9 answers

Fun Games for Soccer Practice for 3 & 4 Year Olds

I'm volunteer coaching a 3 & 4 year old soccer team and looking for ideas/games to play to make "practice" fun (they "practice" for about 30 min then play a game for about 20 min). For example, to practice dribbling we do Red Light, Green Light. Or shooting on the net I could have them shoot through my legs or something. Any other good ideas you've seen from your children's practices? Thanks!

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*a cute one is to have them dribble in space, and when you call out a part of the body they are to put that part on the ball. Start with bottom of foot, go to knee, elbow, etc. end with ear, nose, eye, etc. It's fun and it teaches them to keep the ball close.
*Have them all line up opposite a partner a few yards away. Put a line of cones in the middle. They have to kick the cones down. Don't put them too far from the cones as they can't kick very hard.
*divide the group into 3 groups. Have 2 groups stand a few yards apart with a ball b/n two. The 3rd group stand at one end with out a ball. The runners are to try to run to the other end without the others hitting them with the ball. You can have them all run together or one at a time.
*What's the time mr fox?, stress little kicks otherwise it won't work
*stuck in the mud tag. All dribble in a space, 2 are taggers. If a player is tagged, they stand with their legs apart and ball raised over head. To get freed, another has to kick the ball through their legs
*the key thing at this age is to keep all of them active and participating as much as possible. You don't want to play elimination games or have them in lines doing drills too much
let me know if you need more - I have more!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

My son's coach has them play Sharks and Fishes/Minnows, (this is for the 4-5 year olds). The kids are fishes dribbling with their balls. Two kid are sharks, who have to take away the balls. It helps the kids dribble, watch for sharks, protect their balls, and it helps the sharks learn how to go after and steal a ball. Once a ball is stolen, the child has to sit with their ball. You keep going till all kids are sitting. Then the next round, two different kids get to be the sharks. They seem to really enjoy it.

1 mom found this helpful

*a cute one is to have them dribble in space, and when you call out a part of the body they are to put that part on the ball. Start with bottom of foot, go to knee, elbow, etc. end with ear, nose, eye, etc. It's fun and it teaches them to keep the ball close.
*Have them all line up opposite a partner a few yards away. Put a line of cones in the middle. They have to kick the cones down. Don't put them too far from the cones as they can't kick very hard.
*divide the group into 3 groups. Have 2 groups stand a few yards apart with a ball b/n two. The 3rd group stand at one end with out a ball. The runners are to try to run to the other end without the others hitting them with the ball. You can have them all run together or one at a time.
*What's the time mr fox?, stress little kicks otherwise it won't work
*stuck in the mud tag. All dribble in a space, 2 are taggers. If a player is tagged, they stand with their legs apart and ball raised over head. To get freed, another has to kick the ball through their legs
*the key thing at this age is to keep all of them active and participating as much as possible. You don't want to play elimination games or have them in lines doing drills too much
let me know if you need more - I have more!

1 mom found this helpful

Set up an orange cone for each kid and when you blow the whistle they have to put out their fire (orange cone) with their soccer ball. Another game is have them dribble the ball and when you blow the whistle they stop the ball with their foot. They are so cute at that age, running is what they do best.

although I can't remember the specifics, my kids always played Sharks and Minnows while at practice when they were that little. Maybe you can google or ask another coach. Good luck!

What fun! I miss that age for soccer. It is still fun and exciting. Now at 6 yrs old, it is so competitive and hard...the drills are ridiculously hard and leave the kids sweating like they just ran through a mine field.

Have the team stand in a line and have ech child take turns weaving in and out of the line while the team cheers the child on.

Have them stand in a line side by side but a few feet apart and have them kick to the left of one another all the way down the line, and then to the right.

One drill my son did which I thought was fun was what our coach called "Cowabunga", where he'd toss the ball in front of each kid and the child had to hit it with their heads and yell Cowabunga.

Can you check with the youth organization you're working with? It seems like they would provide you with some kind of training, or at least a set of guidelines and tips for you to follow. You could also check with former coaches about what did and didn't work for them.
Good luck, my BIL says coaching kids at that age is like herding cats :)

I read on recently in a soccer forum that a good game for teaching the kids to attack/steal the ball is to tie balloons aroung their ankles then they try to pop each others balloons. The last kid with a balloon is the winner. Sounded like a fun way to teach the kids how to go for the ball when the opposing players have it.

Also Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light is a good game for that age, helps with ball control. They have to step on the ball to stop it for Red and keep it close for when the light turns to yellow.

Any playground game can be played with the soccer ball for practice. My son's soccer class (kindergarteners, but close enough) play mother may I, cops and robbers (robbers try to get across the field without the cops stealing their ball... if the ball gets kicked out, they become cops), sharks and minnows (same idea), freeze tag (to get unfrozen, your teammate has to kick their ball through your legs) etc.

When he was 4 his soccer teacher played a game called "pinata" where they would throw colored circles all over the field and the kids had to kick their ball around collecting all the circles of a certain color.

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