5 Basic Kids Soccer Drills – Excel In Ball Control

In the backyard is where some soccer stars are born. I will cover 5 Basic Kids Soccer Drills that will enable your kid to excel in ball control skills. See soccer drills for 1 to 3-year-old kids here.

Age group: 4, 5, and 6-Years-Old

Soccer like any other sport requires players to master basic skills in ball control. It is important that these basic skills are acquired at a young age by practicing the drills.

I called these “Solo” drills (my own definition) because your child will not need a partner, only your supervision. You are the coach now.

However, the good news is that these skills can be acquired if your kid is committed and consistent with mastering the drills.

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Drills Vs Skills

Read about tips to coach your kid here.

Remember the phrase “Practice makes perfect”? Excellent, now seeing this is the first post on Drills and Skills let me explain the difference between the two.

Here is my simple definition: You perform your drills to develop your skills so practice and drills are basically the same things.

They are repetitive activities designed to improve your skills and teamwork.

The drills we will be discussing below are perfect for kids because you do not need a partner to play with.

The advantage is you get to touch the ball more often also do not need a large space to practice.

All the drills below will develop your ball control skills and a size 3 soccer ball should be a good fit for your kid.

HINT: Show your kid how to do the drills first before allowing him to copy you.

1. Juggling

Soccer player juggling with the ball

Juggling is a very simple drill but an important one as it familiarizes the young players to get comfortable with the ball.

As stated earlier, this drill does not require big space and it can actually be done in your backyard.

Also, it is not tiring for kids because normally that is what they would try to do with a ball anyway.

It is going to be fun for them.

Here Are The Steps You Can Follow:

  1. You pick up the ball and drop it to your strong foot. Let’s assume it’s your right foot.
  2. You kick the upwards to your waist level.
  3. When it drops, you kick the ball again with your left foot.
  4. And you receive the ball on your right foot and repeat the sequence without the ball touching the ground.

As a beginner, you will drop the ball to the ground often but do not be discouraged as you will get better as you keep on practicing.

How To Increase The Toughness Of The Drill:

  1. Start with 5 kick-ups and progress to 10 then 15, and so on. You are the boss, you can set your target.
  2. Be consistent. Set up a time to do your kick-ups every day and don’t skip.
  3. If your kid can comfortably juggle the ball then try other variations such as:
    • Walking around when juggling,
    • Use the knees
    • And the back and head.

Benefits Of This Drill:

  1. You will have more contact with the ball
  2. You will develop your kicking skills

2. Wall Passing

kick against the wall

Wall passing is kicking the ball against a wall.

It could be a wooden or concrete wall it doesn’t matter.

The aim is to familiarize how your body reacts when the ball bounces back.

You will find out, the ball will never bounce back rolling at your kid’s feet.

Here Are The Steps You Can Follow:

  1. Stand at a distance that you are comfortable with from the wall.
  2. You kick the ball to the wall strong enough to rebound to you.
  3. When it bounces back, you receive the ball without using your arms.
  4. When you get the ball under control repeat step 2.

You will find that the ball will not return to your feet but you have to use part of your body to receive the ball.

This is why it is an excellent drill for overall ball control. Keep practicing.

How To Increase The Toughness Of The Drill:

  1. You can set your kicking target by 10 and then slowly increase it to 15.
  2. You can also increase the level of difficulty by moving closer to the wall.
  3. You can reduce the number of times you touch the ball. For example, when you receive the ball on your chest, that is touch number 1. When trying to position the ball, that is touch number 2. And when you finally kick the ball that is touch number 3. So you can try to reduce the 3 touches to 2 or even 1.

Benefits Of This Drill:

  1. You will develop your kicking techniques
  2. You will familiarize your body with positioning
  3. You will improve your understanding of angles
  4. You will build your muscle memory on how you should react to the ball without overthinking it.

You can invest in a soccer rebounder which also acts as a wall for this drill.

3. Cone Weaving 

A boy performing a cone weaving drill

Cone weaving is an excellent drill for your kid to develop his dribbling.

This allows your kid to run with the ball while navigating between the cones.

Here Are The Steps You Can Follow:

  1. Place 5 cones in a straight line with a 2 feet space between them. Once again the number of cones and space is totally up to you. You can use 10 cones or you can increase the space between the cones to 3 feet.
  2. Starting at the first cone your kid will dribble the ball by weaving in and out of the cones
  3. Turn around at the end and then dribble the ball back to the starting point by weaving through the cones.
  4. Repeat.

This can be tricky for your kid at the start, therefore, he simply walks and dribbles the ball weaving through the cones.

Also, if your kid knocks off some cones don’t worry they will improve as they practice more.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any cones.

You can use any object you can find such as tennis balls or water bottles.


Related: Soccer Drills Cones (Your Kid Will Love It)


How To Increase The Toughness Of The Drill:

  1. Speed is the target here. If your kid can complete 1 set in no time that is good.
  2. Try completing as many sets as possible in 5 minutes
  3. You can alternate by starting with your weak foot.

Benefits Of This Drill:

  1. You will improve your dribbling skills
  2. You will get a bit of fitness as you will be running.

4. Shadow Dribbling

A girl trying to dribble past her friend

The Shadow Dribbling Drill is probably the easiest drill you can participate in with your kid.

This is a fun drill as your kid will keep the ball to himself while trying to keep you behind.


Here Are The Steps You Can Follow:

  1. Your kid dribbles the ball away from you
  2. You follow him from behind as he tries to shadow the ball from you.
  3. Your kid must always keep you behind him.

That’s easy! your youngster might be a bit slow but give him time but never get the ball away from him as this is not the aim of this drill.

How To Increase The Toughness Of The Drill:

When your kid can successfully shadow the ball from you, you can put a little pressure on him by attempting to get around him.

Benefits Of This Drill:

  1. Your kid will improve his ball-handling skills while under pressure from his opponents.
  2. This drill can improve your and your kid’s fitness.

5. Catch Me If You Can

This is another simple and fun drill I am sure your kid will enjoy and it will also require you or another kid to partner with your kid.

Basically, they will dribble 2 balls while trying to catch up with each other, like a cat and mouse chase.

Here Are The Steps You Can Follow:

  1. Place four cones forming a square.
  2. Your kid and his partner (you may be) will stand diagonally to each other at the starting cones
  3. When you say “GO” both your kid and his partner will dribble the balls clockwise around the cones trying to the kid in front.

How To Increase The Toughness Of The Drill:

There are a lot of variations to this drill, you increase the size of the square which will mean a lot of dribbling. Or reduce the square which will become a lot more fun for the youngsters.

Like I said you are the coach, you determine what will be fun and beneficial for your kid.


Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball - Size 3
Wilson Traditional Soccer Ball – Size 3

Benefits Of This Drill:

  1. Your kid will improve his soccer dribbling skill and speed while under pressure
  2. Your kid will improve his fitness


So, there you go the five top drill your kid can begin with.

As a parent, you are the boss when it comes to determining the frequency and the variation of the drills. It also requires a bit of patience on your part as your kid will be starting off a bit slow.

But you must also include fun in the drills as well as this is the only way to motivate your youngster.

These drills are suitable for adults as well, so why not jump in and start practicing yourself. Nothing beats a fit-looking mum and dad at the side of the soccer field.

Most of us are not born with soccer skills, therefore, we have to practice all the time.

Remember, Practice Makes Perfect. And finally, be always CONSISTENT. Happy practicing.


Related:  Official Soccer Ball Size – The Parent’s Guide


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