Best Soccer Drills for 7-Year-Olds: 10 Must-Try Resources for Boosting Their Skills!
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Coaching a group of energetic 7-year-olds can feel like herding cats, but with the right activities, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Are you struck out on activities? You’ve luckily come to the right place as I share the best soccer drills for 7 year olds!
I searched high and low to find the most effective and fun drills for kids developing their motor skills and cognitive abilities rapidly. At 7, they begin understanding concepts like teamwork, competition, and fair play, so it’s crucial to provide them with soccer drills that’ll allow them to practice their newfound knowledge.
So, let’s huddle up, plan our strategy, and get ready to transform your U7 team into the stars of tomorrow!
- Importance of Age-Appropriate Soccer Drills
- Fundamental Soccer Skills for 7-Year-Olds
- Recommended Resources and Websites for Coaching Youth Soccer
Importance of Age-Appropriate Soccer Drills
When coaching young players, it’s essential to recognize that not all soccer drills are suitable for every age group. Designing an effective training session means understanding what works best for your players’ unique needs and skill levels. For 7-year-olds specifically:
- Their physical development is in full swing but still at a beginner stage
- They have a solid foundation when it comes to basic soccer techniques
- Rules comprehension and game strategy are still being developed
By focusing on these aspects during training sessions with tailored exercises, you’ll provide your young athletes with opportunities for growth while ensuring they enjoy themselves on the field!
Fundamental Soccer Skills for 7-Year-Olds
Before diving into specific drill recommendations, let’s quickly review some fundamental skills that should be taught early:
- Basic ball control: Touches on various parts of both feet
- Dribbling: Small touches using inside/outside foot surfaces
- Passing/receiving: Accurate passes & cushioned receptions with different surfaces
- Shooting/finishing: Striking balls accurately toward target or goal
Best Soccer Drills for Improving Ball Control
Gates Drill: Set up several pairs of cones to create mini “gates” scattered across your practice area. Have players navigate through the gates with their soccer ball, using various parts of their feet and different techniques for controlling the ball.
Moves Mastery: Teach players some basic moves like step-overs, scissors, and Cruyff turns. Encourage them to try these during small-sided games or scrimmages.
Effective Dribbling Drills for Young Players
The Snake: Set up a line of spaced-out cones or markers in a zigzag pattern. Ask your 7-year-olds to weave through the path while dribbling the ball, focusing on keeping close control as they change directions.
Dribble Relays: Divide your players into teams and set up a relay course with multiple skill stations (like dribbling around obstacles or performing step-overs). Teams must complete each challenge before progressing to the next station and tagging in their next teammate.
Fun Passing and Receiving Exercises for Kids
Triangle Pass Three Ways: Have players form groups of three that create equal-distance triangles. Players should practice passing/receiving from left-to-right (clockwise), right-to-left (counterclockwise), then mixing it up randomly—having them call out teammates’ names will help develop communication skills too!
Goal Scoring Techniques and Target Practice Tips
Teach proper shooting technique by emphasizing plant foot placement beside the ball, striking with laces or inside foot surfaces depending on shot type, following through toward target after kicking.
For target practice drills:
- – Use small goals/targets placed at different heights/distances.
- – Incorporate challenges/races where players compete against one another.
Teaching Proper Defensive Tactics to 7-Year-Olds
Shadow Defender: Pair players up, with one taking the role of an attacker and the other as a defender. The defender must block any attempts by the attacker to get past them or reach a designated target, teaching correct defensive body position and angle.
Incorporating Teamwork and Cooperation into Training Sessions
Small-sided games (e.g., 3v3 or 4v4) provide opportunities for young players to apply their skills in game-like scenarios while emphasizing teamwork.
Rondo-style exercises help develop passing accuracy, decision-making ability, and cooperation within groups of varying sizes (e.g., 4v1 or 5v2).
Recommended Resources and Websites for Coaching Youth Soccer
For additional coaching guidance and inspiration, consider these resources:
- US Youth Soccer Association
- Coaching Soccer Weekly Podcast & Blog
- Football Federation Australia – Game Training Plans & Videos
- Soccer Coach Weekly: A repository of free drills divided by age group.
- The Little Book Series: A collection of soccer books specifically designed for coaches working with children.