Ball Control & Shooting

Week 9 Soccer Practice Drills for U4, U5 & U6 Teams

Game 1 – Ball Retriever – 5 minutes

Objective: Dribble a ball back to your base without running out of bounds


  • Create 2 small bases in 2 opposing corners of your field
    • You can just put a cone in front of the corner of your field to create a base
  • Put 2 balls in the center of the field
  • Split players into 2 teams
    • Each team lines up in the opposing corners, off of the field
    • 1st player in each line steps into the base


Week 1 - Level 1 - Game Ball Retreiver
  • 2 players go at a time, starting in opposing corners of the field
  • When you say “Go!” the players will run to the balls and each will dribble one of them back to their corner
    • The ball must stay in bounds
    • Players must use their feet only
    • The ball needs to be stopped dead in the corner of the field with the bottom of the foot on top of the ball
    • The objective is not to be faster than the other player, but to stay in bounds
  • The next 2 players go…

Game 2 – “Ball Retriever Circle Challenge” – 10 minutes

Objective: Dribble a ball back to your base after completing a dribbling challenge around the circle


Same as Game 1, except:

  • Place two circles in the middle of the field
  • Put all of the balls inside the circles
    • Number of balls in a circle = Number of players in the corresponding base


Week 2 - Level 1 - Game Ball Retreiver

  • When you say “Go!” the 1st players in the 2 lines run to the balls and dribble them by slaloming around the circle
  • After getting around the circle, the player dribbles the ball back to the base
  • The next 2 players go
  • When everyone has completed the challenge, do it again but this time dribble in the other direction

Game 3 – “Cookie Monster” – 5 minutes

Week 2 Level 1 Cookie Monster

  • Recruit two “cookie monsters”
    • Two adults – one for each circle
      • You could be one of them, but it is better for you to coach and correct the players
  • Ball = cookie, for the purposes of this game,
  • Players dribble inside the circle
    • When a cookie monster approaches them, they shield the cookie by getting between it and the cookie monster
    • When cookie monster leaves, the players continue to dribble


Game 4 – “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 5 – “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 6 – “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 7 – 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

Drill 1 – 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

Drill 2 – Trap, Turn, Double Pass and Pass – 10 minutes


Same as Drill 1, except:

  • Introduce a passing line on the outside of the cones
  • Half of the players line up behind the goal and the other half line up in the passing line


Same as Drill 1, except:

Run Through Diamond


  • Once the player in the middle receives a pass from the coach and turns with the ball, instead of dribbling through the diamond the player passes the ball to a teammate in the passing line

Run Through Diamond 2

  • The player in the middle then runs through the diamond
    • The passer traps the ball and passes it back to the player in the middle

Run Through Diamond 3

  • The player in the middle traps the ball somewhere between the diamond and the goal and passes the ball into the goal

Run Through Diamond 4

  • The middle player joins the back of the passing line
    • The 1st player in the middle line gets the ball from the goal, goes to the front of the diamond to prepare to receive a pass from the coach, and gives the ball to the coach
  • The passer joins the back of the middle line
  • After 5 minutes, switch the passing line to the other side

End Practice

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

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