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Coaching Kids Soccer with Small Sided Games

Coaching kids soccer is very rewarding. It is a great way to give back to the game through teaching, and motivating players to fall in love with the game of soccer. 

Coaching young soccer players by using small sided games is a great way to instill passion for the game into young soccer players minds. The more pleasure kids have from their participation in the game, the more they will wish to practice, and play on their own to improve.

Kids love to play small sided soccer games, and scrimmages, as the fast pace of the game keeps them busy and entertained. 

Best way for soccer coaches to motivate players, and get them more interested in the game of soccer, is to allow them to simply play the game, instead of always running drills, and yelling instructions.

Small sided soccer games are great for youth player development due to many reasons listed below:

  • Frequent touch of the soccer ball.
  • Many opportunities to pass, dribble and score goals often.
  • Encourages regaining the possession of the ball through defending.
  • Active participation is maximized, minimizing inactivity and boredom.
  • Eliminates complicated rules like offside, keeping the game pace going.
  • THE GAME is the actual TEACHER / COACH for the kids.

Coaching kids soccer with small sided games require the goalkeeper to play field as well. Goalkeepers will gain the technical ability with their feet from an early age. This will come in very handy once they grow up, and have the ability to play with their feet.

Benefits for Coaching Kids Soccer Through Small Sided Games

  • Realistic skill on the ball will be developed.
  • Motor Ability: balance, agility, physical fitness and coordination will be greatly improved.
  • Perception: insight and awareness.
  • Problem Solving: vision, choices and decisions.
  • Psychological: fun, enjoyment, competition.
  • Learning the game by discovery, trial and error through playing.

Most important part of playing small sided games in soccer training is the constant repetition that will form many positive habits, and develop soccer playing ability.

Coaching kids soccer with small sided games will allow the Coach to be used as a facilitator, letting THE GAME teach, while the Coach can allow guidance and see the players strengths and weaknesses.

Coaches Notes for Young Players

  • Dribbling skills of the players.
  • Is the player capable of maintaining the possession, both as individual, and as a part of the team.
  • Is the player capable of creating scoring opportunities, both as individual, and as a team.
  • Players scoring ability.
  • Player composure when trying to regain possession of the ball, (DEFENDING).
  • Is the player adaptable to unexpected, and good at improvising appropriately.

Coaching Kids Soccer Using Small Sided Games

Coaching young soccer players through small games, and a few simple rules to follow, will make the game free flowing and fun for the players.

Playing in an environment like this will simulate real game tempo for young soccer players, allowing constant involvement with the ball through attacking, defending, or transitioning.

Small sided games are great to use with U8 soccer drills, U10 soccer drills, U12 soccer drills, or with older players in training.

Coach can observe players, and see their strengths, and weaknesses in the game.

Youth soccer players will fall in love with soccer, due to constant playing, and chasing after the ball.

Many great soccer players grew up playing small sided street style games, before joining clubs, and training in an organized environment.

With small soccer game drills, we are trying to mimic street soccer, and let the kids have fun, and play the game learning how to dribble, pass, shoot, think, react etc...

Reducing the number of players, instead of playing 11 vs 11, will allows players to experience real soccer at a very early age.

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Eight Soccer Drills with the Ball from my training session with young boys different ages and various skill levels with the soccer ball. Watch the soccer training video and read about each drill.


Soccer Ball Control Training Drills using the agility ladder and cones to get touches and work on agility, speed, and coordination. Watch the training video and read about this soccer drill.


Ball Control Drills for Soccer with Cones to maximize touches with the soccer ball.


Soccer Drills with Cones to develop players dribbling skills by controlling the soccer ball through the cone grid and finishing with a shot on goal.


Better Ball Control Drills give players 100s of touches on the soccer ball to help players move towards achieving 10,000 hours of contacts on the soccer ball.


Soccer Drills to Improve Ball Control will focus on the touches and technique before adding more and more speed after getting comfortable with the soccer ball.


Ball Control, Agility and Speed Drills for Soccer using basic equipment to set this drill up. Agility ladder, cones and a soccer ball. 


Simple Soccer Drill to develop touch on the ball and improve shooting off dribble. It is best to have 3 - 4 soccer balls so you can complete 3 - 4 repetitions one after another.


Ball Control Soccer Drills for Kids have to include lots of touches on the soccer ball, with different parts of the foot, and direction change with the ball.


U10 Soccer Training Drills focus on maximizing touches on the soccer ball through various turns and close control of the soccer ball. Apply this fun soccer training drill to any age group of soccer players for lots of touches, turns, creativity, and finishing with a shot on goal.


Adapt this Ball Control Soccer Drill in training, or get creative and add some things to it. Becoming a better soccer players takes a lot of work and dedication to training. The harder you work in training, transfers to how hard you will work in games.


Soccer Trapping Drills are done in repetition to help player get more touches on the ball coming from the air. This soccer exercise is going to help players build coordination on the ball, and first touch to turn into space with the ball coming from the air.


Beginner Soccer Drills are based on developing coordination, and getting familiar with the surface of the ball. Beginner soccer players may, or may not, have good balance and coordination, which helps in learning how to control the soccer ball using the feet.


Soccer Drills for Beginner Players are focused on fun and playing with the ball to improve the players coordination and skills with the soccer ball at their feet. This is a fun soccer drill for beginner soccer players, but it can also be adapted to more skilled players by getting creative with the training drill instructions.



Beginner Soccer Player Drills should be fun and entertaining. This soccer drill is simple and every player needs to have a soccer ball before the drill is started.


Simple Soccer Training Drills for players of all ages. This drill can be done with cones set up in a line or zig zag formation.


Coaching Kids Soccer is very rewarding. It is a great way to give back to the game through teaching, and motivating players to fall in love with the game of soccer. 


Soccer Drills for Kids should be focused around fun and lots of touches on the ball. What better way to have fun than to simply play a small sided game with 2 goals to score on.


Small Sided Drills for Soccer are great for players of all ages. Younger players will benefit from small sided games as they are more involved in the game, both defensively and offensively. 


Attacking Soccer Drill is a great way to build the attacking players confidence, decision making, and skills on the soccer ball. Defenders will also benefit by playing defense and trying to stop the attacking players. 


Soccer Dribbling Drill with lots of fun and the game itself teaching players both attacking and defensive responsibilities. Players also have to be aware of the their number being called, sprinting into action to try and get to the ball and attack their opponent.


Passing Soccer Drill teaches players in possession of the ball to keep the soccer ball with the intention of completing passes splitting the defenders to earn a point.


Wide Attacking Soccer Drill teaches players to stretch the soccer field wide and open more space to build up the attack. Pass the ball wide and relieve pressure in the midfield.



1v1 Soccer Drill is a great way to improve the players confidence and skills on the ball. The objective for this soccer drill is to give players the freedom to take players 1 on 1 whenever they find themselves in the opponents half of the field.



First Touch Soccer Training is an essential part in every soccer players training routine. First touch soccer drills are a simple way to improve any player’s first touch on the soccer ball through repetition, and consistent training.


First Touch Soccer Drill done in practice, or out of practice with friends or parents. Players will develop better overall touch on the ball, and learn the positive habit of always running toward the pass, instead of waiting for the soccer ball.



First Touch Drills for Soccer need to focus on technique first. Young players try to do everything fast and the technique suffers. Teaching them to slow down and learn first is the best way in getting the technique correct.



First Touch in Soccer is crucial and more important as players get older and have less time on the soccer ball. Good first touch skills will allow players more time on the soccer ball to make creative decisions on the field.


First Touch Soccer Drills should play a very important part in every soccer players training routine. First touch soccer drills are a simple way to improve any player’s first touch on the soccer ball through repetition, and constant training.