U8 Practice Session - Focus on Passing

Practice Date: Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

In this practice session coaches work with their players on the proper fundamentals for passing the ball. The outline for the practice is the following:

  • 20 x 10 2 vs. 2 (10 minutes)
  • Soccer Marbles (10 minutes)
  • Team Tag (10 minutes)
  • Colored Gates in Pairs (15 minutes)
  • 31 x 20 4 vs. 4 Scrimmage (15 minutes)

End of practice questions

  • What should our foot look like when passing? (toe up, heel down).
  • Why would we want it to look like this? (it creates a solid surface to pass with. Also, it keeps the ball from rolling over the top of our foot while passing).
  • Where should our non-kicking foot be when passing?
  • How much power should I put on a pass? (depends on where your target is. We want enough for the ball to get there, but not so much the it’s hard for the other player to control).


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.

Soccer Marbles

Soccer Marbles - Soccer Passing Drill for U6 and U8


  • Players are in pairs with one ball each (so, everyone has a ball).
  • Game starts with partners facing each other about 3yds apart from each other. Decide which partner gets to go first.
  • The first person kicks their ball and tries to hit the other person’s “marble.” If contact is made, that person gets a point. If they miss, then they don’t. Both players must wait until both balls stop moving before it is the next person’s turn. No stopping your ball!
  • Players only get one touch on the ball for a turn. They cannot move their ball after it stops rolling to set up a better angle.
  • Switch partners after each round and play again.

Progression: Challenge players to only use their non-dominate foot.

Coaching Points

  • Demonstrate how to lock the ankle (toe up, heel down)
  • Square hips towards target, and use inside of foot to be more accurate when striking the ball.

Team Tag

Team Tag - U8 Soccer Activity


  • Split team into two groups. One group will have balls, while the other don’t.
  • When coach says go, the players with the balls try and hit (below the knees) as many of the other team as they can with their ball. If they hit someone, they get a point. If they miss, they get their ball and try getting someone else. Players without the balls are trying to stay away.
  • Play for 1 minute. At the end of the minute tally up how many points each person has and add their scores together to get their team score. Switch roles and play again.
  • Play for several rounds. Encourage teams to get a higher score then they did last time.
  • If players aren’t able to get many people, make grid a bit smaller.

Coaching Points

  • Talk about locking ankle when passing (toe up, heel down), and striking ball at equator or above.
  • Stress weight and timing of pass to hit a player. Can dribbling the ball better set up a pass?
  • Players need to lock their ankles (toe up, heel down) when using the inside of their foot to pass in order to be more accurate.

Colored Gates in Pairs

Colored Gates in Pairs - U10 Soccer Dribbling Drill


  • Put your players in pairs with one ball per group.
  • Create a series of gates (two cones, 1yd apart) for the players to pass through
  • Make half the ‘gates’ a different color of cone (example: 3 red gates, and 3 blue gates).
  • If you don’t have different color cones, make half the gates out of pennies.
  • Players have to pass through the gates to their partner on the other side. Once a gate has been passed through, the pair has to pass through a different gate for another point.
  • Play for 45 seconds. Ask players their score and repeat the game challenging each pair to beat their own score.


  • Groups have to alternate color of goal they go to, or can only go to one color etc. Be creative!

Coaching Points

  • Players need to try and take their first touch with the ball when receiving in the direction they want to go next.
  • Encourage players to open their body to the field so they can see more of it!

31 x 20 4 vs. 4 Scrimmage

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!