Dribbling And Control

Week 3 Soccer Practice Drills for U7, U8 & U9 Teams



Field Setup

  • Each player has a ball
  • Set down cones to make a 50×40 steps field for 12 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 – Intro to Juggling – 5 minutes

Players stand in a big circle, holding the soccer balls in their hands

  • From chest-high
    • Drop the ball and hit it back up into your hands using your thigh
      • Keep an eye on the ball and watch as your thigh hits it
        • HINT: Your thigh hits the ball, not the other way around. You control where the ball goes
      • Repeat several times, then,
    • Drop the ball and hit it with one thigh, then the other thigh, and then catch it with your hands
      • Keep an eye on the ball and watch your one thigh, and then the other thigh, hits the ball
      • Repeat several times, then,
    • Drop the ball and kick it with your foot back up into your hands
      • Again, keep an eye on the ball and watch as your foot kicks the ball back up
        • Do not drop the ball and try to kick at the same time (many players do this), but wait for it to drop close to your foot before kicking it back up
      • Repeat several times, then
    • Drop the ball and kick it with one foot, then the other foot, and then catch it with your hands
      • Watch the ball get kicked with one foot and then the other foot

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
  • Every 30 seconds or so, ask players to perform one of 3 moves learned during Week 1 or Week 2

Drill 3 – Inside-Inside move – 10 minutes

  • Demonstrate the move
    • Dribble at a moderate pace
    • Then, tap the ball slightly with the inside of one foot (to freeze the defender) and immediately take a big touch with the inside of the other foot to beat the defender
    • Accelerate for several steps
    • Go back to dribbling regularly at a moderate pace
  • For the first 5 minutes, players dribble, but when you say “Inside-Inside” they perform the move
  • For the next 5 minutes, players dribble, but when you call out a move (stop-and-go, inside-out, stepover, inside-inside), players perform the move you called out roughly every 30 seconds


Drill 4 – Pass and Move – 5 minutes

Passing inside

  • Reiterate proper passing technique
      • Find your target (where you are passing)
      • Take two steps away from the ball
      • Run up to the ball so that your planted (non-kicking) foot is to the side of the ball, and slightly behind it, and pointing in the direction you want the ball to go
      • Lock the ankle of your kicking foot, so it is sturdy and the toes are pointing slightly up
      • Use the inside of your foot to kick the ball in the center of it
      • Follow through with your kicking foot so that it comes off the ground, about shin-high


    Dribble Both Moving Pass

    1. One partner dribbles the ball; 2. The other partner moves without the ball; 3. Upon the “Pass!” command, the first partner finds where the other one is and passes the ball; 4. The other partner now dribbles the ball; 5. The partner who first had the ball is now running without it until the “Pass!” command comes again

  • Pair up the players
  • Both partners are moving anywhere in the field
    • one dribbles the ball and the other runs around without the ball in the field of play
  • When you say “Pass” the one with the ball finds where the other partner is and passes it
  • Both partners continue to move

Drill 5 – Pass and Move, 3 touch – 5 minutes

Same as Drill 4 above, except: 

  • The players now pass  the ball to one another on their 3rd touch
    • Take one touch to trap the ball
    • Take a second touch to get the ball going in the right direction
    • The third touch is a pass

Drill 6 – Pass and Move, Give-and-Go – 5 minutes

Same as Drill 4, except: 

  • For 2.5 minutes, one player dribbles the ball, the partner runs around without the ball
  • When you say “Pass”, about every 30 seconds
    • Player dribbling the ball passes it to the partner and makes a run into space
    • The partner takes one or two touches and plays the ball back to the dribbler
    • The dribbler continues to dribble while the other partner moves around without the ball
  • For the remaining 2.5 minutes, switch which partner is doing the dribbling and which is receiving and passing the ball

Game 1 – Scrimmage – 15 minutes

Week 1 - Level 2 - Scrimmage

  • Set up a small goal on each of the end lines of your field
    • Either use Pugg goals, or place two cones/bags/shirts about 3 steps apart from each other
  • Split into two teams
  • For the first 5 minutes, demand that any of the four moves (stop-and-go, inside-out, stepover, inside-inside) learned to date must be used before a team can score a goal
  • For the next 5 minutes, demand that a team must make a Give-and-Go pass before it can score
  • For the final 5 minutes, just play without restrictions and see if they continue to use moves and passes


Drill – Give-and-Go and Shoot – 10 minutes

Shooting Pass and Go Setup


  • Reiterate proper shooting technique
    • Trap the ball in front of you
    • Take a touch to get the ball 2 to 3 steps ahead 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 you would on gameday
  • Half of the players line up about 20 yards away from the goal (put a cone down that players will stand behind)
    • The other half of the players line up another 10 yards behind and to the side of the other line
      • This is the shooting line that will take the balls with them
Shooting Pass and Go Breakdown

1. Player from shooting line passes the ball to player in passing line; 2. The shooter then makes a run towards the goal; 3. The passer traps the ball; 4. The passer passes the ball in front of the shooter who is running towards the goal; 5. The shooter controls the ball in front to set up a shot; 6. The shooter shoots the ball

  • Player from the shooting line passes to the player ahead in the passing line
    • Player from the shooting line starts a run towards the goal after the pass
  • The player ahead in the passing line traps the ball, and passes it back to the player who is running towards the goal
    • Pass the ball in front of the runner, not at the runner
  • The player from the shooting line takes 1 or 2 touches to control the ball in front to set up a shot, and shoots the ball with the 2nd or 3rd touch
  • The shooter, not the goalie, retrieves the ball and goes to the back of the passing line (sends the ball to the back of the shooting line)
    • The passer goes to the back of the shooting line

End Practice

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

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