Dribbling And Control

Week 3 Soccer Practice Drills for U10, U11 & U12 Teams


Field Setup

  • Each player has a ball
  • Set down cones to make a 60×50 steps field for 18 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 – Juggling – 5 minutes

  • Juggle the ball for 5 minutes
    • The objective is to keep the ball from falling to the ground using your feet, thighs, shoulders, or head. Give the players 5 minutes to see how many touches they can get without the ball falling to the ground.
      • Players should remember their high score
      • Keep the high score to themselves. In future practices they will try to improve on this high score

Drill 2 – Dribbling – 5 minutes

  • Dribble the ball anywhere within the field of play
  • Use the entire space
    • Do not let players bunch up
  • Keep the ball close to you while running
    • 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
  • Have the players perform some moves on your command
    • Stepover, Inside-out, Outside-in, Stop-and-go, Cruyff, Inside-inside (go here to find videos showing these moves)
  • Make sure the players are using both feet equally
  • Make sure the players keep their head up while dribbling
    • Safety – to see where they are going
    • Technique – to see where they could pass the ball to

Drill 3 – 10 minutes (with setup and instruction)

Setup Square Balls On Inside

Drill 3 involves 3 mini drills. The first 2 mini drills use the setup described below. The only difference in the setup of the 3rd mini drill is that it switches where the soccer balls are at the beginning of it.

  • Split the players into two equal teams
    • Hand out pennies (training vests) to one team
  • The players wearing the pennies stand on the outside of the cones without any soccer balls 
    • For the 3rd mini drill, the outside players have the soccer balls
  • The players wearing regular shirts are inside of the cones with soccer balls at their feet
    • For the 3rd mini drill, the inside players are without the soccer balls
  • HINT: For all of these drills, it is extremely important that players keep their head up in order:
    • Not to collide with other players (safety), and
    • To communicate with each other (for drill to work)
      • The communication has to be two-ways.
        • The player dribbling/passing the ball calls out the name of the teammate that ball is going to be dribbled/passed to
        • The player receiving the ball confirms with the dribbler/passer that they are about to exchange a dribble/pass.
    • Encourage players to go to a different side of the field to after they take over a dribble or receive a pass, rather than just going to their neighbor

Drill 3 – 1st mini drill – takeover – 2 minutes

Dribbling Takeover

  • Inside players dribble the ball to an outside player
  • Players perform a takeover
    • The inside player (the dribbler) calls out the name of the player on the outside where the ball is being dribbled
    • The outside player says “my ball”
    • The inside player stops dribbling the ball and the outside player takes it over
  • Player that was outside is now inside, dribbling the ball into the middle, looking for another player on the outside to perform a takeover with
  • Player that was inside is now outside waiting for another dribbler that will come to perform a takeover
  • Go for 2 minutes


Drill 3 – 2nd mini drill – dribble+pass+move – 2 minutes

Square Passing Exchange 1

Square Passing Exchange 2


  • The same as the 1st mini drill, except:
    • The inside players now pass the ball to the outside players
      • The inside player calls out the name of the outside player, the intended receiver
      • The outside player acknowledges that the pass from that passer will be received
      • The pass is made
        • The inside player runs to the spot where the pass went and waits for another pass to come
    • Outside players trap the ball, dribble into the middle, and pass it to another outside player
      • After making the pass, the player runs to that outside spot to await the next pass

Drill 3 – 3rd mini drill – trap+turn+pass – 1+1+1+1 minutes

Setup Square Balls On Outside

  • Outside players start with the ball
Square Trap Turn Pass

1. Outside player passes to the inside player; 2. Inside player traps the ball

Square Trap Turn Pass 2

3. Inside player turns with the ball; 4. Inside player passes the ball to an outside player who does not have a ball at the feet; 5. Inside player runs towards an outside player with the ball to receive a new ball

  • Ball is passed to an inside player
    • Inside player traps the ball, turns with it, and finds another outside player (one without a ball) to pass the ball to
      • Remember the HINT about keeping the head up for safety/communication
  • The players do not switch inside/outside in this drill
  • After passing the ball, inside player looks for a pass from another outside player and performs the same: trap, turn, and pass to another player (one without a ball)
  • Go for 1 minute then switch inside/outside players
  • Go for another minute then switch inside/outside players again
  • Go for 1+1 more minutes to give each group a 2nd try on the inside

Game 1 – Scrimmage – Switch the Field/Switch the Point of Attack – 20 minutes

Scrimmage Switch the Field Setup


  • The players are already split into 2 teams
  • Place goals on the endlines of your field
  • Lay down a line of cones to designate a defender-free area, 7-8 steps wide
  • Put 2 players, 1 from each team, into the defender-free zone
  • These “wings” play for both teams, running up and down the line, wherever the ball is located
    • Every 2 or so minutes switch who the wings are to make sure everyone gets a turn


  • The teams cannot score a goal until both of the wings have touched the ball during a possession
    • Every time the team wins the ball it should look to…
      • Pass to one wing
        • Encourages going out wide early
      • Then pass to the other wing
        • Switching the field/point of attack
    • … before it shoots

Game 2 – Regular Scrimmage – 5 minutes

  • Take away the defender-free zones and the wings and see if the players continue to pass wide early and/or try to switch the field/point of attack

Drill – Switch the Field/Point of Attack and Shoot – 15 minutes (with setup and instruction)

  • Demonstrate proper shooting technique
    • Trap the ball 2 to 3 steps in front of you
    • Run up to the ball, lock your ankle, lean forward so your chest is over the ball, and shoot using either:
      • The inside of your foot to place the ball into the goal (more accuracy less power)
      • The laces to shoot the ball harder (more power less accuracy)
  • Put a goalkeeper in the big goal
    • If you don’t have a goal to work with, place two cones/bags/shirts about 8 big steps apart
    • Give the goalkeeper the same instructions as if you would for a game
  • Split players into 3 lines
    • The “passing” line has all of the balls and is located:
      • Wide right, 5 to 7 steps from the right sideline
      • 40 steps from the goal line/endline
    • The “turning” line is located:
      • In the middle of the field
      • 35 steps from the goal
    • The “shooting” line is located:
      • Wide left, 5 to 7 steps from the left sideline
      • 30 steps from the goal line/endline
  • Put a cone to act as a defender on the top of the 18-yard box, to the left of the center
Shooting Switch the Field 1

1. Player in the passing line passes the ball to the turning line and then joins the back of the turning line; 2. Player in the turning line turns with the ball

  • Player in the passing line passes the ball to the turning line
    • After the pass is made, the player joins the back of the turning line
  • Player in the turning line turns with the ball
Shooting Switch the Field 2

3. Player in the turning line passes the ball to the shooting line and then joins the back of the shooting line; 4. Player in the shooting line traps the ball; 5. dribbles towards the “defender” (a cone), and; 6. beats a defender with a move

  • Player in the turning line passes the ball to the shooting line
    • After that pass is made, the player joins the back of the shooting line
  • Player in the shooting line traps the ball, dribbles towards the “defender” (a cone), and beats a defender with a move
Shooting Switch the Field 3

7. The player shoots the ball and then retrieves the ball and joins the back of the passing line

  • The player shoots the ball
    • The shooter retrieves the ball and joins the back of the passing line


End Practice

  • Team cheer
    • 1,2,3 Go “team name”!

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