Your first game in youth soccer can be terrifying with the weight of parents’ expectations hanging over you, but my tips can help you cope with that and give you the strength to make it a great experience for you and your players MORE
Kick-off (U7-U12 game)
“Pass the ball forward to a team mate” • “Now dribble the ball” • “Support the player with the ball”
Your should use half your pitch for this and work from the centre spot.
In the first part of the game, two players stand by the centre spot and one passes to the other who kicks it towards the sideline where a player will be running.
This is all about getting onto the front foot straight from kick-off. Balls played back into the midfield often end up with the opposition. Here the players may not be good kickers at first but they will get better each time they practise it. The ball doesn’t have to go far to be a successful forward kick.
In the second part, one player runs up and kicks forward with a couple of runners going after the ball on the right side of the pitch. Continue play all the way to the goal so the players understand this is what they are working towards in a match.
Practise the two ways to do the kick-off – you can do it for a few minutes at each training session as a way of warming the players up.
How many players do I need?
This is a three man kick-off but you can add defenders if you have odd numbers of players.
Timing is key to the kick-offs.
Praise players for good attempts.