U6 Practice Plan - Ball Familiarity

Practice Date: Monday, July 9th, 2018

This practice is designed for players under 6 years of age. The concepts of this session involve having players get more familiar with the ball by working on big vs little touches and how to use peripheral vision while dribbling the ball. The outline for this practice includes:

  • 20 x 10 2 vs. 2 Scrimmage (10 minutes)
  • Back to Coach (10 minutes)
  • Crocs in the River (10 minutes)
  • Freeze Tag (10 minutes)
  • 4 vs. 4 scrimmage (20 minutes)

End of Practice Discussion

Bring your players in for the last five minutes of practice and recap your session using open-ended questions:

  • When should we use little touches vs. big touches? (little touches in tight spaces and big touches in space so we can build up speed faster).
  • What should we do with our head/eyes when dribbling? (use peripheral vision so we can see what’s around us, while still seeing the ball at the same time).

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.

Back to Coach

Back to Coach - U6 Soccer Activity


  • Every player has a ball.
  • One at a time, the players hand their ball to the coach who tosses their ball in a different direction while telling them how to bring the ball back.
  • Ways to ask the players to bring it back: running (with ball in hand), skipping, hopping. Using only their elbows touching the ball. Using only their knees etc.


  • Give them ways to bring the ball back that are more soccer specific: dribbling the ball, dribbling using only the bottom of their feet, using only the inside of their feet etc.

Coaching Points

  • Have fun, and be creative with the actions!
  • Encourage players to think about how they can bring the ball back, only using the body parts you’ve said they could use. Don’t let them break the rules that you give!

Crocs in the River - U6 Soccer Activity

Crocs in the River - U6 Soccer Dribbling Activity


  • In your grid, all players have a ball and are on one end. The coach(es) stand(s) in the middle.
  • When the coach says ‘go,’ all players (the swimmers) try to dribble from one end of the grid to the other without getting their ball stolen by the coach (the crocodile).
  • If a player gets their ball stolen, they must perform a special activity for the croc to spit them out (ex: touching the top of the ball with the bottom of their feet alternating eight times, or passing the ball between their feet eight times). Players cannot become a croc with the coach - we want them to keep dribbling their soccer ball! Be goofy! Make lots of silly noises!

Coaching Points

  • Ask players to think about the length of their touches, and how they can use the different parts of their feet to manipulate the direction of the ball. When do we use big touches, and when should they be smaller?
  • Show players how to deceive the crocs be leaning one way and then dribbling the other. What body parts can we use to deceive someone? (hips, eyes, shoulders, legs). Ask them to be creative!

Freeze Tag

Freeze Tag - U6 Soccer Drill


  • In your decreased grid, every player has a ball.
  • The coach(es) are it and try to tag the players who must keep control of their ball.
  • If a player gets tagged, they have to touch the ball with the bottom of their foot (alternating) six times before they can start playing again.
  • Play for 30-45 seconds, make a coaching point, and then restart game. Play many rounds.
  • If a player dribbles their ball out of bounds, they have to perform the special activity as if they got tagged.
  • Progression: Change activity that a player has to do when they get tagged. Have fun with it!

Coaching Points

  • Encourage players to take little touches when the tagger is close (so they can change direction quicker), and bigger touches to get away from the tagger!
  • Compliment players that are using their peripheral vision to dribble.

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!