How To Coach Soccer To 5 Year Olds

Coaching your 5-year-old can be a daunting task especially when you cannot find any help. But be rest assured that I will help you with these 20 tips on how to coach soccer to 5-year-olds and set your kid towards achieving his or her dreams.

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There are a lot of experts who claimed that those who coached their own kids always failed.

This is because of the parent-child relationship that has already existed.

Your kid will always see you as mum or dad and that makes it hard to “push” your child to excel in training.

Before you give up on the idea, let me assure you that the task can be fun and easy if you follow these great tips I am going to share.

Besides, you can use these tips to coach your kid on any sports that he or she likes.

Do not worry about soccer drills or rules yet as this will come after you read my coaching tips.

Without these tips, you will not even have the chance to apply the drills and rules because you will be caught unprepared for the task and fail.

I have made it easier for you to click on any link below to take you to any tip you want to read, so please proceed.

1. Allow your kid to play soccer

father and son play soccer

First of all, you should allow your kid to play naturally with the ball.

Take your kid to an open-spaced area and give him or her a ball to play with.

Your role is to make sure that he or she has as many contacts with the ball as possible because that will speed up the learning process.

Just let your kid play as long as he or she likes it because that will develop familiarization with the ball.

If this the first training you should not place any restrictions or rules.

I recommend you buy soccer balls sizes from 1 to 3 for your kid’s training.

These are small balls that are perfect for kids 3, 4, and 5 years of age.

Your role at this point is to make sure he or she doesn’t break anything or wanders off and do something else.

That brings us to tip number 2.

2. Keep the training fun

child playing with ball

Always include fun in the training so that your kid will remain enthusiastic throughout the session.

When I mean fun I mean there should be cheering, clapping, and praise for your kid.

Your kid’s attention can be elusive because they will quickly look for another interesting thing once the fun runs dry.

therefore vary your training method like change location or include his or her favorite toy as a marker instead of some boring objects.

Here are some ideas you can inject into your training plan:

  • Colorful soccer balls
  • Colorful drill cones
  • Superhero themed ball
  • Name each drill to his or her favorite superhero

Do not give too many instructions during the training which your kid will find it difficult to follow or understand.

3. Emulate your coach

You may have come across a few coaches in your playing days.

It could be your coach in basketball or football but you will agree with me that only one of them is your favorite coach.

Think about his coaching style and make a list of what you like about that coach and copy that style.

How did he talk to your team during training?

How did he motivate your team to train harder?

What aspect of his coaching you can make better?

When you put all these points together chances are you are going to be a terrific coach!

You know your child better than anyone else and the coaching plan should focus on how to deliver the training effectively.

4. Keep It Short and Simple

Games with soccer balls

A kindergarten kid’s attention span is only around 15 minutes.

So make the most of it and be sure you fit in the training around that.

By keeping the training short and simple your child will learn faster.

Long and difficult training will only produce negative results such as boredom and overtraining.

Keep the training and instructions short and simple and you should be good.

5. Start with a simple drill first

Soccer drills are an IMPORTANT part of the training because they help develop skills such as kicking, passing, and trapping the ball.

However, drills should be introduced only after your kid has developed some familiarity with the ball.

If you see that your kid can run with the ball it is a good sign that a soccer drill must be introduced.

Start with simple soccer drills that are easy enough for the kid to understand and perform.

Make sure the Drills are related to developing a specific skill as described in the next tip below.

6. Concentrate on training one skill per session

Always concentrate on training one skill per session in order for your child to learn faster.

It is recommended that you start every training with the easiest drills and slowly advance to the harder ones.

For example, if you want your kid to learn about ball control then you need to choose a drill for ball control.

This way it will be easier for you to give training tips focusing on ball control only.

You will find that when doing drills for one particular skill it will also develop other soccer skills.

So don’t be worried about trying to cover everything in one go.

7. Be patient with your kid

mother and daughter doing fitness

Patience is the key if you are going to coach your kid successfully.

The training progress might take longer than expected because kids can be uncooperative sometimes.

But if you are not patient you will run the risk of taking the fun out of the training and your kid will lose interest as well.

However, if you are patient the results will show sooner than your expected and motivate you to work harder and smarter.

Also, learn to listen to your kid as in the next tip below.

8. Listen to your kid

Coaching your own child brings the opportunity for you to engage with him or her one-on-one.

When you listen to your kid they will feel important and loved and in return, they will listen to you as well.

By listening to them you helped your kid improve his or her self-esteem, develop social skills, and allow you an insight into their emotional state.

He or she will feel appreciated and determine not to let you down by training extra harder.

Take time to hear their ideas, maybe they will help make the training better and your life much easier.

9. Don’t give too many instructions

Giving too many instructions can be boring, even for adults.

Allow your kid to play with the ball and he or she will soon figure it out.

As mentioned earlier, keep it short and simple at all times.

The next tip below encourages you as the coach to actively participate in training.

10. Participate in training

mother and daughter

Nothing is more exciting to your kid than to see you get into action in the training.

Your kid will learn faster if you actively participate in the training because they see what you do and they follow your actions.

Participation is actually adding more fun to the training now that your kid has someone to play against.

Slowly show your kid what needs to be done and he will quickly get it.

Another benefit of participating in the training is that you will be getting some level of fitness yourself.

Not too bad, right?

11. Criticize your child’s performance constructively

This is one result of not being patient with your kid. You get frustrated and emotional and criticize your kid’s performance in a negative way.

Such criticism will do nothing positive but it only lowers his or her self-esteem and eventually gave up training.

You should give instructional feedback by showing him or her how to do the drill.

This will help motivate your child to perform better.

Let your child know that you cared and want him or her to be the best soccer player.

12. Give your kid a balanced life

Your kid has so much to learn in his or her young life so don’t think that soccer should be the most important thing to focus on.

There is an abundance of things in life your kid needs to discover and learn about.

Give time for your kid to do school work and play with siblings and allow your kids to explore other important aspects of life and discover other interests.

You might also introduce playing multiple sports to your kid to avoid overuse injuries and burnout.

13. Control the tone of your voice

Shouting at your kid is a very bad idea if you want to win his or her attention.

While giving instructions and commands is what coaches do, shouting can be interpreted as anger.

Changing your tone when saying “stop” and “go” will help your child understand your message.

In return, they will follow your instructions.

14. Use soccer practices to break bad habits

After a while, you will need to apply some basic soccer rules such as not touching the ball during drills.

Explain to him or her that the referee will not like it because it’s called “handball”.

Also, teaching proper kicking techniques is very important in order to avoid injury in the future.

Using the toe when kicking is not the correct way to kick a soccer ball.

These habits can be tough to break if you do not address in now and they will affect your kid’s performance in the future.

15. Create challenges

Creating challenges can sometimes bring the competitiveness out of your kid.

Participate with your kid and encourage him or her to outdo you by achieving a specific task.

For example, set up 2 cones or empty plastic bottles a meter apart to act as a goalpost and challenge your kid to try to score as many goals as possible.

Standing a meter or two back from the goalpost you and your kid take turns to kick into the goal.

While you can deliberately kick and miss the goal, your kid will be motivated to score as many goals as possible to beat you.

16. Promote sportsmanship

It is a good time to promote sportsmanship to your kid and learn about how to respect other players, the coach, and parents.

A good way to start is for you to lead by example and show your kid how to do the right thing.

Fair play is also a display of sportsmanship where you encourage your kid to play safely and not injure other players.

Teach your kid that winning is great and losing will make him or her practice harder to improve and become a better player.

Related: 16 Examples of bad sportsmanship in soccer

17. Know your child is special

Some parents fall into the trap of comparing their kids to other 5-year-old kids who develop their soccer skills faster.

They hit the panic button and worry that something is wrong or the training does not work.

Learn to understand the fact that all children are different physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually.

Some kids will learn the drills with less effort while others prefer to run around the field.

The key is not to be worried or discouraged but to be consistent and patient.

18. Do not overcomplicate the training

Chances are you might know little or nothing about soccer and feel that you cannot coach your kid.

However, one thing you must know is that soccer is a very simple game.

At this stage, the only thing that matters is kicking the ball with a lot of fun with your kid.

Do not be overwhelmed by what soccer drills you should start with or what the soccer rules are.

Take your kid and watch a kids’ soccer match sometimes and observe the coach and the kids playing.

I promise you that it will give you a lot of ideas.

19. Put your child’s dreams first

Always be driven to achieve your child’s dream of becoming a soccer player.

Put aside your own motives and focus on how to make her training effective.

Be careful not to have your own motives to drive your desire to coach your kid.

This may lead to frustration and overtraining.

By putting the focus on your kid’s soccer dreams it will be quicker to achieve positive results.

20. Stay positive

boy with ball and his dog

Staying positive at all times sends a good message to your kid as he or she will sense the excitement in the tone of your voice.

Your kid will always be eager for the next training knowing you are excited as well.

You will find that coaching your kid is not that difficult at all and you will enjoy the benefits such as:

  • Quality time spent with your child
  • You will learn more about your child
  • Lots of fun
  • You get some fitness over time


If you apply these 20 simple tips your coaching job will be so much easier.

You will find some great resources here:

  1. 5 Basic Soccer Drills
  2. 5 Soccer Warm Up Drills
  3. Basic Soccer Rules For Kids

Please drop a comment if you have any suggestions. I promise I will respond.

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