically capable, so we try to remedy it by putting on technical ball skills practices on a regular basis. Unfortunately, one or two hours of this work a week isn't going to make up for the deficiencies. It needs to be more and it needs to come from a desire within the player to improve.

So, let them do   ball mastery practice at home .

The game isn't the teacher, the coach is

In those big games at the weekend in the 70's, 80's and early 90's there was probably a 5-6 year age gap between the youngest and oldest players. When I was at the younger end of the age range, I had to learn very quickly about what I wanted to do with the ball, before I received it. If I didn't and I lost it, the older boys might not pass to me for a while. Equally, if an older player was 10 yards from me, I quickly learned that he could make the distance up much quicker than one of my friends, so we learned to receive the ball properly and move it on quickly.

These games forced us to learn how to make decisions in football. We knew when to dribble ( usually when faced with someone from your own age range) and when to pass (when you were faced with older and bigger players). Our understanding of the game grew as a result.

This is perhaps the area where we can help the most as coaches. You guys work on the technical stuff at home then, come Thursday night, we'll start to fill in the information about how the game works. Come to training and we'll teach you the principles of the game. So, instead of working on ball moves all night, we're working on scenarios, on painting pictures and on developing the imagination of our players, so that they can use their ball mastery in the right areas of the pitch and at the right time. In essence we help them to become intelligent footballers.

Pic 2-1

Can they talk the talk?

Get them to go and watch their local park team. Ok, the language in the adult grassroots game can be questionable at times (it certainly is in South Manchester), but the information players give each other can be so valuable to young players. Communication is massive in football and if our players only get to watch the game on TV or play it on the Playstation, they are missing out on one of the games most crucial pillars.

I find it so frustrating with my own players that they either don't talk to each other or they spend the entire time shouting "pass, pass" when they're miles away from a team mate with 4 opponents between them and their team-mate. The other bugbear is the constant "what are you doing?" every time someone makes a mistake.

Showing them what happens in the adult game will teach them pretty quickly that the information you are supposed give on the pitch, is to help or encourage your team mates and that the language like "Help him out" "Don't dive in" etc. actually relates to the principles. I learned so much from watching my own dad train and play from the sidelines as a youngster.

One of our coaches   created this fun guide   on the language of the game, which you can share with your players.

Who else can help?

It's important that parents buy in to what you are trying to achieve as a coach.   There are lots of practices   which players can do at home with mum or dad, which will help them get better. Children want to practice with friends or with their parents, solitary football can be a bit tedious.

A simple 1-1 session like this could also help:

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5 Homework Tasks for New Soccer Coaches

As a volunteer youth soccer coach, you have taken on a large task and you have plenty of work to do behind the scenes to ensure the perfect season. Let's get started!

Soccer Tip Diagram: 5 Homework Tasks for New Soccer Coaches

soccer coaching

As a volunteer youth soccer coach, you have taken on a large task and you have plenty of work to do behind the scenes to ensure the perfect season. let's get started.

Whether you have recently volunteered to coach youth soccer to spend time with your kids or because your child’s team desperately needs a coach, you must understand that you have taken on an enormous task. You have plenty of work to do behind the scenes to ensure the perfect season. You have just taken on the job of teaching young kids the most popular sport in the world.

Since many youth soccer coaches have never coached or played soccer, you have some homework ahead of you to fulfill your responsibilities for this task. As a new soccer coach, you must get a handle on the basics such as rules, terminology, and youth soccer strategies.

  • Know the "Laws of the Game". Get a rule book and learn the rules of the game. If your age level plays with the offside rule, make sure to pay close attention to this rule. Offsides are the most controversial rule of soccer, and knowing the details surrounding this rule is essential. Focus on regulations such as indirect or direct kick, throw-ins, corner kicks, and goal-kicks. Here is the 2020-2021 Fifa Laws of the Game .
  • Know your soccer league or association's rules. Your homework as a coach starts by finding out the specific special rules that your league operates. These rules typically vary depending on the experience level and age of the players. Things such as ball size, field size, goal size, number of players, and whether you play with a goalkeeper or not will need to be established before getting started. Contact your youth age coordinator to find the specifics on how your league operates.
  • Soccer Terminology. Learn soccer-specific terminology and teach this to your players. You are taking the right step since you are reading this online. You can find many sites on the Internet by doing a Google search for “Soccer Terms.”
  • Watch soccer coaching videos and read soccer coaching related articles. Make sure you read articles, tips, books, and watch instructional videos and pick up on your age group strategies. Often area soccer associations put on coaching clinics for all skill levels of coaches, giving you a big jump start on the season. Also, check with your local library to see if they have any soccer videos that you can check out to better your knowledge of the game.
  • Plan practices ahead of time. Take drills that you have learned in coaching clinics, videos, and articles, and plan your team's practice sessions ahead of time.  

Good luck, coaches! Remember, do your homework!

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5 comprehensive high school soccer tryout plans: enhancing player analysis in all aspects of the game, the heart of the team: 12 key traits of a central midfielder in soccer, 15 effective soccer conditioning workouts for enhanced performance, 8 solo soccer exercises to enhance individual skills.

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Message from our director of coaching, week one: march 16-20.

The WOD for this week is posted below along with an article on Youth Technique. 

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MLS expands youth development program, offering free coaching resources and an annual grant

MLS expands youth development program, offering free coaching resources and an annual grant

Major League Soccer announced initiatives on Tuesday to expand MLS Go, the league’s youth soccer program launched last year, as it continues to explore ways to make soccer more accessible to players at the grassroots level.

The two new initiatives are: the MLS Go Playbook, a free online resource for youth coaches, and the MLS Go Play Fund, an annual grant that can offset seasonal costs for players to join MLS Go teams. MLS Go has also partnered with two long-established recreational soccer associations, Cal North Youth Soccer and New Jersey Youth Soccer.

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“These three initiatives are another moment for us to continue to push forward a program that we think is going to be really important, from a youth perspective, for MLS,” Kyle Albrecht, vice president of MLS Go, told The Athletic .

MLS Go, which launched last year, is for players ages 4-14. The program offers the league a way to tap into soccer at the lowest level of the game to grow participation and interest, while also trying to solve a major issue of the lack of grassroots, accessible clubs for young kids.

We're so excited to roll out brand new initiatives for 2024 designed to grow soccer participation & access! MLS Playbook: Coaching curriculum and more. MLS Play Fund: Grant initiative dedicated to leveling the playing field. Learn more @MLSGO .com pic.twitter.com/2dVm2xQce7 — MLS GO (@MLSGO) April 30, 2024

“You could have a child come into one of our programs now, at four or five, and theoretically not need to leave until the time they kick a ball in a first team match,” Albrecht said.

When it first launched, MLS Go focused on groups that may have sat on the outside of the existing youth soccer ecosystem, Albrecht said, like YMCAs, Boys and Girls clubs or other nonprofit organizations. The league has since gravitated to partnering with more established soccer programs, like Cal North and the New Jersey Youth Soccer.

The two associations collectively service more than 100,000 youth soccer players and have hundreds of established clubs in their respective communities. Through this partnership, recreational clubs can apply to be MLS Go league operators to gain access to league programming and resources, like branded uniforms. MLS Go teams also have close ties to their local MLS teams, like the New York Red Bulls or Philadelphia Union for clubs in New Jersey, or the San Jose Earthquakes for those in Northern California.

MLS clubs also “played a vital role” in “aligning with the state associations,” Albrecht said. “In addition to things like the Play Fund and the Playbook, access to our clubs, (through) things like a ticketing program we have in place with those clubs, we think adds another layer of value.”

youth soccer homework

The Play Fund and Playbook are new initiatives the league hopes will help grow accessibility.

MLS has said one of the goals of MLS Go is to lower the cost of entry into soccer. Costs to join an MLS Go team can range from $50 to $150 per player per season, depending on the location of a team, Albrecht said. The cost, he added, can be tied to an area’s cost of living. A team in a bigger city, for example, may be more expensive.

Still, that price point remains out of reach for some families, says Sola Winley, MLS executive vice president and chief engagement and inclusion officer. That’s where the league’s Play Fund initiative comes in, an annual commitment to help offset the cost of entry through a partnership with RCX Sports.

“If there is a economic barrier for you to participate in soccer, we’re trying to do everything we can to reduce that, and in the case of the Go Play Fund, eliminate it altogether,” Winley said.

The fund will be available for MLS Go leagues in every market. There will be a link on the MLS Go website for those who want to apply online, and the league is hoping to make the process “as frictionless as possible,” Winley said. The league’s initial target is to help at least 3 to 5 percent of MLS Go participants.

The vast pay-to-play model of soccer in the U.S. is uniquely American, with families having to navigate complicated and expensive pathways for their children to play. Costs rise significantly when considering the cost of traveling across the country with a club for competitions.

“Domestically here is the inverse of everywhere it is around the world, where, if you’re interested in playing football — global football — you’re playing pickup football in the streets. The academy systems, there’s no cost to them, right? You’re not paying to travel,” Winley said. “Here — that’s not the case. There’s a very high barrier to entry.”

Winley estimated that, on average, it can cost between $2,000 to $3,000 a year to play club soccer in the U.S., not including the cost of travel. The Aspen Institute estimated in its annual parent survey that the average annual cost for having a child in soccer was around $1,188 in the fall of 2022. That’s why keeping costs low is important, Winley said.

“We tried to make (MLS) Go an accessible price point for folks,” Winley said. “We also want to make sure that if there’s anyone outside of that price point that they can participate as well.”

With MLS Go, the league is trying to increase access for players as young as four years old, all the way through playing professionally. It is meant to be more recreational, introducing players to the sport and to the MLS brand at an early age.

Versions of youth soccer in the U.S. have long focused on identifying talent to go pro. In 1999, the Super Y-League was founded in affiliation with U.S. Soccer and MLS for that purpose. By 2007, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy was founded, featuring youth academies and clubs from leagues like MLS and the United Soccer League. That was until the DA folded in 2020, following financial issues from the pandemic.

In recent years, MLS has branched off on its own, founding MLS Next in 2020, what many called the successor to the DA. MLS Next includes teams from U-13 to U-19. In 2021, MLS founded MLS Next Pro, a new professional league that would serve as a pathway to the top division of MLS. And then last year, MLS Go was launched to encompass the league’s reach across all levels of the sport.

The new initiatives announced Tuesday also provide access for coaches with the first MLS Go Playbook, a free coaching resource that will be available online through the MLS Go website. It will be available only via desktop at first, but the league is working to release a mobile application in a couple of months. Though right now it’s only available in English, the league plans to develop versions in French and Spanish.

“Our idea was to improve the best practices at the grassroots level,” said Fred Lipka, MLS vice president of player and youth development. “We think it’s completely interdependent, what we’re doing at the highest level and what we try to implement at the grassroots level. We wanted to build a tool which is free, accessible, but also linked with what we are doing in our (MLS) Next academies for first-time coaches.”

The manual is like a beginner’s guide to the sport, while also delving into the specifics of how each age group can best absorb the game.

“If we don’t elevate the level of awareness of soccer in the U.S., it will be difficult to convince people that the beautiful game is the best sport to play, because in fact, that’s the easiest sport to play,” Lipka said, “and that’s the universality of soccer.”

For MLS, growing the lowest level of the game is good for business, especially as the league looks ahead to the attention the sport will receive from Copa America this summer, the Club World Cup next year and the men’s World Cup in 2026. The 1994 men’s tournament spurred the creation of MLS, and now the league is preparing for another era of growth.

“This program, MLS Go, was built with a long-term lens in mind, from a growth perspective. We’re not necessarily rushing to have that exponential growth tomorrow. So, for us, it’s about setting this program up in the right way to capture the opportunity that we have around ‘26 and beyond,” Albrecht said. “There’s no reason why half a million kids plus can’t be playing in the program on the back of the World Cup.”

(Photo: MLS Communications)

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Too much too young? Beware the hype around teen soccer prodigy Cavan Sullivan

The 14-year-old philadelphia union star is being loudly tipped for greatness, but who is listening to the cautionary tale of freddy adu.

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Cavan Sullivan signed to Philadelphia Union for $500,000 a year, and is set to be signed to Manchester City when he turns 18

Dave Hannigan's face

In a hotel just outside Charleston, South Carolina, journalists from several countries, grown men and women who should have known better, lingered around the lobby, lining up to interview Freddy Adu. All of 14 years old, a few weeks away from his Major League Soccer (MLS) debut with DC United, already so globally famous that a crew from Sky Sports News were in the building. When we finally sat down to grill the boy child then ludicrously credited with changing the game in the US forever, he was charming and polite, answering questions about the challenges of celebrity at an age he should have been solely concerned with getting his homework done.

Over the following two decades, we saw Adu’s career get quickly shunted into the sidings, all the early promise gone from his game by his early 20s. One minute he was making television commercials with Pele and training with Manchester United, the next he was scratching around for trials all over the planet, flaming out in too many countries to mention. A tough watch, especially for those of us who had met the callow adolescent in South Carolina that evening. The way we merrily amplified his fame now seems exploitative and immoral. Everybody involved in the entire enterprise should be ashamed.

The story came to mind last week when the Philadelphia Union, where Adu once spent a couple of undistinguished seasons trying to salvage his career, announced the signing of Cavan Sullivan, 14, to his first professional MLS contract at just over $500,000 a year. The most striking aspect of the fanfare and media coverage was the giddy positivity of it all. Words like phenom, prodigy and wunderkind were thrown around with abandon. Youngest brother of an American international who plays for the Union, Sullivan – a left-footed playmaker routinely described as a generational talent – is such a blue-chip prospect Manchester City have contracted to buy him when he turns 18 and are supposedly describing him as the best player in the world in his age group. So far so much hyperbole.

The Union introduced the hometown kid to delighted fans at Subaru Park last Saturday night by having him pound the club’s ceremonial prematch drum. Then they lost to Orlando City, and their winless streak of five games might explain them hinting his first-team debut could come sooner rather than later. Everybody seems fine with that possibility. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing. Apparently. Not when there’s a lot of “if he’s good enough, he’s old enough” vibes about the place.

Darragh Ó Sé: Armagh’s leaders need a better grasp of game situations or killer defeats will persist

Darragh Ó Sé: Armagh’s leaders need a better grasp of game situations or killer defeats will persist

US PGA Championship: Three key holes at Valhalla that bring risk and reward

US PGA Championship: Three key holes at Valhalla that bring risk and reward

US PGA Championship 2024: Tee times, TV details, weather forecast, players to watch

US PGA Championship 2024: Tee times, TV details, weather forecast, players to watch

Murphy faces tough challenge in Ulster

Murphy faces tough challenge in Ulster

Freddy Adu of the Philadelphia Union during a match against Chicago Fire in Chester, Pennsylvania in 2012. Photograph: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

“We’re not afraid to put Cavan on the field at any time when he’s ready,” said Jim Curtin, head coach of the Union. “He’ll get on the field on merit, first and foremost, but I’ll say it publicly: His debut is a lot closer than people may realise. Our team, whatever we need that week, he’ll be called upon quickly because he deserves it.”

Nobody seems unduly bothered by the fate of the last kid to be spun through the MLS hype machine in this manner at such a ridiculous age. Adu’s name has scarcely featured in dispatches, not even as a cautionary tale to offer some much-needed perspective. The Union seem more concerned with whether Sullivan’s selection for a night game might fall foul of Pennsylvania’s child labour laws than his long-term welfare. It says much for the dysfunctional culture around the sport that he is only the fifth-youngest player to turn pro in MLS. And that nobody thinks it in any way wrong that his older brother posted a 21-minute highlight reel of his goals on YouTube – when he was 12.

Sky is the limit for 14-year-old Cavan Sullivan. 🚀 pic.twitter.com/nlDoF1ZYmU — Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 9, 2024

Despite the uniquely Irish name, Sullivan is eligible to play for Germany through a grandfather, Klaus Krippendorff, who was an eminent academic at the University of Pennsylvania, and for Bangladesh through his maternal grandmother. The other side of his family is steeped in the sport around Philly. His grandfather Larry was the long-time head coach at the University of Villanova; his father, Brendan, played professionally for years but never quite made it to MLS. On the other side, his mother, Heike, now a lawyer, also played collegiate soccer at Penn. The sort of rich bloodline that explains why Cavan is the fourth Sullivan brother to come through the Philadelphia Union academy.

[  Freddie Adu: a career proving much ado about nothing  ]

Crucially, the Krippendorff branch of his family tree entitles him to a German passport that will smooth over work visa issues when he takes his immense talent to Europe. Even though he’s yet to kick a ball professionally, it’s already assumed a formative spell in Italy or Spain will be part of his arc to inevitable greatness before he joins City. Heady talk. Of course, Sullivan may turn out to be everything he’s supposed to be. The humble kid (fair description) came across very well last week. Then again, the unfortunate Adu was definitely gifted and appeared extraordinarily well adjusted when he first stepped into the limelight. Still, too much too young.

Leeds United took on Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup final last Friday night deprived of the club’s most highly regarded teen. Harry Gray, grandson of Frank, younger brother of first-teamer Archie, was ineligible to participate in the flagship under-18 competition because he didn’t turn 15 until last October. Rules put in place to protect precocious kids from professional clubs exploiting them and endangering their long-term prospects. Imagine such a thing.

IN THIS SECTION

Premier league wrap: manchester united’s youngsters seal victory over newcastle, bohemians take on palestine as a packed dalymount park witnesses history, adam idah scores as celtic clinch scottish premiership title in style, premier league clubs to vote on scrapping var after wolves lodge resolution, i visited singapore to see why it is ranked as the top education system in the world. here’s what i learned, moving back to ireland would mean working till 10pm, no home of my own and bad coffee, woman’s 30-year ‘vendetta’ against brother over farm is ‘worst example of weaponisation’ of courts, wolfe tones lead singer sues rté for defamation over comments made by joe duffy on liveline, green party councillor attacked while hanging posters in dublin, ibm to create 800 jobs in dublin, cork and waterford over three years, drug dealer’s former partner given three months to leave family home deemed proceeds of crime, latest stories, ibm and jacobs announce 900 new jobs, slovakian prime minister robert fico’s condition remains ‘extremely serious’ after he was shot several times, ‘when i moved to my dutch apartment ... my landlord told me i could stay there forever’, daniel levy: to bandy about the serious accusation of anti-semitism in unserious ways is dangerous, ryan mchugh says jim mcguinness factor huge in donegal winning ulster.

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  1. Youth soccer (football) drills en skills. Homework-exercises

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  2. soccer skills homework PART 2

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  3. Tips And Tricks To Play A Great Game Of Football

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  4. OYAA Soccer Homework 2 How to Kick a Soccer Ball

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  1. Soccer Homework Drills-Vol.1

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  3. Soccer homework Sunday 10/03/2024

  4. 4 Ball Mastery Drills

  5. Daily BALL MASTERY Drills 5

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COMMENTS

  1. Soccer Practice Plans for U6, U8, U10, U12, U14, U16

    The drills have been carefully selected and organized to meet the age and skill level of the practice session. With a membership to Soccer Drive you can create and share your own practice plans. Choose from a soccer practice plans designed for U6, U8, U10, U12, U14, and U16 age levels. Drills are selected and organized specifically for these ...

  2. 7 Minute Soccer Skills

    7 Minute Soccer Skills - Tehnical and Tactical Homework for your players. --- FREE for Coaches ---. The coaching platform to help give your players technical and tactical homework. Reinforce their on-field learning with homework they can do from a mobile device. The coaching platform to help give your players technical and tactical homework.

  3. Free Soccer Drills, Games, And Practice Exercises

    If you're a youth soccer coach, you know that keeping your players engaged and active during practice is key to their development. Below you'll find all of our soccer drills, games, and exercises to help you do just that! These drills and activities are perfect for coaching kids and teenagers aged 4-19 and cover all the essential skills young soccer players need to master.

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  5. 35 Game-Changing Soccer Drills To Try With Kids

    34. Traffic Light (0:04 - 0:34) This is a simple game with four commands: green light, yellow light, red light, and gas station. On green light the players dribble forward quickly, on yellow light the players slow down or walk, on red light they stop, and on gas station they quickly jump and then sit on the ball. 35.

  6. 7 Fun U8 Soccer Drills for Kids with Diagrams and Animations

    The drills include soccer concepts that are important for the U8 age level such as dribbling drills, small sided games, ball control techniques, decision making, and developing a love for the game. The list of U8 soccer drills in this article include: Fill the Bucket. Empty the Bucket. Clean the Room.

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    GET 100+ FREE SOCCER DRILLS AND PRACTICE PLANS FOR KIDS. The MOJO app features tons of free and fun soccer drills that really work — along with expert-backed recommendations on the best drills for your team's age group, skill level, and more. GET THE APP FOR FREE.

  8. Soccer Homework

    NGS YouTube Channel - includes skills challenges and classic games to rewatch. NGS Facebook Page - NGS families, send us your photos & videos to post. Email: [email protected]. NGS Instagram. NGS Academy Instagram - Academy families, send us your photos & videos to post. Email: [email protected].

  9. 15 Ball Mastery Exercises

    15 ball mastery exercises for young football - soccer playersExercises can be done during training sessions or as homework!Follow me on instagram for more: h...

  10. 110 Soccer Skills Kids Can Do From Home

    110 Soccer Skills Kids Can Do From Home. Soccer videos and fun ball mastery drills for players to develop skills at home. Subscribe to our Soccer Challenges YouTube playlist for more up-to-date ideas. With youth sports activities suspended in most countries around the world, you can still have fun as a team. Challenge your players to try these ...

  11. Soccer Homework for Kids by Kids

    Soccer Homework for Kids by Kids. Pretty cool video of some kids and their favorite at home practice drills, nice to see kids thinking about the game and improvement at such a young age, bet they will make great coaches one day. As far as soccer learning and improvement goes, it is important to note that nothing beats motivation and a desire ...

  12. Top 10 Soccer Drills for Youth Players to Practice at Home

    Drill 9: Tactical Understanding. Soccer is a game of strategy and understanding the tactics of the game is as important as physical skills. Here's a drill that youth players can practice at home to enhance their tactical understanding. The Drill: Mini Game. You'll need at least one other player for this drill.

  13. Youth Soccer

    Youth Soccer. Soccer Homework for Kids by Kids. Pretty cool video of some kids and their favorite at home practice drills, nice to see kids thinking about the game and improvement at such a young age, bet they will make great coaches one day. As far as soccer learning and improvement goes, it is important to note...

  14. 900+ Free Soccer Drills For Youth Coaching

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  15. Soccer Homework

    The book Soccer Homework - 200 soccer drills to practice at home - Volume 1 is made for youth soccer players (6-18 years old) who want to practice alone in adition to the club or school team training sessions. It helps players to practice alone or with a partner, at home, in the backyard, on the street, in a park or at the nearby soccer field.

  16. Soccer Homework

    Soccer Homework. On this page, you will find good online learning resources to help with personal development and a list of our favourite players, teams, and clips for you to study and enjoy in your own time. Teams to watch and study: The following teams play a similar style of soccer to what we strive for and enjoy at Red Star: Players to ...

  17. Soccer fast footwork for kids

    Fast soccer footwork for kids features 11 beginner ball mastery drills, performed in real time, at 30 second intervals. Improve your foot skills, ball mas...

  18. How can I use homework to help players get better?

    There are lots of practices which players can do at home with mum or dad, which will help them get better. Children want to practice with friends or with their parents, solitary football can be a bit tedious. A simple 1-1 session like this could also help: 1 to 1 Football Practice: Ball Control, Passing and Movement.

  19. Eight Tips for First-Time Youth Soccer Coaches

    2. Teach in Motion. One of the best ways for young soccer players to learn the rules is while playing. A method of soccer coaching that embraces this philosophy is Play-Practice-Play (PPP). Play practice play is a way of structuring practice so that each practice starts and ends with fun, low-pressure, free play.

  20. 5 Homework Tasks for New Soccer Coaches

    Since many youth soccer coaches have never coached or played soccer, you have some homework ahead of you to fulfill your responsibilities for this task. As a new soccer coach, you must get a handle on the basics such as rules, terminology, and youth soccer strategies. Know the "Laws of the Game". Get a rule book and learn the rules of the game.

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  24. MLS expands youth development program, offering free coaching resources

    Versions of youth soccer in the U.S. have long focused on identifying talent to go pro. In 1999, the Super Y-League was founded in affiliation with U.S. Soccer and MLS for that purpose.

  25. Too much too young? Beware the hype around teen soccer prodigy Cavan

    Still, too much too young. Leeds United took on Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup final last Friday night deprived of the club's most highly regarded teen. Harry Gray, grandson of Frank ...

  26. Opinion: Restricting and monitoring social media won't protect kids

    Restricting and monitoring kids' access to social media — as two new acts, the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) and the Protecting Kids on Social Media Act would do — won't protect children ...