Are you coaching kids under 8? Try this U8 soccer practice plan! The focus is on fundamental dribbling skills.
We’ll begin with a fun warmup game. Then work on dribbling to create space in game-like situations.
Finally, we’ll play a modified scrimmage to emphasize the skills we worked on during practice.
If you’d like a printable version of this practice plan, click the button below!
Phase 1 – Dribbling Number Game (0:00-0:10)
- Set up a 20 x 20 yd. box using cones (change the size of the box depending on number of players).
- Have all the players dribbling in the space cutting, turning, and pulling moves.
- When the coach holds up a number between 1 and 5 and players are to shout out the number they see.
- Encourage players to dribble with their head up, and try to make moves to separate themselves from players around them.
Phase 2 – Dribbling to Create Space (0:10-0:30)
- Set up a few 10 x 15 yd. boxes. Have 4 players assigned to each box.
- Players will play one vs. one.
- They have to dribble over an end line to score.
- The defender has to start on his or her end line before applying pressure.
- Have players play for 1 min and then switch.
- Change to 2 vs. 2 after each group player has done 3 rotations.
- Encourage the attacking player to make a move before the defender comes instead of waiting for the defender to apply pressure.
WATER BREAK – 30 Seconds
Phase 3 – Dribbling in Game-Like Situations (0:30-0:45)
- Create a 40 x 30 box with two 3 yd. goals at each end.
- Give teams directions and let them play.
- To score they can dribble over the end-line for 1 point, pass through the goal for 2 points, or dribble through the goal for 5 points.
- Remind players to use the skills they practiced earlier.
Phase 4 – Play and Apply (0:45-1:00)
- Split the teams evenly.
- Specify which team is going which direction and allow them to play.
- Depending on the number of players you have you can make the field bigger or smaller.
- Look for opportunities to apply what you have coached in a game-like situation and reward players for using the skills and techniques that were taught in practice in a game-like situation.
COOL DOWN AND STRETCH