Kids soccer can be beneficial to the mental and physical health of children. They can learn a lot of social skills while enjoying a fun activity. Most of all, every game helps build their self-confidence and trust in their team. But since the start of the pandemic, there's not much opportunity to play on a field without compromising safety.
So we thought of a solution: why not do soccer drills in the backyard? This will help our kids stay on top of their game without risking their safety. Not only will this keep them physically engaged, but they will also have some backyard fun.
Benefits of Kids Soccer Drills
1. Soccer Is Great Exercise
Soccer drills provide excellent cardiovascular exercise for our youngsters. They also aid in the development of flexibility and strength. Soccer can encourage kids to spend more time outdoors and less time on screens. This is great since the new normal of the pandemic turned all other activities into virtual ones.
2. Soccer Boosts Hand-Eye Coordination
We believe "leg-eye" coordination best describes the coordination enhanced by soccer drills. Playing soccer needs a high level of concentration and focus. Developing these abilities benefit kids not just on the field but also in many other parts of their lives.
3. Soccer Can Widen Your Kid's Horizons
Soccer also allows us to teach our children about other cultures and nations. When our child begins playing soccer, chances are they will want to watch the sport as much as possible. Children can study history and other intriguing facts about sports.
Best Kids Soccer Drills
Just performing static stretches before drills may not be helping our kids as much as we think it does. We also need to do dynamic stretches. This allows our body to warm up by increasing our breathing and heart rate slowly. This also helps loosen up our joints, giving us a better range of motion. Here are some warm-up drills we recommend:
- Jumping Jacks
- Walking Knee Hugs
- Arm Circles
- Side Shuffles
- Leg Swings
- Karaoke Shuffle
Ladder Drills are crucial in developing a players' footwork speed and control. It also improves their balance and agility. This allows them to practice movement patterns that are important in soccer.
1. Square Run
This is perhaps the most simple ladder drill for kids. It's like running or walking in a straight line. But they're going to alternate each foot into each square. You can also do this with two feet in succession instead of one.
2. Bunny Hops
This is quite simple and exciting for kids. They just need to jump into each square using one leg or they can use both feet to hop into each square.
3. Single Feet Laterals
This is like the first ladder drill we listed. But we start this drill by standing sideways to the ladder instead of facing the length of the ladder.
Kids may step on the ladder a few times, so be careful and watch them closely. Unfortunately, this may also cause wear-and-tear on your ladder, so you’ll need one that can keep up with your tiny tot. Open Goaaal® FNINE Training Ladder is one of the best choices for a backyard drill setup. They are durable, quick to set up, and worth every penny.
Cone Drills can help our little athletes develop a lot of skills. Dribbling skills, pass control, and strengthening their footing. Here are some of the cone drills we recommend for backyard drills.
1. Cone Weaves
Place the cones in a line. Start with the outside of their left foot. Then, let them weave the ball between each cone while alternating feet each kick.
To make a lane, line up two rows of cones. The cones should be set far apart to allow for two steps before pushing the ball forward again. Set the ball in the middle and kick it towards the next cones. When kicking, using the proper weight ensures that the ball does not travel too far or too short.
3. Fast Turns
This short yet fast-paced drill is useful for changing directions and ball control. Arrange three cones in a triangle, with the tip of the triangle at least 5 feet away from the base. Start the dribble from cone one, a quick turn at cone 3 (the tip), and dribble to cone two at the base.
Cones need to be sturdy so they won't shift when they come into contact with the ball or our kid's feet. Check out Open Goaaal® FNINE Training Cones for cones that can hold up to the rigors of your backyard drills.
Ball Control Drills
Ball control is one of the most crucial skills needed to be great at soccer. Here are some of the drills we found that are great at encouraging kids to learn proper ball control.
1. Red Light, Green Light
Give your kid a ball. When you signal "Green light!" they should begin dribbling the ball forward. Once you signal "Red light!", they should freeze and stop the ball immediately.
2. Monster Invasion
Give your kid a ball, then let them dribble away from you as you pretend to be a monster, like Frankenstein or Dracula. Don't catch them, though, so you can make the most out of this fun and great drill.
3. Wall Kicks
Let your kid kick their ball to a wall and catch it and kick it into the wall again. This teaches them to control the direction and power of their kicks simultaneously.
For our ball control drills, we need quality balls that have the same quality as regulation balls. Practicing with low-quality balls may waste all our kid's effort in their drills. Get a great ball as an investment to your kid's practice, like the Open Goaaal® FNINE Soccer Ball - Ambassador.
All these drills lead to developing a little soccer athlete confident enough to try and kick a goal. There are many shooting drills that you can try. But we found that the best shooting drill for your kid is to play as the goalie.
Place cones in multiple spots at varying distances towards a goal. Encourage your child to shoot past you from these points. Remember not to go so hard on them the first time. As they improve, you can be stricter with goalkeeping.
Adult life can be busy sometimes, and sadly, you may not be able to play with your kid every time they want to. That's why you need to get the Open Goaaal® Soccer 3-in-1 Trainer. It serves as a training goal, rebounder, and backstop — all in one goal! They even come in three sizes: Junior, Standard and Large. These kids soccer nets are made to fit different skill levels.
Note that you should start with a small soccer goal and work your way up. Don't overwhelm them with a big goal for adults. Instead, get a kids soccer goal suitable for their size and skill. Read our blog on soccer goal sizes to learn which size is best for your kid.
Doing these drills perfectly can help kids' soccer skills. But what's essential is consistency. We must help encourage our kids to stick to a routine. Also, remember to stay in the moment when you're doing drills with your kids. Most importantly, have some backyard fun with your kids.