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Top 15 Soccer Drills For 5 to 9 Year Olds to Learn in 2021

If you’re looking for soccer drills that are perfect for ages 5 through to 9, you’re in the right place. The following soccer drills focus on 1 to 1 football coaching techniques that kids of all abilities can have a go at.

The Soccer drills are broken up into different categories with a bit of information on how each drill works. So head over to your local park or your back garden and start practicing these exercises to boost your confidence and refine your skills!

Best Ball Manipulation Skills for a 5-9-Year-Old

These drills will help build the foundation to move on to more complex techniques and practices.

1. Toe Taps

This is one of the simplest soccer drills for 5-year-olds and new beginners.

To execute a toe tap, begin with the sole of your dominant foot on the ball and your other foot planted firmly on the ground. Then, switch feet, making sure to keep your balance.

The aim of this exercise is to improve balance, touch, and control. Kids can gradually speed up as they become more confident and comfortable with the drill. Once you’ve mastered this, you can then try to perform toe taps moving forward and even backward.

2. Sole Rolls

Rather than remaining stationary, sole rolls encourage kids to head in a direction as they practice their ball manipulation skills.

To complete a sole role, place your foot on the ball and gently roll it forwards. Alternate feet as your progress in a straight line.

Both sole rolls and toe taps are great soccer drills for 6-year-olds.

3. Zig-Zag Sole Rolls

Once sole rolls are comfortable, the next step can be zig-zag sole rolls.

As the name suggests, rather than moving in a straight line, change direction with each sole roll, creating a zig-zag pattern. Cones can be laid out to give the child a clear path.

4. Inside-Outside

Moving up in difficulty, the inside-outside promotes using more than one section of your foot to manipulate the ball.

Begin with the ball on your strongest foot, pushing it forwards with the inside of that foot. Then rotate that same foot and push it with the outside, repeating for 30 seconds before alternating.

This doesn’t need to be fast and can increase in pace gradually.

5. Cone Dribbling

This is the perfect drill to develop two-footedness. This drill more closely replicates a match-situation and includes a level of decision-making.

Use both feet to dribble around cones, using the inside and outside of either foot when appropriate.

Due to their increased level of expertise, inside-outside, and cone dribbling are fantastic soccer drills for 7-8 year-olds.

Best Turns for 5 to 9-Year-Olds

Turning is an incredibly useful skill needed at all levels of the game. Practicing turning drills can help increase decision-making, awareness, and balance, to name a few skills.

6. Drag Back

A lot like the sole roll, the drag back uses a similar technique.

Position your foot on top of the ball and drag the ball behind you, turning as you do so. This will allow a quick change of direction in one swift motion.

7. L-Turn

The next turn requires more skill and patience but will provide the player with more options when changing direction.

Position your foot over the ball before dragging it back with the sole of your foot. With that same foot, tap the ball with the instep to knock the ball behind your standing leg.

With practice, this will become one smooth, fluid motion.

8. Cruyff Turn

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff’s famous turn may not be Brazilian but certainly embodies the samba philosophy.

Find our full-length tutorial here.

It might not be the easiest skill to master but it is certainly effective!

9. Ronaldo Chop

The Ronaldo chop is a very different turn to the Cruyff turn but is similarly useful. There are similarities to the L Turn here.

As you approach the ball, lift both feet off the ground, making contact with the instep. Your other foot should swing over the ball as you send it in the direction of your instep.

These more advanced turning techniques are great drills for confident 8-9 year-olds.

Best Higher Level Dribbling Skills for a 5-9-Year-Old

The final category of drills we’ll be covering is focused on is higher level dribbling. Carrying the ball at your feet comfortably is a big part of the Brazilian game and it should be encouraged from a young age.

10. Inside Cut

This is as simple as it gets when beating your opponent with a dribble.

Head towards the opposing player before tapping the ball with your instep. This will knock the ball into space and allow you to run past them.

Consider adding in a drop of the shoulder in the opposite direction to fool your marker.

11. Step Over

This technique will keep the defender guessing which way you’re heading.

To perform a step over, throw your foot around the ball in a circular motion without making contact.

12. Double Step Over

Just as it sounds. Add in a second step over to further confuse your opponent. The faster the movement, the more effective the technique.

13. Shuffle

The shuffle allows the ball to be shifted onto a different foot as quickly as possible.

With the ball between your legs, push it with the inside of your foot onto the other and break away.

This is great for keeping the ball away from challenges whilst keeping it firmly under control.

14. Roulette

This can be a tricky technique to pull off but allows you to turn direction and dribble past an opponent in one seamless movement.

When moving towards an opponent, roll the ball backward with the sole of one foot and turn your back to your opponent. With your other foot, drag the ball back once again and turn so that you are now facing the same direction you started with.

15. Flip-Flap

Another high-level technique is known as the flip-flap. This drill will teach you to change the direction of the ball in one quick movement.

Knock the ball with the inside of your foot before quickly snapping in the opposite direction and making contact with the outside of your foot sending it in a different direction.

This trick can also be performed from out to in.


If you know someone who would be interested in a football coaching for kids, why not try out our Brazilian soccer school? Here at Samba Soccer Schools, we provide football classes for kids of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to help them learn and love football the Brazilian way. If you want to try out a lesson, then book a free trial today or contact us for more information.

Football Skills for 5 to 9 Year Olds Frequently Asked Questions

How do I teach my child to be more aggressive in soccer?

Certain drills can encourage your child to be assertive on the football pitch. Have a look at our blog for more inspiration. 

How do you teach basic soccer skills?

Some of the drills above will help develop fundamental soccer skills. Consider Samba Soccer Schools for professional and friendly coaching. 

How do you teach a kid to kick a soccer ball in the air?

Make sure they have mastered basic ball manipulation and control to facilitate this. 

How do you teach a child to pass a soccer ball?

Teach the relevant ball control and kicking techniques to help when training passing.

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