Recommended Soccer Pre-Game Warm-Up and What To Do Prior To The Game

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,

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 ( we would end up chasing balls that missed the goal or kids would get hit in the head). 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 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 and going over your game strategy (for example, if you want your Fullbacks to "Defend Deep").

P.S. Try our iron-on patches -- they really motivate the kids and make it more fun. Also, play the "Dribble Around Cones & Pass Relay Race" a lot -- it will really help.

Good Luck,

David SoccerHelp