Soccer Warm Up Drills on Game Day
Recommended Pre-Game Activities and What To Do Prior To A Soccer Game
Don't let them shoot on goal
Use that time as an opportunity to improve and to be sure they are ready to play

See Stretching - Good or Bad?

(Below is a letter from a Premium Member and my reply.)

Dear SoccerHelp,

I am a Girls-U8 AYSO coach and a Premium Member. I have been using some of your Practice Games at practice, and it has been working out great.

What is the best thing to do with the girls during the 15-minute warm-up before the game starts? Traditionally, girls line up and kick balls into the goal (almost every team I have seen does this), but it seems like the girls would benefit more from a game or activity where they will get more ball touches. Do you have any particular games that you would recommend for this?

Thank you for your wonderful web site.

Coach Jean

Hi Jean,

Thanks for being a Member.

What I found worked best was light activity such as small groups passing the ball around (2 to 4 passing it around). I never saw the benefit of kicking it into the goal and, in fact, it can be dangerous. We would end up chasing balls that missed the goal and once I had a kid get hit in the face when he stood up after picking up a ball in the back of the goal. I think there are better things to do than randomly kick balls at the goal.

Also, I found it counterproductive to do anything that burned up a lot of energy -- it seemed that my players didn't have any extra energy to waste and played better if they were fresh.

I recommend you spend at least 5 minutes prior to the game being sure every player is "hydrated" (have them drink water or Gatorade), being sure they've all gone to the restroom, that shoes are tied, going over your game strategy (for example, if you want your Fullbacks to "Defend Deep") and giving a brief pep talk. As Coach Doug says: "You're the Coach - you're in charge of the fun!"

If you have enough balls, a slow game of "Dribble Across a Square" would be an excellent warm-up -- it would be a way for your players to show their dribbling skills to their parents, and it would be impressive and psych-out the other team -- or, a slow game of "Follow the Leader".

It can also be a good time to go over last minute reminders such as: proper technique for throw-ins (use the "Throw-Ins Teaching Game"), strength on the ball (use the "Shoulder Tackle Game"), or a Short Corner Set Play, Positions, Movement Off the Ball, How to Set-Up Your Goal Kick, what it means to Defend Deep (if you Defend Deep), or Coaching Rule No. 3 (Coaching Rule No. 3 is a great one to go over since you can do it on the field). This is a good time to go over things ON THE FIELD if you don't have a real field and a real goal to practice on. Use this time as another opportunity to help your team improve and to be sure they are ready to play.

Good Luck,

David at SoccerHelp

Legal Notice - Allowed Uses and Copyright Protection. We allow anyone to link to this article or to You may also copy on paper for handouts up to 10 pages from PROVIDED: you include "Source:" at the top or bottom of the article. To copy our work without crediting us is stealing and we WILL protect our copyrights and Trademarks. We would rather be nice than mean, so please follow the guidelines in this paragraph. It is illegal to post any information from SoccerHelp on the internet without written permission from David or Kay Huddleston. If you want to share our information, simply post a link to that page of SoccerHelp. We will allow short quotes of up to 50 words to be posted PROVIDED you do not remove any references to, do NOT disable links, do not copy any images, and provided you add a READABLE FUNCTIONING LINK on the TOP of the same page that goes to and says "Copyright, used with permission". The link MUST work for both visitors AND search engines and must be at least a size 12 font. We have to enforce this due to blatant theft and to protect our copyrights. We hire a service to look for copyright violations and report violations to the search engines. Taking our original material and making minor changes is still copyright violation and we WILL enforce our copyrights. Thanks for your cooperation. Copyright 1999-2020, David and Kay Huddleston