Dribbling And Control

Week 2 Soccer Practice Drills for U4, U5 & U6 Teams


Field Setup

  • Each player has a ball
  • Set down cones to make a 40×30 steps field for 10 players – larger if more players
    • Anything can be a cone (an article of clothing, a water bottle, any marker)
    • Set cones every ten steps
  • Do not set up any goals
    • If there are goals, players will shoot on them and not listen to you
  • Demonstrate each drill / game before starting it


Drill 1 – 5 minutes

  • Dribble the ball anywhere within the field of play, using only your feet
    • Remind players that they can use any part of their foot
  • Use the entire space
    • Do not let players bunch up
  • Keep the ball close while dribbling
    • Can the players run and keep the ball under control
    • Players who are walking should be urged to run
    • Players who are running too fast should be urged to slow down in order to stay under control

Game 1 – “Lights” – 5 minutes

Objective: Follow directions to get to the opposite side of the field
  • Players line up on one of the long (40 steps) sidelines
  • You are on the opposite sideline
  • Game: Call out a color light
    •  Green light: they run and dribble towards you
    •   Yellow light: they walk and dribble towards you
    •   Red light: they stop the ball with the bottom of their foot – the sooner the better (Remember the HINT from the previous drill: keep the ball close to you)
    •   Disco light: they stop and give you their best dance moves
  • If players advance too fast because they are not under control, send them back to their last spot
    • There are no winners for reaching the opposite sideline first, everyone goes at their own pace
  • After players reach the opposite sideline, you go to the other side and do it again



Drill 2 – 5 minutes

Week 2 Level 1 Drill 2 - Circles

  • Use cones to set up two circles within the field of play
    • Send half of the team to one circle and half of the team to the other circle
    • You will use these two circles for the rest of the practice
  • Dribble around the outside of the circle
    • Everyone goes in the same direction
  • Every minute or so, switch which direction you are dribbling in


Game 2 – “Relay” – 5 minutes

Week 2 Level 1 Game 2 - Relay

  • Remind players to keep the ball close to them so they can control where it goes
  • One player at a time on each circle
    • The other players line up inside the circle to wait their turn
  • Dribble around the circle once
    • When finished, a teammate takes the ball and does the same
  • Once everyone is done going around once, do it again, going the other way
  • Repeat two or three times


Drill 3 – 5 minutes

Week 2 Level 1 Drill 3 - Relay

  • Same as Drill 2, except players now slalom through the cones
    • If you go to the right of the first cone, go to the left of the next cone

Game 3 – “Slalom Relay” – 5 minutes

  • Same as Game 2, except the players now slalom through the cones


Game 4 – “Ball Retriever Circle Challenge” – 10 minutes

Week 2 - Level 1 - Game Ball Retreiver

  • Objective: Dribble a ball back to your base after completing a dribbling challenge around the circle
  • Setup
    • Put a couple of cones down to create a base in two opposing corners of the field
      • Half of the team lines up behind one base, the other half lines up behind the other base
    • Put all of the balls in the two circles
      • Number of balls in a circle = Number of players in the corresponding base
    • 2 players go at a time, starting from their bases in opposing corners of the field
      • The players are not competing to beat the other player, but to complete the challenge
        • The rest of the players line up behind their base and wait their turn
  • When you say “Go!” the players run to the balls and dribble them by slaloming around the circle
  • After getting around the circle, the player dribbles the ball back to the base
  • The next 2 players go
  • When everyone has completed the challenge, do it again but this time dribble in the other direction

Drill 4 – 5 minutes

Week 2 Level 1 Drill 4 - Inside Circle

  • Dribble inside the circle
    • Less space requires more effort to control the ball


Drill 5 – 5 minutes

Week 2 Level 1 Drill 5 Shield

  • Teach the players to “shield” the ball
    • Put your body between the ball and the opponent trying to steal the ball
      • Keep the ball close enough to you to control it but far enough from the opponent to steal it
  • Interchangeably call out “dribble” or “shield”
    • “Dribble” – players will continue to dribble inside the circle
    • “Shield” – players will stop the ball with the bottom of their foot and put their body between the ball and an “imaginary opponent”

Game 5 – “Cookie Monster” – 5 minutes

Week 2 Level 1 Cookie Monster

  • Recruit two “cookie monsters”
    • Two adults – one for each circle
      • You could be one of them, but it is better for you to coach and correct the players
  • Ball = cookie, for the purposes of this game,
  • Players dribble inside the circle
    • When a cookie monster approaches them, they shield the cookie by getting between it and the cookie monster
    • When cookie monster leaves, the players continue to dribble


End Practice

  • 1,2,3 Go “team name”!