Website Manager

Northwest Soccer Club • Est. 1976

6U/8U Developmental Drills

6U Developmental Drills

Drill #1 — Soccer Toe Taps

Instruction:  Player begins with the ball at their feet and applies small touches on the ball with the sole of each foot, alternating right and left. The ball should be stationary while performing this drill.

Note:  The objective is to achieve ball control and basic familiarity with the ball on the foot.  

Drill #2 — Foundation (Inside of Feet)

Instruction:  Players shuffles the ball back and forth using only the insides of their feet.  Player should focus on technique first, and can build up speed over time.  If possible, player should maintain center of gravity and keep knees slightly bent.

Note:  The objective is to achieve ball control and basic familiarity with the ball on the foot.  

Drill #3 — Basic Passing Drill

Instruction:  Player and a partner stand approximately six to ten feet apart.  Player will pass the ball using proper technique (inside of feet and no toes) and partner will stop ball by utilizing proper receiving technique (either inside of foot or stopping ball gently with sole of foot)

Notes:  Rotate feet after about ten repetitions.

Drill #4 — Dribble through cones

Instruction:  Play through three or four cones, equidistant from each other, using proper technique (outside and inside of feet as they slalom through the cones).

Notes:  Focus on ball control, initially.  If player becomes comfortable with drill, increase speed as necessary.  Cones can be placed close together for a greater degree of difficulty.

Drill #5 — Kick Over Cones

Instruction:  Player strikes the ball in an attempt to knock over staged cones.  Plant foot should point to target, kicking leg should follow through to target.

Notes:  Drill teaches player directional passing, shooting and general aim.  As player improves, the distance between player and come should increase.  

Drill #6 — Basic Receiving Drill

Instruction:  Emphasize on the use of inside of foot to receive passes from a partner (or, if no partner is available, a wall can be used).  

Note:  At this age, the focus should be on proper receiving technique from a stationary position rather than aggressive receiving or receiving the ball while in motion.

Drill #7 — Pull Back Drill

Instruction:  Emphasize proper technique. With the ball slightly out in front of the player, the sole of the foot is placed on top of the ball which is then pulled back past the standing leg. Player pivots, opening up to the ball as this move is made, changing the direction of their dribble. Players may start with a stationary pullback and then work up to a dribble/pullback combination, dribbling for 5 to 10 yards then executing the pullback technique.

Note:  Focus should be on technique rather than speed.  

Drill #8 — Shooting Drill

Instruction:  Player should focus on proper shooting technique, using top of the laces.  Total number of shots dependent on player’s endurance, focus level and time.  Can use nets or some other modified form of a backyard "goal".   

Note:  Focus should be on players not utilizing their toes to kick the ball.


8U Developmental Drills

Drill #1 — Toe Touches With Movement of Ball/Toe Touches in Circle

Instruction:  While performing basic toe touches, players should focus on advancing the ball forward or pulling the ball back toward them with each soft touch. This improves control, touch and general dribbling capability.

Progression: While performing toe touches, ball stays in approximately the same place as the player rotates around the ball.

Note:  More advanced players can focus on speed however ball control is the aim of this drill.  

Drill #2 — Inside-Inside; Inside-Inside Moving Laterally; Inside-Inside Forward/Back

Instruction:  Player alternates using inside of feet — right-left-right-left — in quick succession to keep the ball moving quickly between their feet.
Progression: Player uses same inside-inside technique, but now attempts to move right for 4-5 yards, then back to the left 4-5 yards as they do it.

Progression: Player now moves forward, then back while using the inside-inside technique.

Note:  Player should focus on ball control first, then build up speed as they get comfortable.

Drill #3 — Inside-Inside Roll, Inside-Inside Pull Turn

Instruction:  Player alternates using inside of feet — right-left-right-left — on next touch, player rolls the sole of their foot sideways over the top of the ball to make it roll 2-4 yards to the side, where they will shuffle over and re-engage with the ball using a left-right-left-right-left combination to drag the ball back the other way.

Progression: Same alternating of inside touches, but then using a pull turn technique to change direction rather than a rollover. while developing confidence in using both the inside and outside of each feet.

Note:  Player can take extra left-right touches to set themselves up to make a proper rollover or pull turn until they get comfortable with the skills. They should work up to taking no more than 4 touches before a change of direction.

Drill #4 — Inside-Inside Escape

Instruction:  Player alternates using inside of feet — right-left-right — then on next touch, player uses the outside of their left foot to change direction (dipping shoulder to get low, as if dribbling away from a defender). Repeat the same sequence in reverse, using the outside of the right foot to go back the other direction.

Progression: Same alternating of inside touches, but then using a pull turn technique rather than a rollover. while developing confidence in using both the inside and outside of each feet.

Note:  More advanced players can focus more on speed and/or perform drill with someone else defending

Drill #5 — Trapping the ball

Instruction:  Player throws ball into the air above them, then uses feet, thighs or chest — pulling away from the ball immediately after contact to “deaden” the ball — to first establish control of the ball and thinking about secondary movement/ technique after the initial trap.

Note:  More advanced players should perform proper trap technique than secondary movement (pass or individual advancement of ball)

Drill #6 — Receive/One Touch/Control and Pass Drill

Instruction:  Player should focus on receiving ball (passed from a partner) using proper technique — pulling their foot away immediately after contact to “deaden” the ball. Once ball is controlled, player takes one touch with the outside of either foot to create space (“take the ball somewhere new”), then pass the ball back to their partner or to a designated area/position where their partner can meet the ball.

Note:  Passes should be approximately 8-12 feet

Drill #7 — Shielding Techniques Drill

Instruction:  Player receives a pass from a partner, then shields their partner from the ball as they advance to try and steal it.  Then players alternate roles.  

Note:  Passes should be approximately 10-15 feet

Drill #8 — 1v1 Moves To Beat a Defender

Instruction:  Player dribbles at a defender or cone, then just before reaching it uses a change-of-direction move or combination of moves (step over, scissors, escape using outside of foot to push the ball to the outside, pull back-and-V, for example) to avoid/go around that defender.

Note:  Player should try different moves or combination of moves, practicing until their movements are fluid. Quick decision making, quick feet and technique are the focus of this drill.  

Drill #9 — One-Touch Shooting Drill

Instruction: Players receive a ball from a partner while it is in motion, and shoot towards a goal.  There are various ways for the player to receive the ball — a lay-off pass from another player (who has his/her back to goal) or from a directional roll.

Note:  Player should focus on striking the ball (with the laces of their boots) while it is in motion rather than stopping the ball, then shooting.  Player should practice receiving This becomes critical as your player becomes older and more advanced.  

Drill #10 — Basic Juggling

Instruction:  Starting with the ball in their hands, player drops the ball toward their feet, then uses their feet, thighs and/or head (if they feel comfortable) to keep the ball from hitting the ground.

Progression:  Starting with ball on the ground, player uses a pullback technique to roll the ball onto one foot and pop it up in the air to start their juggling.

Progression: Starting with ball on the ground, player uses a pullback with one foot to roll the ball onto their other foot in order to pop it up to start juggling.

Note:  Initial focus should be on technique, keeping touches light and controlled so that the ball does not bound away. Eventually, try to get 10 touches before the ball hits the ground, then 20, then 50, then 100, then ???  Keep track of your own progress!