U11 soccer drills

These U11 soccer drills build on the basics your players have already learnt. Included in this section is a drill to get your players goalside, kick-off tactics to keep opponents guessing and an attack skills game. Click on the headings for detailed soccer drills complete with diagrams.



    • Defending the target man drill – Sometimes your team will play a team with one player who is much more talented than the rest. This could be a striker that they rely on to score all their goals, or the player who starts all their moves. Use this soccer drill to coach your players to defend against this style of play.


    • Soccer drills to help goalies stop a high cross – Corners, free-kicks and crosses can cause chaos if your goalkeeper doesn’t jump high and catch the ball. Use the following soccer goalie drills and tips to sharpen your goalie’s skills.


    • Soccer coaching tips to keep your goalie happy – The position of goalkeeper is always the hardest to fill in any youth soccer team. Use this soccer goalie drill and coaching tips to make sure your keeper is happy in his role.


    • Defender soccer drill to keep attackers at bay – When your defender is the last man, if he jumps into a tackle and doesn’t win it, the attacker is through on goal. So, you need to coach your players how to hold up an opponent until help arrives.


    • Kick off tactics to keep opponents guessing – Kick-offs are particularly important in junior soccer because if you’ve just given away a goal, or you are starting the first or second half of a match, you need your players to take the initiative. Use these kick-off soccer coaching tips and tactics to catch your opponents out.


    • Tackle techniques to wrong foot opponent – Quick-footed attackers look great when they run at defenders and leave them tackling thin air. You can coach your players how to do this and give them the confidence to go on match-winning runs.


    • Three way soccer drill for goalie and striker skills – Strikers and goalkeepers work well together in threes. This quick, shooting soccer drill keeps your goalkeeper on his toes and helps your strikers find the best place to put their shots to beat the opposition keeper.


    • Soccer coaching tips to boost defenders support role – When a defender plays the ball out of his penalty area to one of his midfielders or attackers, he should not stop running. He should run outside the attacker, to help put pressure on the opponents, says Dave Clarke. Use the following soccer coaching tips to put these skills into practice.



    • Soccer drill to get players goalside – Coaching your players to get goalside is one of the basic positional tips a soccer coach can give. Follow these soccer coaching tips and drills to make it clear to your team just what’s involved.


    • Soccer drill to get your players making the most of extra players – Your players will get used to taking advantage of extra players in overload situations in matches – if you use soccer drills regularly to get them practising this. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing an advantage given away by players not thinking or being aware of what is going on in front of them.




    • Finishing circuit drill to put striker skills to the test – This is a testing 1v1 finishing circuit to put your strikers through their paces as they face a different challenge at each stage of the drill. Players are constantly on the move, answering questions in both attacking and defending situations.


    • Soccer drill to get your back up defenders in the right place – When a defender is applying pressure to an attacker with the ball it’s important they have back-up in the form of a second or “covering” defender. That’s to ensure that if the attacker beats the first defender, any progress is stifled by the second one. Use these tips and drills to coach back-up skills



    • Attack skills game – There will always be situations in soccer matches where a lone attacker faces two defenders, but using this attack game in your soccer training drill sessions can build the skills to help your players give a good account of themselves.


    • Defending soccer drill using overload tactics – If your young defenders tend to go to the ball rather than stick with the attacker they’re marking, leaving big gaps in the defence, try the following soccer drill. You are aiming to overload your defence to help defenders understand they need to watch the movement of the attackers and the ball when balls are played into the danger areas they’re defending.


    • Soccer drill for overload situations – Attacking against different numbers of defenders means the difficulty level of this soccer drill is changing each time a goal is scored. For the defence, the ability to anticipate and dictate the passage of play is necessary in order to win the ball when the odds are stacked against them.


    • Soccer attack drill for the way players are facing – Attackers don’t always need to try to turn and beat defenders when they get the ball with their back to goal. A good tip is to get your players varying their tactics. Follow this soccer drill for an alternative approach.



    • Help your attackers when their back is to the goal – Follow these soccer coaching tips and drills to improve your attackers’ understanding and skills when their backs are to goal. It is a skill in itself being able to turn or move the ball into space without having the luxury of seeing where all the defenders and the goalkeeper are.


    • Soccer coaching tips to make throw ins attacking – Throw-ins in the attacking third of the field are more than just a way of re-starting play, they’re also a means of launching attacks. Coach your players to make the most of them with the following soccer drills.


    • Soccer attack drill using 2v1 – Players are reacting to decisions all the time in a game – decisions they make and decisions their team mates make. With this soccer attack drill, I am looking for players to support quickly once they have chosen their attacking partner.


    • Soccer drill to boost striker skills and awareness – Strikers find themselves in all sorts of situations during a game, so you have to coach them in training drill sessions to prepare them for what they will face. Try this soccer drill to help players become more aware of what is going on around them and able to react at full speed and intensity.


    • Small sided game to get midfielders linking defence with attack – The midfield is the engine room of your football team, it makes everything else tick. The following soccer coaching tips and small sided game should help link your defenders to your attackers, so when the defence clears the ball into midfield it is moved quickly on to the attackers to fire at the goal.


    • Put your opponent under pressure with this soccer drill – Knowing when to tackle an opponent or close them down is an important part of the art of defending. Often players will jump in too soon, or not get tight enough at the right time, in both cases the attacker will have the chance to beat the defender. Use this soccer drill session to get players putting defenders under pressure.


    • Coach players to defend long ball over the top of their heads – I find it hard to accept when we let in a goal in the last 10 minutes – especially if it’s a goal that turns a win into a draw or a draw into a loss.Tired players are often caught upfield by swift counter-attacks that destroy all the tactical planning and good skills in the rest of the game. Coach your players in a recovery plan move to handle this situation.


    • Goalkeeper drill to deflect the ball – In a perfect goalkeeper’s world, every shot would be cleanly caught and brought into the body. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Tony Carr, academy director of West Ham United, English Premier League, has this soccer training drill to help goalkeepers deflect the ball safely away from the goal using the correct technique and quick decision-making skills.


    • Footwork soccer drill for goalkeepers – Soccer coaching drills that focus on footwork are essential for your goalkeepers. Using hands to make a save is obviously crucial for shot stopping but if the goalkeeper is not in position, they’ll never get the chance to use their hands.



    • Muddy pitch warm up drill for goalkeepers – If the pitch is muddy, use this soccer drill to warm-up your goalie’s feet as well as their hands because in these conditions it is the goalkeeper’s footwork that will often be the deciding factor when the ball is played.



    • Soccer drill to get lone defenders delaying attack – Delaying an attack is vital when defenders are on their own at the back, waiting for reinforcements to arrive. So use this soccer drill to show your defenders how they can hold off attackers by pressuring quickly and keeping them away from goal.


    • Soccer drill for predatory attackers – A good attacker is always on the lookout for easy goals so they must be a predator around the goal area looking for rebounds off the goalkeeper, connecting with crosses and pouncing on any loose balls that come their way. This soccer training drill is a great way to  coach this.



    • Soccer drill to keep attackers on their toes – This soccer coaching drill session is about reacting to different situations in a mini tournament-style drill. It helps players to force the shape and direction of play.






    • Soccer drill to defend against midfield passing – Stopping opposition midfielders from passing through balls to their attackers is a vital part of a team’s defense skills. In this soccer drill session, the nearest midfield player must pressure the ball while the others stop a forward pass.



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