There is an awful lot in soccer (football) which can be achieved just as well by coaching easy soccer drills for kids as intricate ones. Often with players at U5-U9 the simpler the way the game is played, the better it is for them. Use this straightforward soccer drill to get your players kicking the ball past their opponents and moving quickly to make the most of their advantage.
For instance, one example of keeping it simple is knocking the ball past a player and running to beat them. If you get your players to practise this soccer drill they will realise they don’t have to pass the ball all the time, they can get into good positions by pushing the ball into a space and following it.
Basic soccer skills drill
Most young players will be square on to the player with the ball so if they push the ball past, the defending player has to turn and shift their balance and start running from a standing start. This gives the attacking player the advantage and they can surge past the defender and move into the space to get an easier pass or a shot on goal.
In 7-a-side games your players will have a lot of space on the pitch to push the ball into, so they will be able to get past defenders by pushing into space and running onto the ball.
Your players can push the ball past on one side and run past the defender on the other or they can push past and run past on the same side.
You can practise these soccer skills using a mannequin (as in the diagram), or use a cone if you don’t have one. Try a soccer drill where you get players to line up eight yards either side of the mannequin and run at it, pushing the ball past on one side and following the ball. When they are past it, they can pass to the queue then join it at the back. The player at the front of the queue repeats the drill in the opposite direction.
Develop the drill
You can advance this soccer drill by replacing the mannequin with a real player who is allowed to tackle. Then play a small-sided game in which you want to see players pushing into space and following the ball to beat an opponent.