Dribbling And Control

Week 7 Soccer Practice Drills for U7, U8 & U9 Teams

Drill 1 – Dribble and Juggle Boxes – 10 minutes


Dribble and Juggle Box Setup

  • Split the players into 2 teams
  • Setup two 20×20 steps boxes
    • The boxes should be about 15 steps away from one another, if space allows for that
  • Every player has a ball


  • Keep your head up when dribbling to switch between the boxes


Dribble and Juggle Box 1

  • In one box, the players will juggle the ball
    • Repetition in trying to keep the ball from hitting the ground without using your hands
  • In the other box, the players will dribble the ball
    • Every 20 to 30 seconds call out a different move they should perform

Dribble and Juggle Box 2

  • When you say “Switch!” the players dribble into the opposing box and switch what they are doing
    • Switch about every minute
    • Make sure to remind players to keep their heads up as they dribble to avoid collisions

Dribble and Juggle Box 3

  • The jugglers become dribblers
  • The dribblers become jugglers

Drill 2 – Dribble and Move Boxes + Pass – 10 minutes


Dribble and Move Box Setup

  • Pair up the players so that each player in one box has a teammate in another box
  • One ball per pair
  • One box is a dribbling box
  • The other box is a movement box
    • Players move just like they are dribbling, but are doing so without the ball


  • When passing the ball between the boxes, make sure to
    • Lift your head and make eye contact with your teammate
      • Do not just kick the ball into the other box and make the teammate go get it
    • Then pass the ball


Dribble and Move Box 1

  • Players in one box dribble
  • Players in the other box move without the ball

Dribble and Move Box 2

  • When you say “Switch!” the passers make eye contact with their teammate in the other box and then pass the ball

Dribble and Move Box 3

  • The movers now become dribblers
  • The dribblers become movers

Drill 3 – Pass and Move Around the Box – 5 minutes


Setup Passing Boxes

  • Split the players into two teams (at least 5, but hopefully no more than 8 players per team)
    • If you have more than 16 players, create a 3rd box
  • Send one team to one box, and the other team to the other box
    • Send at least 1 player to 3 of the 4 corners of the box, and at least 2 players to 1 of the 4 corners
  • Only one ball is needed
    • The ball should be at a corner that has at least 2 players at it


Around the Box Clockwise

1. Player passes the ball to a teammate on the next corner of the box; 2. Player makes a run to the back of the line at the corner of the box where the ball was just passed to; 3. Receiving player traps the ball into space that player will be passing the ball to; After passing the ball off to the next corner of the box, the player makes a run to the back of the line at that corner of the box; etc.

  • Player passes the ball to the 1st player in line to the left
    • Player follows the ball by running to the back of the line the ball was just passed to
  • That player traps the ball and passes it to the 1st player in line to the left
    • Player follows the ball by running to the back of the line the ball was just passed to
  • Every minute or so switch the direction in which the players are going, to the left or to the right (clockwise or counterclockwise)
    • See if the drill can go without breaking down (the ball keeps moving, the players move after the pass)
  • HINT: Encourage players to trap the ball into the space they will be passing it into
    • Trap to the left rather than in the front to facilitate faster ball movement when going to the left

Game 1 – Monkey in the Middle 1 Defender – 10 minutes


Monkey in the Middle 1 Def Setup

  • One ball per box
  • Send one defender (the monkey) from each team into the opposing box


  • Remind the players that they are going to be more successful if they move to “open up” an angle for a clear path between them and the passer as discussed in the previous week’s “Game 1 – 3v1 – Empty Cone” game


  • See how many consecutive passes the team can make without
    • the defender taking the ball away
    • the ball going out of bounds (out of the box)
  • Every 2 minutes switch the defender

Game 2 – Monkeys in the Middle 2 Defenders – 10 minutes

Same as Game 1, except:

  • Send 2 defenders to the opposite box
  • Tell the defenders that if one pressures the ball the other should anticipate where the next pass is going
    • This technique is generally taught when the players are a little older, but this can be their 1st exposure to it without going into depth as we did here

Game 3 – Scrimmage – 15 minutes

  • Remove the boxes used in previous games and 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
  • The players should already be split into two equal teams from the previous games
  • For the first 5 minutes, demand that the team on offense makes at least 3 passes before trying to score
    • Remind players to move when they do not have the ball to “open up” angles between them and the passers
  • If the 3-pass rule is working successfully, for the next 5 minutes demand that the team on offense makes at least 5 passes before trying to score
    • If not successful, just keep it to 3 passes and continue to emphasize the need for movement before the pass is made
  • For the last 5 minutes play without restrictions

Week 1 - Level 2 - Scrimmage


End Practice

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

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