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Top 10 Soccer Warm Up Drills for Kids in 2021

Keeping kids engaged and interested in football is easy when you have lots of fresh new ideas for drills. There are lots of ways to have fun and develop kids’ football skills, especially with a bit of imagination.

The following article will detail ten of the best football warm-up exercises that are sure to get kids focused and ready for their training sessions and matches.

  1. Pacman

The drill is best played on a court with lots of markings. Indoor pitches with basketball courts and handball markings are perfect for this.

Assign one child as the Pacman and have them chase others along the lines. Each time a kid is tagged, they too become a Pacman. The game continues until only one person remains who hasn’t been tagged.

Footballs can be incorporated once children are comfortable with the game. This will help them with close control as they dribble along the various markings and lines.

sports hall lines

  1. Handball

Yes, handball is a sport in its own right, but it is also a great way to warm up for football. There are a lot of transferable skills that can be developed by playing handball including movement, teamwork, and passing.

You’ll need two equal teams to play and a football can be used in place of handball. Ask players to throw the ball to each other in order to get closer to the goals. Instead of kicking it in, throw it past a keeper.

This is a fun and engaging way to get kids warmed up and ready!


  1. Fox Tails

Ask kids to place bibs hanging from their waistbands to look like fox tails. The aim of the game is grab as many ‘fox tails’ as possible whilst protecting your own.

This game can be played in a few different ways. You can set up the game so that losing your tails means you are eliminated or you can have the player with the most tails after a set period be the winner.

This drill is great for getting warmed up and improving agility.


  1. El Rondo

This is a fancy-sounding name for what is essentially a multiway piggy in the middle with a football. Have players stationed around a large circle with one or two in the middle.

The players on the edge of the circle have to pass the ball between each other without being tackled or having it intercepted. The people in the middle of the circle have to try to get possession of the ball.

If the passing players are finding it too easy, you can throw in a second ball to mix it up.

  1. Circle Shielding

This works in a similar way to a rondo but focuses on keeping possession of the ball on a one-to-one basis.

Set kids up in the same way around a circle but with a football for each child. Kids in the middle of the circle will need to try and tackle the ball away from players shielding the ball. If they manage to get it away from the cone they are stationed at, they must swap places.

This is a good drill for improving defensive skills like shielding and tackling.

  1. Clean Your Room

This drill is more fun than it sounds. In a quadrant sized to your choosing, ask players to dribble a ball around whilst a ‘cleaner’ tries to tackle them.

The aim for the ‘cleaner’ is to remove all the balls from the ‘room’ at once. Dribbling players will need to retrieve the ball whenever they are tackled.

clean your room drill

  1. Relay Race

Set kids up into two teams with a cone placed straight ahead of them. The objective is to dribble the ball up to the cone, around it, and back to the start in order to tag the next member of your team. The first team to complete the drill wins.

This is great for instilling a bit of competition and will improve close control and dribbling.


  1. Pings

This is an easy one to set up. You’ll need two cones per player and a ball between two. Ask kids to aim between a set of cones with their pass to their teammate.

The cones can be moved closer together to make this even more challenging. Additionally, a defender can be placed in between the teammates to try and intercept the passes.

  1. The Bean Game

This is a very versatile game that will get kids moving and ready for action.

The standard rules for this game include shouting various bean-related prompts and getting kids to act accordingly. For example, whilst running around, you might shout “jumping bean” to get kids to jump.

This can easily be adapted for older kids by changing instructions to “jump” or “stop”. Children can play this both with a ball and without a ball.

  1. Traffic Light Game

This may already be familiar to many. The traffic lights game follows a similar concept to the bean game.

Whilst dribbling a ball around a quadrant, call out “red”, “amber”, and “green”. Assign a different instruction for each before the start of the game. Red could be to walk with the ball, orange to jog, and green to run, for example. There’s a lot of versatility with this drill.


If you’re looking for a football to use for these drills why not consider the Sambola Skills Ball? Our ball is specifically designed for kids’ football and is perfect to improve their confidence and skills.

For more information, click here.

FAQs About Soccer Warm Up Drills

What is a warm-up drill?

A warm-up drill is designed to get players stretched and ready to play.

What is a good warm-up for soccer?

The above article details some great warmups for kids.

What are some examples of warm-up exercises?

The article above has examples of how to carry out various drills designed to keep kids engaged.

How do you warm-up for soccer practice?

There are lots of different ways you can warm up but it is important that you get all your muscle groups active and moving.

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