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Youth Soccer Drills - Keys to a Productive Practice

The main difference between youth soccer drills and adult soccer drills is that you need to allow kids to be kids. What I mean by that is that kids love playing games so to keep them involved we need to properly structure our practices. As a rule, in practices you should focus on playing games. You can either run the games by keeping time or keeping score.

Remember that you need to always praise the attitude, effort; the hustle and of course the improvement. The key is to measure each player against his or her own past performance and personal improvement. There are always going to be kids that are more or less athletically inclined in any group. The best kids should not be held back by the others, but at the same time the kids that are struggling still need to be motivated and praised for their efforts. Now in case anyone thinks that that means that I tolerate slackers, I don't, they need to be putting forth the effort.

I'm a big fan of teaching proper technique by setting up playing situations and games that simulate play. By setting up a number of these and keeping your players active you can make sure that everyone gets a maximum number of "touches" in the ball. If you're looking for a "magic number " of touches for every practice, common practice is to for 100 "touches" per player per practice.

Good games must be easy & quick to set up and should be simple to explain and manage. If you have to explain it more than a couple of times break it down into multiple games / drills. The goal is to keep everyone active and participating. You must make sure that everyone is having fun.

Avoid general scrimmaging for more than 10 minutes per hour. In general scrimmages players don't get enough touches on the ball, the weaker players tend to get the fewest touches and bad habits can be reinforced because players tend to do the same things they have always done. If you scrimmage, do so without a goalkeeper

Adopt this philosophy: "Keep it simple, keep them active, keep it fun & at least 100 touches per player per practice".

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