If you are a youth soccer coach and you’re coaching 7-year-olds (U8), you’ll know just how much fun soccer practice can be for these kids. Soccer is all about having fun and when kids are having fun on the soccer field, their love for the game naturally grows. As a youth soccer coach, it can be challenging to come up with fun and fresh games and activities to do at practice, and so we have put together these 7 fun soccer drills for 7 year olds.
7 Fun Soccer Drills And Games For 7 Year Olds
There are many different types of drills you can do with 7 year olds to practice various different skills. There are warm-up drills, passing drills, shooting drills, turning drills, and so on. The most important thing, however, is making sure the kids are having fun. This means playing lots of games. All the drills below can be used as a fun warm-up activity, or as a fun game at the end of your training sessions.
1. Star Wars Passing Drill
This first drill is based on a ‘Star Wars’ theme and is a super fun game U8 kids can play to practice passing. There will be two teams; ‘The Dark Side’ and ‘The Jedi Knights’ and they will battle each other for control of the ‘universe’.
To set up this drill, first, make a 25×25 yard grid with small cones and divide the kids into two teams. Make one team the ‘Dark Side’ and one team ‘The Jedi Knights’. Next, give one ball to each of the Jedi Knights, and then have the two teams line up on opposite sides of the grid.
How To Play
To play this game, the kids on the ‘Jedi Knights’ team should try to pass the ball and hit the players on the ‘Dark Side’ team with the ball below the knee. The players on the Dark Side team can jump, run, dodge, etc, to avoid being hit by the ball. If a player on the Dark Side team is hit by the ball, they are out and must step out of the grid.
The coach should time how long it takes for the Jedi Knights to eliminate all the Dark Side players. Then, the players should switch roles and play the game again.
Coaching Points And Tips
As the players are only 7 years old, it’s possible they get a little too excited and may kick the ball in the air, which could hurt another player. To discourage this, be sure to tell the kids that if they hit a player above the waste, then that kid is out or has a penalty time out.
Here are some useful coaching points to keep in mind when playing this game:
- Players should pass using their inside foot for a more accurate pass.
- Players should keep their heads up to see their opponents’ movements.
- Players should approach the ball at an angle and step into the pass.
2. PacMan Game
This next soccer drill is based on the classic game PacMan and is a great game to play with 7 year old kids at practice.
For this drill, you’ll need many balls (enough for each player) and some small cones. Set up a 20×20 yard grid and place all the balls together outside the grid. Choose two of the kids to be the ‘Ghosts’ and have them stand outside the grid next to the balls. Tell the rest of the players that they are ‘PacMans’ and ask them to spread out inside the grid.
How To Play
When the coach blows his/her whistle, the two Ghosts enter the grid with a ball each and then try to catch a PacMan by doing a push pass and hitting them below the knee with the ball. If a PacMan is hit with a ball, then that player becomes a Ghosts and retrieves their own ball from outside the grid and then proceeds to try and hit other players with the ball. The last PacMan standing is the winner.
This fun drill is a great activity to focus on passing skills. Tell players the ABC’s of a performing a push pass; Approach at an angle, maintain Balance, and make contact at the Center of the ball using the inside of the foot.
3. Tom And Jerry Game
This soccer drill is a fun game of ‘cat and mouse’ in which kids will practice turning and dribbling as they are chased by other players. This drill is perfect for U8 players and can even be played with younger kids in your training session.
Using small cones, set up a 20×20 grid. Then, put players into pairs and designate one player as ‘Tom’, the cat, and one player as ‘Jerry’, the mouse. Give a ball to each ‘Tom’ player in each pair and tell the kids that the ball is actually a big piece of smelly cheese that Jerry wants to eat.
How To Play
To catch the ‘cheese’ (the ball), Jerry must sneak up on Tom and tap him/her on the shoulder. At which point, Jerry should place his/her foot on the ball and perform a drag back turn and then race with the ball to the opposite side of the grid. As soon as Jerry taps Tom on the shoulder, Tom can chase Jerry and try and steal back the ball before Jerry gets to safety.
Before and during the drill, demonstrate to players how to accurately perform a drag back turn. Be sure to emphasize that players should accelerate quickly after turning with the ball to escape pressure. You can also encourage players to make bigger touches and longer strides as they try and dribble the ball quickly away from Tom.
4. British Bulldog Drill
Based on the fun playground game ‘British Bulldog’, this drill is a big hit with 7 year old players. Players must dribble the ball across a grid without being caught by the ‘Bulldog’.
Prepare enough balls so you have one for each player and set up a 20×25 yard grid. Choose one player to be the ‘Bulldog’ and ask that player to stand at the center of the grid. Have the remaining kids spread out at one end of the grid with a ball facing the the Bulldog.
How To Play
When the coach blows his/her whistle, players should dribble their ball across to the other side of the grid. As they do, the Bulldog should try and kick the players’ balls out of the grid. Any player that gets caught by the Bulldog then becomes another Bulldog. The last player standing at the end is the winner.
Be sure to tell the kids to keep their heads up at all times and be aware of where the Bulldog is. Advise the kids to dribble away from pressure and use turns such as cuts, and dribbling moves such as the scissors, to beat the Bulldog.
5. Truck And Trailer Drill
This simple soccer drill is a great way to warm up while introducing some basic soccer turns. Kids will pretend to be ‘trucks’ that are towing a ‘trailer’.
Make a 20×20 yard grid using small cones and split players into pairs and number the players in each pair number 1 and number 2. Then, tell the kids that all number 1 players are ‘trucks’ and number 2 players are ‘trailers’. Finally, give a ball to each player.
How To Play
To begin, the ‘trucks’ (number 1 players) should dribble their balls around the grid and the ‘trailers’ (number 2 players) should follow them as closely as possible while dribbling their own ball. After about 2 minutes, have the players switch roles and continue for another 2 minutes. The next part is where this drill becomes really fun.
Have players continue dribbling around with the trailers following the trucks. This time, when the coach calls out a specific command, players should act accordingly. If the coach shouts “Trailer!”, then the trailer must try to steal the truck’s ball. If the coach shouts “Truck!”, then the truck should try and steal the trailer’s ball. And if the coach shouts “Traffic Jam!”, then both truck and trailer should perform a turn to change directions 180 degrees and then switch roles.
This drill is not only a lot of fun, it is also a great opportunity to practice essential skills like turning with the ball. Before and during the drill, be sure to demonstrate to the kids the correct way to perform a drag back turn and inside and outside hooks. Also, encourage players to keep their heads’ up while dribbling and be aware of their surroundings.
6. Pirate Treasure Hunt
In this next fun drill for 7 year olds, players will pretend to be pirates hunting for hidden treasure. To make this drill even more fun, you can use pirate chants and call backs throughout the drill such as “Pirates are you ready?” – “Aye Aye Captain.”
Make three lanes using small cones and have players line up in three groups at one end of the lanes. Give each group one ball. At the opposite side, place many flags. These flags are the ‘pirate treasure’.
How To Play
When the coach blows his/her whistle. the first player from each team should dribble the ball through the cones to the other side of the lane. Next, they should pick up a piece of pirate treasure (a flag) and race back to their team with the ball. Once the player reaches their team, he/she should high-five the next player who then goes and retrieves another piece of treasure in the same way. Continue until all the treasure is gone. The team with the most treasure at the end is the winner.
Inside cuts and outside cuts can help players to navigate through the cones more quickly. Demonstrate the proper techniques to the kids. Also, you can tell players to accelerate after each cut and to push the ball gently rather than kick the ball to maintain control.
7. Zombie Tag Game
This last drill is a fun game for kids that can be used as a warm up activity or as a game at the end of your training sessions. In this game, kids will try to avoid being attacked by the zombie and becoming a zombie themselves.
Make a 20×20 grid and choose three players to be ‘zombies’. Have the zombies stand outside the grid and ask the rest of the kids to spread out inside the area. Give each zombie a soccer ball.
How To Play
Players inside the grid should run around and try to avoid being touched by the ball. The zombies should pass the ball into the grid and try and hit the players below the knee. Any player that gets hit by the ball then becomes a zombie themselves. The last player standing at the end is the winner.
Be sure to let the kids know that they should keep their heads up and be aware of their surroundings. To help the zombies, demonstrate the best way to perform an accurate pass by using the inside of their foot.
More Fun Soccer Drills
Thanks for reading. I hope the kids in your next training session have a lot of fun playing these games. Before you go, check out these other posts for more fun soccer drills and games: