INDIVIDUAL & 1v1 SOCCER DRILLS v1.7
U6-U7-U8 Individual & 1v1 Soccer Drill:
This soccer drill will be run at center field around the outside of the circle. If you do not have access to the center of a field then create a large circle with cones. If your team consists of 10 players or less then have them do the following. Dribble around the outside of the circle in the same direction. When you blow the whistle have each player dribble directly across the circle to the other side. The purpose of this soccer drill is to avoid hitting another player or their soccer ball. In order to do this the players are going to need to learn to dribble the soccer ball with their head up, looking at where they are going. I like to run this soccer drill several time, alternating how the players dribble. For example, the first time have them use only their right food, second time their left foot, third time the outside of their foot, or inside...so on and so on. Alter as you see fit, but emphasize keeping their head up and the ball close to them. They should also be moving at a pace, not walking, not running but somewhere in between. If your group is larger that 10 players then number them 1 & 2 and then call out the number and only that group dribbles across the circle. Learning to dribble with their head up will play a big role in the future development of the player. It provides field vision for passing, dribbling, putting moves and much more.
U6-U7-U8 Individual & 1v1 Soccer Drill:
This soccer drill is designed to have the players dribble the ball while looking up. They should also focus on keeping the ball close to them while moving quickly. Have the players line up on a side line, each with a ball and facing towards the other side line. They should have at least 7 yards between them so they do not run into each other. As the coach you will be about 30 yards in front of them and will be required to run backwards towards the other sideline. Have the players begin dribbling at a good pace while keeping the ball close. You will raise your hand and the players will need to repeat the number of fingers you are holding up. If you see players dribbling and the ball getting too far in front of them then yell "FREEZE" and the ball will roll away from them. They should be able to stop the ball when you say freeze. If they can not stop the ball, simply point out that if the ball is getting away from you then you do not have control which increases the chances of it being taken from you. Continue all the way to the other side line and have them turn around, where your assistant will be waiting to do the same thing the other way. I like to run this soccer drill several times. Once they get the concept of control and freeze, tell them you are going to call out a particular type of move, like a dip or cut (see other drills for examples), at which time you will want them to do the move, but also that they need to keep their head up to call out the number of fingers you are holding up. Point out that the reason you want them to have control is because without control of the ball it would be impossible to attempt a move.
U9-U10 Individual & 1v1 Soccer Drill:
This is a 1v1 soccer drill designed to work on both offense and defense, while promoting aggressiveness. Set up a goal with cones. The goal should be about 5 yards wide. Players should form two lines about 30 or 40 yards from the goal. The lines should be facing the goal and roughly 5 yards from each other. Please note, as a coach you are going to want evaluate your players by skill level and have them match up against a player of similar skill. If you have a large group then create two sets of goals so you can have more players going at one time. One player will start with the ball (designate right or left) and they will be the offensive player, the second player will be the defensive player. The goal of this soccer drill is to have the player dribble and score, while the other player tries to take the ball. If the defensive player does get the ball then he/she then becomes the offensive player and tries to score, while the other player becomes defensive. This soccer drill could play out over an extended time, but I encourage you to let it go until they score or it goes out of bounce. Have the players switch lines when they return. Emphasize to the players that this is practice and they should be working on individual moves, shielding the ball with their body (see other drills) and defensive pressure. They have nothing to lose...it is practice.