Practice Date: Thursday, April 19th, 2018

This practice plan is for a 1 hour practice and allows for time to discuss concepts with players. The practice is set up for players to spend a lot of time dribbling and experimenting with 1 vs. 1 dribbling moves. The outline for the practice is as follows:

  1. 20 x 10 2 vs. 2 (10 minutes)
  2. 1 vs 1 Ladder (10 minutes)
  3. Dribbling Endzones (10 minutes)
  4. 31 x 20 4 vs. 4 Scrimage (15 minutes)

End of practice questions:

  • Bring your players together as a group to discuss the practice
  • “Who can show some a body part they could use to make a defender think you are going one way, but are actually going the other?”
  • Does anyone know a cool dribbling move they’d like to show the group? Would this move be effective in a game? Why/why not?
  • Why do we change our speed after getting past a defender (to make it harder for them to catch up).
  • Why do we take our first touch with the ball behind the defender? (so they’ll have to run around us to get the ball back, instead of just running straight. Remember: you’re always slower when you’re dribbling a ball!).


20 x 10 2 vs. 2 - Small Sided Soccer Game

20 x 10 2 vs. 2 - Small Sided Soccer Game for U8


  • Make two fields at 20x10 yards. Place 2 yd goals on each endline
  • Players play 2v2 on field
  • If goal go out at sideline, throw-in or kick-in to get ball back in play (coach choice)
  • After goal is scored, play is restarted with a goalkick

Coaching Points

  • None. Let the players play and make mistakes. Only intervene if it is taking too long to get ball back in play.

1 vs. 1 Ladder

1 vs. 1 Ladder - 1 on 1 U8 soccer drill


  • Make two lines of cones, using the spacing shown. Make sure there is one cone per player.
  • Have players in pairs, one ball per pair. One player stands over one cone with the ball, while the other stands over the cone facing them
  • When the coach says ‘go,’ the players with the ball starts dribbling towards their opponent. The object of the game is to touch the ball to your opponent’s cone.
  • If the defender wins the ball, they immediately dribble to the attacker’s cone to try and score by touching the cone with the ball.
  • The game continues for 45 seconds. After this, move all players to play someone else (you can do this by having one side of the cones stay put, and the other side move down one cone)

Coaching Points

  • Ask “how could we get the defender off balance in order to get around them? How could we use our body to make them think we are going to go one way, when actually we’re going to go the other?” examples of possible answers:
    • dip the shoulder
    • lunge, and use it to push off to go the other
    • eyes look one way, but actually go the other
  • When a player gets past their defender, they need to change their speed (get fast!)
  • The first touch after getting past the defender needs to be behind the defender to cut off their angle of them trying to catch you.

Dribbling Endzones

Dribbling Endzones - Small Sided Soccer Game

Drill Setup

  • Make a 25x20 yd field with a 3 yd “endzone” on each end.
  • Players play 4v4
  • Players score by dribbling into the endzone. Once a goal is scored, the other team starts from their endzone.
  • Players are not allowed to pass forward, only sideways or backwards. To move the ball forward, they have to dribble!

Coaching Points

  • Encourage players to take 1v1 situations and try and beat the defender with a dribbling move. Encourage “selling” the move by exaggerating the body parts used in the last activity.
  • If a player is unsuccessful, praise them for trying the move, and encourage them to try again the next time they get the opportunity.

31 x 20 4 vs. 4 Scrimmage - Small Sided Soccer Activity

31 x 20 4 vs. 4 Scrimmage - Soccer small sided game


  • Remove the endzones in the previous game, and add two 3 yard goals on each end (field is now 31x20yds)
  • Let players play 4v4, coach decides how restarts happen, depending on local rules

Coaching Points:

  • None! Just let them play! However, get excited when you see a player try a try a dribbling move, or attempts to get a defender off balance.
  • Always highlight positives you see, but don’t stop play and don’t correct their decision making. This is their time to play how they want!