Get Ready For the Season With These Soccer Drills
The highly anticipated and long awaited start to our soccer season is less than a month away and I’m starting to get excited. Because sports have been basically out of commission for the past year and a half, it may be helpful to get some practice in before the season starts.
If you’re looking for some basic soccer drills and activities that kids can do in their backyards, you’re in the right place!
Some Supplies You Will Need
Before you get started on putting these activities and drills together, there are a few supplies you will need to get the most out of these practices. While you don’t have to purchase or use these exact supplies, they can help you out a lot. That being said, there is room for creativity and imagination when it comes to these drills, so use whatever you have at home.
1. Soccer Ball
This is probably the most important supply you’ll need for these activities. You can’t play soccer without a soccer ball, right? Most of us probably have a soccer ball lying around or tucked away in the back of the garage. If not, these are easily found at a department store or sports supply store. You may even decide to borrow a soccer ball from a neighbour. Whatever you do to get a ball, it’s important to have one and that it’s full of air so that it can be used properly.
Some pylons or cones are a great addition to your soccer drills tool box. Not only can they be great for dribbling drills, they can also act as goal posts if you don’t have a net. If pylons aren’t your thing, get creative! I remember growing up my brothers and I would use shoes, water bottles, trees, and chairs to act as pylons for us to dribble around. Sometimes this can even be more fun than just using simple, old pylons.
Similar to the pylons, having a portable soccer net can be a great asset to have when it comes to backyard soccer drills. Nets can help with shooting practice and aim, but they aren’t necessary to have. Once again, feel free to use whatever you have at home to make a goal boundary for your kids to practice with.
4. Cleats and Shin Guards
For at home practice, cleats and shin guards aren’t mandatory. However, like bike helmets and elbow pads, they can provide an extra bit of protection for when you start to practice soccer. They will also be needed for when the soccer season starts, so it might be the right time to invest in this equipment for your kids.
Three Drills/Activities to Get Ready For Soccer
1. In and Out
The first drill is a pretty straight forward warm up. All it takes is some pylons or obstacles and a soccer ball. Layout the pylons into a pattern with a few feet of space between each of them. Then, have your child dribble the soccer ball between each of the pylons. The closer the cones are to one another, the harder the drill will be. This activity is easy to adapt to age and skill level, so don’t be afraid to make it harder or easier depending on your child’s abilities.
The track can also be as long or as short as you want it. Maybe you only have three pylons and a younger child. That’s perfect. Space out the pylons with a generous amount of room and just focus on the dribbling and ball control skills. If you have an older or more advanced player, you can put the pylons closer together and focus on speed and accuracy. Or, if you have more pylons, make it a longer, more difficult course that will get their blood pumping.
2. Target Practice / Tunnels
For this drill, the goal is to kick the ball through a target, whether it be a hula hoop, a net, two pylons, or even just a parent’s legs. You can have your child stand a few feet away from the goal or “tunnel” and have them kick the ball and try to get it through the target. It will be important to teach kicking the ball with the inside of the foot, rather than with the toe.
Again, this drill can be adapted for different ages and skill levels. For example, with a more advanced player, you might try holding up a hula hoop in the air and having the child kick the ball off the ground. On the other hand, maybe simply having the player kick the ball through your legs might be the best way to start the drill.
One last soccer drill you can do in your backyard is to pass the ball around with your child. This basic move teaches ball control, helps with aim, and teaches the player to control how hard they kick the ball.
To start off, just kick the ball back and forth with your kids. Really focus on aiming at the partner’s feet and stopping the ball by placing your foot on top. When your child starts to get the hang of that, you can make it more difficult by moving further apart, adding more players, or not stopping the ball after each pass. This can be a simple way of getting your child used to playing soccer with other kids before the season starts
If you do any of these drills, send us a pic! You can send any photos to @reachforth on Instagram! We’d love to see them!