Dribbling And Control

Week 4 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

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

Game 2 – “Lights + Part of foot” – 5 minutes

Same as “Lights” except:

  • Every time you call “Green Light” orYellow Light” also call out either “Inside” or “Bottom” of the foot for players to dribble using only that part of the foot

Game 3 – Sharks and Minnows – 10 Minutes


Sharks and Minnows

  • The minnows (the players) start with the balls at one end of the field
  • The shark (the coach) starts in the middle of the field without a ball
  • When you say “Go!” the minnows have to cross the water (the field) to the other side without the shark taking the ball away from them
    • If the players manage to get to the other side, they go again and try to cross the water again, etc.
  • If the shark takes the ball away from a minnow, there are two variations of what happens next – we prefer the first option because the young players continue to dribble the ball
    • Either the caught minnow just rejoins the others at next try
    • Or, the caught minnow also becomes a shark (fun, but no dribbling involved for the sharks)
      • You may play both variations, do the first option for the first half of the game and the second option for the rest of it
  • COACHING POINT: Encourage players not to lose composure when a shark comes near
    • They can either dribble by the shark
    • Or they can shield the ball from the shark

Game 4 – “Cookie Monster” – 5 minutes

Remind players how to “shield” the ball

Shielding a 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

The game

  • The players dribble around until a “cookie monster” (coach or a parent volunteer) approaches them
  • Players then protect the ball (the “cookie”) by shielding it from the “monster”
    • When the “monster” goes away the players continue to dribble

Game 5 – “Pirates” – 5 minutes


Setup Pirates

  • On one side of the field place down cones in a circle to create a “pirate ship”
  • Place a number of cones on the other side of the field to be the “treasure”



Pirates Step 1

  • Players dribble a ball from the pirate ship to the treasure

Pirates Step 2

  • Players pick up a piece of treasure (a cone) and dribble the ball back to the ship to bring the treasure to it

Pirates Step 3

  • Players drop the treasure in the pirate ship and then dribble the back to get more treasure
  • When all of the treasure is in the ship, ask the players (the “pirates”) to return the treasure

Game 6 – “Pirates” + Part of Foot – 5 minutes

Same as Pirates, except:

  • Every minute or so ask the players to use either just the inside or just the bottom of their foot to dribble
    • This should last for about 20 seconds and then let the players dribble normal

Drill 1 – 10 Minutes with setup

5 Cones Passing Setup

  • Place down 2 lines of cones – about 10 steps apart from each other – with the distance between the cones at about 5 steps
  • Pair up the players
  • Each pair has one ball between them
  • Each pair has 2 cones it will use as a goal
    • One player goes on one side of that goal
    • The other player goes on the other side of the goal
  • The players should be roughly 7 steps apart from each other


Passing inside

  • Take two steps to approach the ball
    • Not straight on, but with a little bit of a curve in the approach
  • Plant the non-kicking foot next to, and a little bit behind, the ball in the direction in which you want the ball to go in
  • Lock the ankle of your kicking foot, so it is sturdy with the toes pointing slightly up
  • Use the inside of your foot to kick the ball in the center
  • Follow through with your kicking foot so it comes off of the ground, about shin high



  • Stay on your toes so you can move to the ball
    • Don’t watch the ball roll by you
  • Move side-to-side to where the ball is going
  • Use the inside of your foot to stop the ball in front of you
  • Lift your foot just slightly off the ground
    • This way the ball does not roll over your foot
  • But, do not lift the foot too much
    • This way the ball does not go under your foot


5 Cones Passing 5 Yards

  • Players, who are about 7 steps apart, pass the ball to each other through the goal, about 5 steps wide
    • Force players to trap the ball before they pass it back
      • At least two touches, no one-touch passing as it will result in no control

Game 6 – 5 Minutes

Same as Drill 1 above, except: 

  • In 2 minutes, how many goals can a pair score
  • Take a minute to reiterate passing and trapping techniques and remind players they have to take at least 2 touches (trap then pass)
  • Go again for the remaining 2 minutes, how many goals can a pair score

Drill 2 – 5 Minutes


Trap and Etc Tunnel

  • Coach takes all of the balls to one end of the tunnel (between the two lines of cones)
  • Players line up on the other end of the tunnel


Trap and Dribble

1. Coach passes the ball to the player through the tunnel; 2. Player traps the ball in front; 3. Player dribbles the ball to the coach; 4. Player runs – outside of the tunnel – to the back of the line to await the next turn

  • Coach rolls a ball to a player
  • The player traps the ball in front
  • The player dribbles the ball back to the coach
  • The player runs back to the end of the line

Drill 3 – 5 Minutes

The same as Drill 2 above, except:

Trap and Pass

  • After players trap the ball, they pass it to the coach and then join the back of the line


End Practice

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

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