7 Essential Youth Soccer Drills For Ages 10-13
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What are some great soccer drills for young athletes?
These 7 drills make great additions to any practice for ages 10-13. Each has a different focus, but all cover essential skills that will help players improve their game. These can be mixed and matched to cover the drill portion of numerous sessions. Complete sessions often start with warm-ups, followed by a series of drills like these, and then end with some variations of small-sided games.
Drill 1: The Samba (Ladder)
This ladder drill is designed to get players more comfortable opening their hips while in motion, and also improves coordination. The opening of the hips is an essential movement in soccer. For example, when receiving a pass, players often open the hip of their receiving leg to control the ball into a new direction.
Drill 2: Controlling The Ball At Any Height (Partner)
This partner activity helps players learn to control the ball using their feet, thighs, chest, and head.
Drill 3: The Passing Circle (Group)
The passing circle works on passing and receiving, while also forcing players to keep their heads up and communicate. Consider adding 2 balls, as shown in the second half of the video, if players are comfortable with 1. It makes the activity much more challenging and ensures players are thinking, communicating, and remaining aware of their surroundings.
Drill 4: Two-Touch Passing (Partner)
This partner drill is one of the best ways to improve two-touch passing. It maximizes the time players spend receiving and passing, which is a critical skill for all players. Adjust the cone distance to make it easier or more challenging.
Drill 5: Shielding Part 1 (Group)
This shielding drill helps players get comfortable using their bodies to protect the ball. This is one of the most essential abilities in soccer, and something all positions must master. It allows players to buy themselves the extra few seconds they need while in possession of the ball.
Drill 6: Shielding Part 2 (Group)
In the next part of the shielding drill, the focus is on protecting the ball while it is bouncing. This is an added challenge that replicates a common game scenario. Players must learn to be comfortable using their bodies to shield the ball in many different scenarios, such as this.
Drill 7: Rollouts (Individual/Group)
Rollouts help players improve their ball control with the sole of their foot + the inside. The sole of the foot is a very important part of dribbling and ball retention because in certain situations it allows for much tighter control of the ball than only the inside or outside of the foot would be able to offer.