It is no secret that the diet and health of our children are very important and especially so as an athlete. U8 Soccer drills can be a big challenge to any coach because at this age, un-be-known to mom sometimes, it seems like the kids have been loaded up with sugar just before dropping them off at soccer practice and little Johnny just can’t sit still.
Let me just say, regardless of the sugar or caffeine kids have before practice they are still gonna be wired. Come on, They’re kids!
So how do you get little Johnny or sweet Audrey to sit still and actually have a profitable practice?
I am so glad you asked!
A Good Enough Practice
This is exactly why I am writing the article because as a coach I feel we need to be running the proper drills in order to give U8 players a good enough practice to improve their skill level. Mom actually left her kids with us to teach them soccer skills, not just watch them run around like chickens with their heads cut off.
There are certain soccer drills that will help U6, U7, and U8 soccer age groups to improve their skills and mental abilities. This means as a coach we should structure our drills geared towards giving the kids the opportunity for dribbling the soccer ball.
Why do I say “dribbling”?
Why not passing?
Why not teach them rules?
Well, it’s not that you shouldn’t teach these other things too, but, you might notice that at this age most all the kids want to either kick the ball around or shoot on the net and score a goal.
So, giving them a bit more of a structure and having drills that give the kids opportunity to touch (with their feet, naturally) the ball, will be beneficial to their soccer savvy.
But how do you take Audrey’s great attitude of always wanting the ball and make it work in a drill? Well then, let’s talk about some drills that will help.
5 Key Points That Will Help
Here are 5 key points that I believe could help a player like an Audrey capitalize on getting more touches on a soccer ball.
- Don’t be scared to make these drills a little challenging for your kids/players, but be careful not to make them too challenging where your kids/players are confused.
- At the U8 level, kids are just getting to a point of deciding if they love the game of soccer or not so don’t be surprised if you have to push them a bit from time to time.
- Doing these drills consistently will help players with their soccer skills and they will see improvement in time.
- Don’t be surprised if you start seeing your kid/player become the star on the field after putting these drills into practice regularly.
- Have Fun with these drills! No one likes a coach who is overly serious and never lightens up a bit! 😉
Seven U8 Soccer Drills
D. D. Rev. –
- Place 5 cones in a straight line.
- A player takes the ball and dribbles back and forth through the cones working on footwork and speed.
- When the player gets to the end they will do a little dance and then runs to the back of the line.
- Do this a few times so kids use both feet.
- Just right foot
- Just left foot
- Inside of both feet
- Outside of the foot (right and left)
Clean Up –
- Place 6 cones in a shape of a rectangle about 15-yards in length. The smaller the rectangle the harder the drill.
- Have 4-5 players on each team with each player having a ball.
- Get as many balls into the other team’s rectangle by the end of 2 minutes.
- Kids will work on dribbling, passing, shooting, a movement to balls, and how to have fun.
Kick Your Coach –
- Each player gets a ball and is trying to dribble and shoot the ball to try and hit the coach with the ball.
- They get 1 point if they hit you.
- 3 rounds. The first person to 3 wins the round.
Simon Says –
Kids love playing “Simon says”…
Have the players do what the coach does or what the coach says to do.
- Everyone has a ball at their feet.
- Each player in 2-3 rows. It can be shorter depending on how big your team is
- The coach will say, “Simon says, (Name soccer movement they have to do)”
Juggle-In Style –
- Each player has a ball juggling by themselves or with a friend/partner
- Tell them a number that players have to reach. If they reach it, applaud them and then encourage them to do one more than they did previously.
- *Age Importance – For this age start with 2 juggles depending on the player’s talent.
Volley Volley –
- Place 4 cones in a straight line.
- Player 1 is running between the cones working on footwork and speed
- Player 2 is lobbing the ball to player 1’s foot to volley after weaving through cones
- Player 2 can change what area of the body he wants player 1 to volley it from
- From chest to inside of the foot
- Inside of the foot or top of the foot
- Knee to top of the foot
Square Up Drill –
- Set up 4 cones in a shape of a square
- Player should be in the middle of the box with a ball at his feet
- Player will take 10 touches on the ball using different moves (toe taps, side rolls, pitter patter, etc.) then race to a corner cone by touching the cone with his/her hand.
- After each corner cone, the player comes back to the middle doing another 10 touches.
- They will repeat their moves every time they touch a cone.
- The drill ends when you touch each corner cone.
Fun Soccer Drills
There are many other drills one can use with the U8 soccer age group but remember the first few drills are meant to be fun. The last 3 are a little more challenging, but like I mentioned in the beginning, it is good to have a couple challenging drills to improve your player’s skill and mental ability.
These are cool soccer drills kids will enjoy but If all else fails, give the kids a soccer ball and have them run around the field with the ball. As a coach, we are trying to get these kids used to having a ball at their feet and learning how to dribble it close to their feet. I guess the one thing I would like to encourage the kids/players to do… is not kick the soccer ball way out in front of them if they are running around the soccer field with the ball. The goal would be to help them learn how to keep the ball close to their body/feet; thus the term dribbling.
The U8 soccer drills for this age should be a lot of fun and it is an age where you will see a lot of changes happening in their skill level of each player. Believe it or not, as the coach, the players are looking up to me, their coach, and they may even be thinking that their soccer coach is their favorite person in the world!
I relish this and take pride in it for it is a very large responsibility we have as coaches with these young soccer minds.
If you are a coach my suggestion and advice to you is to lead by being an example and lead well and implement these really fun soccer drills into your coaching arsenal!
Loving, serving, and bringing value to others,
Coach Phil is the co-founder of SoccerSkillsU.com and a private training coach. He is passionate about coaching young people and helping them to step up their game on the field. His personalized training style helps the student of the game have a seemingly unfair advantage over their opponent. Learn more about Coach Phil on his About Me page or his CoachUp profile.
PS. If you have any experiences or stories (I love to hear your game stories, win or loose) about anything soccer please feel free to leave it below. Or ask me a question and I promise I will do my best to answer it!