Soccer Drills That Are Practice Games

Hit The Coach ™ (4-stars)

(Dribbling and kicking the ball with both feet while looking up, getting used to chaos and being bumped, U4 & U6)

If you Coach U4 or U6 (ages 3, 4, 5 or 6) watch Coach Doug's Videos for More U6 Ideas

Read about or subscribe to Coach Doug's Site for Coaches of Ages 3, 4, 5 and 6

Watch a Video of the "Hit the Coach™" Practice Game

READ THIS: If the kids aren't ready for Hit the Coach, start with Soccer Bees. It is easier and even the youngest players can do it.

Teaches:
This is my favorite soccer drill that is a game for U-4 and U-6 players. It's easy, fun and the kids love it. 100% onball. This games teaches tremendous skills - dribbling, kicking the ball while running, looking up while dribbling and kicking the ball, getting used to contact (a very important thing for young players - because they will all be chasing the coach, they will be close together and bumping each other and it will be chaotic, which gets them used to the mental stimulus of games). This game is self-teaching and they learn by playing the game. Dribbling and kicking the ball in a crowd while looking up isn't easy and this is a fun way to learn those skills. You can see this on the Coach Doug video clips.
Comment:
A simple, fun soccer game for U4 and U6 soccer practice.
Set-up:
  • Each player has a ball
The Game:
  • Players stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing Coach who is about 5 steps away
  • On "Go", the Coach runs slowly away while players dribble to chase him & try to hit him with the ball by shooting at him
  • They get 1 point each time they hit him
  • Recruit parents to help & split into 2 games or even 3, so it is less crowded
  • Stay in a small area & have fun with this game
  • Play for about 5 minutes
Variation:
  • Before starting, tell the players that if they hit you 5 times (total) you will make the sound of their favorite animal, like a dog or a cow, etc. When you are hit 5 times, stop & let them choose a sound. Then start all over.
  • Try to stop about every 60 seconds. You can adjust by changing the number of required hits to 3 or 4

Comments:

Whether children continue to play soccer will have a lot to do with whether it is fun at early ages. SoccerHelp Practice Games are designed to be fun, to teach important skills and concepts, and to keep players active. We don't use "knock-out" or elimination games which leave kids standing on the sideline and we don't use games such as "Crab Soccer" which are fun but have many kids crawling on the ground instead of learning to play soccer. There are thousands of drills on the Internet, but most are not well thought out, efficient, effective or fun. Most drills and games do not provide enough touches on the ball or the activity level is too low (i.e., there is too much standing around) to meet SoccerHelp standards. SoccerHelp Practice Games are selected from hundreds we have tried and less than 5% of the games we evaluate are selected for SoccerHelp Premium. We believe in positive motivation and don't believe in punishing a child who has tried their best but lost a Practice Game. Thus, we do not recommend punishing the losers or making the losers leave the game.

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