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)

Soccer Practice for Kids Under 8 - Dribbling Game
  • 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)

Dribbling Drill for U8
Dribbling to Create Space
  • 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)

Game-like soccer dribbling drill for U8
Dribbling in Game-Like Situations
  • 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)

U8 Soccer Practice Plan Phase 4
Play and Apply
  • 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.


Next step… learn more dribbling drills, or check out our complete set of soccer practice plans.