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.

PHASE 1 - Dribbling Number Game (0:00-0:10)

Setup:  Set up a 20 x 20 yd. box using cones (change the size of the box depending on number of players).

How It Works:

1.  Have all the players dribbling in the space cutting, turning, and pulling moves.

2.  When the coach holds up a number between 1 and 5 and players are to shout out the number they see.

3.  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 (0:10-0:20)

Setup:  Set up a few 10 x 15 yd. boxes. Have 4 players assigned to each box.

How It Works:

1.  Players will play one vs. one.

2.  They have to dribble over an end line to score.

3.  The defender has to start on his or her end line before applying pressure.

4.  Have players play for 1 min and then switch.

5.  Change to 2 vs. 2 after each group player has done 3 rotations.

6.  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)

Setup:  Create a 40 x 30 box with two 3 yd. goals at each end.

How It Works:

1.  Give teams directions and let them play.

2.  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.

3.  Remind players to use the skills they practiced earlier.

PHASE 4 - Play and Apply (0:45-1:00)

Setup:  Split the teams evenly.

How It Works:

1.  Specify which team is going which direction and allow them to play.

2.  Depending on the number of players you have you can make the field bigger or smaller.

3.  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

For more drills and practice plans like this, download our complete

Essential Soccer Dribbling and Ball Control Drills eBook