Ball Control & Shooting

Week 8 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 – Dribble With Different Parts of the Foot – 5 minutes

  • Players dribble anywhere in the field of play
  • Every 30 or so seconds, call out a different part of the foot the players will use to dribble the ball
    • Inside, Outside, Top (laces), Bottom (Go here to find short videos showing this dribbling)


Drill 2 – Dribble and Stop – 5 minutes

  • Players will still dribble anywhere in the field of play
  • Every 30 or so seconds call a different part of the body to tell the players to stop the ball with that part of the body (bottom of the foot, knee, bottom, tummy, elbow, etc.)
    • HINT: The closer they keep the ball the sooner they will stop it
    • Take a few seconds each time to see that everyone has stopped the ball as instructed


Game 1 – “Spiderman” Coach – 5 minutes


  • Each player has a ball
  • The coach holds a training vest

Spiderman Setup


  • Players dribble anywhere within the field of play
  • Spiderman (the coach) chases the players with a training vest

Spiderman Caught

  • Spiderman throws the training vest at players’ balls
    • Players evade the vest by dribbling or shielding the ball from it

Spiderman Frozen

  • If a vest touches the ball then the players have to:
    • Pick up the ball and hold it in their hands
    • Stand with their feet spread wide apart in one spot, as if they caught by the spider web (kind of like freeze tag)
    • Players remain in the  web until another player passes a ball through the caught player’s legs, which untangles them from the spider web
    • The player can then drop the ball onto the ground and continue to play
  • In the meantime, spiderman picks up the vest again and looks for the players to entangle into the web
Spiderman Through the Legs

The caught player waits for a teammate to pass the ball through their legs to be released from the web. The teammate runs around the caught player, after passing it through the legs, to get to the ball and continue dribbling and shielding it away from spiderman


Spiderman Unfrozen

The caught player is untangled from the web, drops the ball, and starts to dribble and shield it away from spiderman again.


Game 2 – “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 3 – “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 4 – Sharks and Minnows – 5 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 5 – “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


  • Encourage players not to lose composure as a monster approaches them
    • They have the power to protect the cookie from the monster by positioning themselves correctly or by keeping the ball close to them while dribbling it


  • 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 6 – “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


Drill 3 – Trap, Dribble and Pass – 10 minutes


Trap Dribble and Pass Setup

  • Split the team into two lines
    • Passing line and shooting line
    • Put down two cones behind which the two lines will stand
  • The coach stands at the opposite end of the tunnel from the goal
    • The coach has all of the balls


Trap Dribble and Pass 1

  • The player in the passing line runs forward, and the player in the shooting line runs towards the goal
  • The coach passes the ball slightly in front of the player running from the passing line

Trap Dribble and Pass 2

  • The player from the passing line traps the ball
  • The player from the shooting line continues the run towards the goal

Trap Dribble and Pass 3

  • The passer passes the ball towards the shooter
  • The shooter traps the ball
  • The shooter passes the ball into the goal

Trap Dribble and Pass 4

  • The passer joins the back of the shooting line
  • The shooter retrieves the ball from the goal
  • The shooter joins the back of the passing line
    • The shooter leaves the ball with the coach before joining the back of the passing line
  • After 5 minutes the passing line becomes the shooting line and vice-versa to ensure players are getting used to both the right and the left side of the field


Drill 4 – Trap, Turn, Dribble and Pass – 10 minutes


Trap Turn Dribble and Pass Setup

  • Lay down 5 cones that look like a diamond with a cone in the center of it
    • The cones should be located about 10 steps away from the goal
  • Coach stands in the same spot at the end of the tunnel opposite of the goal
    • The balls are behind the coach
  • The players line up behind the goal
    • The first player in line stands between the coach and the cones set in the shape of the diamond


  • Demonstrate to players how to turn with the ball that is stopped in front of them
  • Use a part of the foot (inside, outside, bottom, or heel) to send the ball behind you and then turn the body to follow the ball
    • Avoid running around the ball to face forward, rather move the ball behind you first and then turn the body to face forward


Trap Dribble Through Diamond and Pass 1

  • Coach passes the ball to the player
  • The player traps the ball in front

Trap Dribble Through Diamond and Pass 2

  • The player turns with the ball
    • Uses one part of the foot to touch the ball towards the goal
    • Turns the body to follow the ball

Trap Dribble Through Diamond and Pass 3


  • The player dribbles through the diamond
    • Use the center cone as a guide where to dribble

Trap Dribble Through Diamond and Pass 4

  • Once out of the diamond, the player passes the ball into the goal
    • Encourage players to pass the ball while jogging forward and without stopping to readjust before the pass
  • The player goes to the back of the line
  • The next player in line gets the ball out of the goal, passes it to the coach, and stands between the coach and the cones
  • The coach passes the ball to the player, and the drill is repeated for 10 minutes


End Practice

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

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