Sample U-5/U-6 Instructional Soccer Practice Plans
The following ten sample U-5/U-6 instructional soccer practice plans build on skills and concepts from the first to the last practice. A fall-season “Halloween” practice is included as Number 8, along with a “Fun Field Day” practice as Number 10. Coaches may choose from any of the options included in other portions of the Instructional Soccer Coaching Manual, especially the “Soccer Fun Games.”
PRACTICE NUMBER: ONE (Main Topics – Dribbling I, Scoring a Goal)
ADMINISTRATION – Give out balls; Parents write first and last names on balls with permanent marker; discuss water bottles, Covid accommodations (no handshakes, etc.), uniforms, shin guards, Team Parent; Snacks/drinks for season and next week.
INTRODUCTIONS – Coaches, team name is “Tigers,” soccer, the grid (or circle)
ACTIVITY ONE – Player names; Name Game #1 – Everyone sits in a circle; each child in turn to loudly state first name; after each coach loudly repeats the name and says “Hi” or “Welcome” (name)
SKILL DEMONSTRATION -This is Dribbling – move the ball with your feet, we don’t use our hands unless told to; keep it close; we do not kick the ball and run after it
ACTIVITY TWO – Dribble in a confined space (grid or circle).
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – This is how we stop the ball with the bottom of a foot; when you stop the ball, “Make an Airplane.”
ACTIVITY THREE – Now everyone dribbles anywhere in the grid; when I say “Freeze,” stop the ball with the bottom of the foot and “Make an Airplane.”
ACTIVITY FOUR – Let’s try this: Toe Tappers
ACTIVITY FIVE – Fun Game: “Chase the Coach” – Dribble, Freeze, Continue
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – Straight ahead dribbling
ACTIVITY SIX – Line-to-line straight ahead dribbling. (Incl. stop/airplane, turn around)
SKILL DEMONSTRATION SKILL – This is how we score a goal (GOAL!!!); Dribble right into the goal, pull the ball out with your hands.
ACTIVITY SEVEN – Everybody go score a goal
DEMONSTRATION – Our goal, their goal. We score here, we try to keep the other team from scoring there.
SCRIMMAGE – Small goals, small-sides; two or more games. “Go Tigers” before; “Great Game (color) team” after.
CONCLUSION – Clean up – grab and stack cones and saucers. Get your ball. Announcements to Parents; No trash. Hope you had fun; see you next week! Thank you for coming. Remember to take everything you brought. Remember to bring your ball back each week. Homework: Practice what you learned today.
PRACTICE NUMBER: TWO (Main Topics – Dribbling II, Right & Left)
ADMINISTRATION – Introduce Team Parent; Snacks Sign-up; Picture Day will require a form. NO HEADING! Concept of “Homework.”
Team cheer – Now we add show me your claws! One, Two, Three, Go Tigers! w/claws
REMINDERS: NO HANDS. Feet only, no pushing. If you fall down, get up immediately.
ACTIVITY ONE – Name Game #2: Everyone sits in a circle. Coach instructs each child in turn to loudly state their name; after each one, all children then yell, “Go, (name)!”
SHOW ME – Dribble, Freeze, Make an Airplane, Toe Tappers
TRY THIS – Dribble, stop the ball with one foot (make an airplane); dribble, stop the ball with the other foot (make an airplane)
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – Line-to-line: Dribble slow (“turtle”); Dribble fast (“cheetah”)
ACTIVITY TWO – Fun Game: “Turtle / Cheetah / Freeze” (freeze in funny positions)
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – Raise your right hand. Now point to your right foot with your right hand. Now raise your right foot and shake it around. Now raise your left hand. Now point to your left foot with your left hand. Raise your left foot and shake it around.
ACTIVITY THREE – Anywhere inside circle dribble, right foot only, then left foot only.
ACTIVITY FOUR – Dribble around outside of circle; right foot only (counter-clockwise), then left foot only (clockwise).
ACTIVITY FIVE – Dribble out, around cone (any way they wish), return (repeat if enough time)
REMINDER: In a game, if you find yourself going toward the wrong goal, you have to turn around and go the other way. Use a turn we just learned.
ACTIVITY SIX – Fun Game: “Everyone Scores” – Dribble out (from starting line), go around a cone (any way they want), dribble back and score! What’s it called when we score? (GOAL!!!)
SCRIMMAGE – We score at that goal only. Everyone points to the goal where we want to score. If you fall down, get up immediately. Don’t grab the ball with your hands. “Go Tigers” with Claws before; “Great Game (color) team” after.
CONCLUSION – Homework: Practice using each foot.
PRACTICE NUMBER: THREE (Main Topic – Turns)
ADMINISTRATION – Next week, Coach will ask parents to participate in a drill right where they are, just outside of the field.
Team cheer: Show me your claws. Now we’re going to add a “Roar.” Go Tigers with Claws and Roar. One, Two, Three, “Go Tigers, (Roar) [Showing claws]. Does everyone have on their shin guards? Knock on your shin guards (right, then left).
ACTIVITY ONE – Name Game #3 – Children sit in a circle. Coach points to each child in turn, and the whole Team loudly announces, “Go (name)!”
DEMO and PRACTICE (once): If you fall down, get up fast! Don’t worry about the ball. Now everyone falls down and gets up quickly. After you get up you go get the ball.
SHOW ME: Turtle dribble-come back, cheetah dribble-come back, freeze/make an airplane right and left, toe tappers.
SHOW ME: Waggle your right foot; waggle your left foot (correct as needed)
ACTIVITY TWO – Confined space (inside a circle of cones with scattered discs inside – don’t let the ball touch any of the discs); dribble using right foot only; when I say “Switch foot,” dribble using the left foot only. Don’t hit any cones or discs!
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – Making turns around a cone, right foot to go left, left foot to go right (point)
ACTIVITY THREE – Dribble out, go around a cone, dribble back: right foot only (counter-clockwise): left toot only (clockwise)
DEMONSTRATION: Red light / Green light. Dribble for green light; Stop and make an airplane for red light. We start at red light.
ACTIVITY FOUR – Fun Game: “Red light / Green light.” (Anywhere inside grid)
ACTIVITY FIVE – Same as last week: Fun Game: Everyone Scores – Dribble out (from starting line), go around a cone (any way they want), dribble back and score! What’s it called when we score? (GOAL!!!)
SCRIMMAGE – Everyone point to the goal where we want to score. Don’t grab the ball. “Go Tigers” with Claws and Roar before; “Great Game (color) team” after.
PRACTICE NUMBER: FOUR (Main Topic – Go Down/Get Up)
ADMINISTRATION – Get parents ready for “Trees.”
Team cheer now to be done before practices and games. One, Two, Three, “Go Tigers, (Adding Roar) [Showing claws].” After game: One, Two, Three, “Great Game (color) team.”
ACTIVITY ONE: “Freeze.” Remember, if coach yells, “Freeze,” stop in your tracks. First, without ball – make funny positions. Then with ball, just stop immediately.
ACTIVITY TWO: “Ring Around the Rosies.” Remember, if you fall down, get up immediately. (Without ball, then with ball.) [Introduce “new,” “second verse.”]
Ring around the rosies,
Pocket full of posies,
We all fall down!
Get up, get up,
When you fall down.
Get up, get up!
Get off the ground!
ACTIVITY THREE – Fun Game: “Popcorn” – When you hear “popcorn” fall down and get up. With ball, Dribble, Dribble, Superman, Dribble, Dribble, Ariel, Dribble, Dribble, Popcorn, Dribble, Dribble, Iron Man, Dribble, Dribble, Olaf, Dribble, Dribble, Popcorn.
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – Turn your body around the ball to go the other way.
ACTIVITY FOUR – Dribble out, turn body around the ball, return dribble; repeat.
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – From “Make an Airplane,” we can now learn the “pull back” move. Show the pull-back move.
SKILL DEMONSTRATION – For Trees, touch the ball to the trunk of the tree, pull the ball back, then go around the tree and return; repeat with other trees.
ACTIVITY FIVE – Fun Game: “Trees” with parents.
DEMO AND/OR ACTIVITY SIX – (Time permitting.) To get turned around to go to the correct goal where we want to score, turn toward the nearest sideline away from the goal where the other team is trying to score.
SCRIMMAGE – Full team cheer before starting play. Point at goal where we score.
PRACTICE NUMBER: FIVE (Main Topic – Attack and Defend)
ADMINISTRATION – Next week is PICTURE DAY – ARRIVE No Later Than (time) at (location). We have another parent activity today, similar to “Trees,” where you will first stand still as your child goes past you. On subsequent turns, stick a foot out a tiny bit but do not take the ball away.
Team Cheer; Concept of “Attack” (Score at their goal) and “Defend” (Do not let them score at our goal). [Set up “exclusion zone” at defensive goal.]
REMINDERS – We use both feet.
SHOW ME: (Make a circle) Dribble right foot, left foot; toe tappers, pull back.
ACTIVITY ONE –Fun Game: “Switch” (Dribble in circle; When coach says, “Switch,” leave your ball and go get a teammate’s ball and resume dribbling.)
DEMONSTRATION – Personal pass on attack. Push ball past a defender into open space behind them, sprint to collect ball; score at goal
ACTIVITY TWO – Fun Game: “Trees 2” with parents; Push ball past tree and get it, score.
DEMONSTRATION – Taking the ball away from a running opponent to defend. Don’t run beside an opponent. Run to the ball, kick the ball away to the outside, get the ball.
ACTIVITY THREE – Ball take-away; left side then right side.
DEMONSTRATION – “Getting in the Way” of an oncoming opponent to defend (“goal-side”). Don’t let an opponent with the ball get into the “exclusion zone.”
ACTIVITY FOUR – First type of getting in the way. (Go to meet.)
ACTIVITY FIVE – Second type of getting in the way. (Run past and turn around.)
SCRIMMAGE: Which goal to attack; which goal to defend. Use what we just learned: Personal Pass and Getting in the Way. Remember, games are competitions of “us” against them. We try to score more goals than they do. There is only one ball in a game and you need to go get it. Please don’t stand around watching during the game.
CONCLUSION – Next week is Picture Day rain or shine. Please arrive no later than (time). If you are bringing the envelope, recommend having your paperwork filled out in advance. Everyone gets in the team photo, even if you are not getting any individual pictures.
PRACTICE NUMBER: SIX (Main Topic – Inside of the Foot)
ADMINISTRATION – PICTURE DAY!
REMINDER: Fall down, forget the ball, get up.
DEMONSTRATION: Using the Inside of the Foot; back and forth between feet (“Coerver base move”)
ACTIVITY ONE: Back-and-Forth between feet
ACTIVITY TWO: Fun Game: “Knock-out”; use the inside of the foot
ACTIVITY THREE: Fun Game: “Sharks and Minnows”
ACTIVITY FOUR: Fun Game: “Ball Tag”
ACTIVITY FIVE – Fun Game: “Red Light – Yellow Light – Green Light” (Green light – cheetah dribble; Yellow light – turtle dribble; Red light – Stop [or turn and stop])
REMINDER: Our goal versus Their goal.
DEMONSTRATION – Turn the ball away from their goal, go score at our goal
ACTIVITY SIX (A – Defense) – Coach “bowls” ball out toward goal; players sprint to ball, turn ball out away from goal and toward sideline; return ball to coach; repeat.
ACTIVITY SIX (B – Offense) – Coach “bowls” ball out toward goal; players sprint to ball, score; return ball to coach; repeat.
ACTIVITY SIX (C – Combined) – Coach “bowls” ball out toward goal; players sprint to ball, turn ball out away from goal and toward sideline; “cheetah dribble to opposite goal, score; return ball to coach; repeat.
ADMINISTRATION – Need parents to help with “Hokey-Pokey” next week.
PRACTICE NUMBER: SEVEN (Main Topic – Right & Left II)
ADMINISTRATION – Halloween theme at practice next week; any problem w/ Coach giving out candy after practice?
DEMONSTRATION – How to do the “Hokey-Pokey.”
ACTIVITY ONE – Fun Game – “Hokey-Pokey” (At a minimum, right hand, right foot, left hand, left foot, whole self.)
DEMONSTRATION: Reminder – Using the Inside of the Foot; back and forth between feet
DEMONSTRATION: Turning the foot to the side is like using a putter in miniature golf (can actually show a putter).
ACTIVITY TWO: Fun Game: “Follow the Leader”; insides of the feet only (show/command player in front to go to the back of the line)
ACTIVITY THREE: Score at goal using inside of foot
DEMONSTRATION: Turns with inside of foot
ACTIVITY FOUR: Fun Game: “Turn, Turn, Turn” – Use the inside of the foot to turn to go the other way upon command of “Turn”
DEMONSRATION: Turn/Kick the Ball away from goal
ACTIVITY FIVE: Fun Game: “Knock-out II” (Knock Out near the goal)
DEMONSTRATION: Passing between two players with the inside of the foot
ACTIVITY SIX: Pairs passing and receiving
CONCLUSION: Will need help from parents to give out “candy” next week at “Halloween” practice.
PRACTICE NUMBER: EIGHT (Main Topic – “Happy Halloween”)
ADMINISTRATION – Halloween; give parents colored paper to hand out as “candy”; describe “Gates” and “Trick-or-Treat”
SHOW ME: Inside of right foot, inside of left foot; Coerver base move
ACTIVITY ONE – Fun Game: “Marbles” (in pairs, alternate trying to hit the other person’s ball using the inside of the foot)
ACTIVITY TWO – Fun Game: “Gates” with parents (must put the ball through the legs with the inside of the foot, run around, collect, [parent turns to face], repeat using other foot); continue
ACTIVITY THREE – Fun Game: “Unicorn” (dribble while holding cone to head)
ACTIVITY FOUR – Fun Game: “Zombies” (dribble while holding out arms with crepe paper and calling out for “brains”)
ACTIVITY FIVE – Fun Game: “Trick-or-Treat” with parents (touch a parent with ball, say “Trick or Treat,” collect colored paper in upside-down cones, move to next parent)
DEMONSTRATION: Attack and Defend (requires two coaches), players in two groups, defenders and attackers; one comes out from defensive goal to meet oncoming opponent; one heads to goal with ball.
ACTIVITY SIX – Attack and Defend – 1.) Coach serves/rolls ball for attacker to go to goal; 2.) Other coach sends out (or even walks with) defender to get in between the attacker and the defensive goal.
ADMINISTRATION – Hand out small bags of real candy to all players. Need a lot of one-on-one help from parents next week as we introduce the “Instep Drive.”
PRACTICE NUMBER: NINE (Main Topic – Instep Drive / “Laces Kick”)
ADMINISTRATION – Parents will be working directly with their children. Coaches will demonstrate, parents will repeat with their children.
DEMONSTRATION: This is the big kick of soccer. It’s called the “Instep Drive.” You use the top of your foot covered by your shoe laces. That’s why we also call it the “Laces Kick.” You don’t use your toes. Show the kick. Demonstrate the leg swing from all four positions, facing away from the players, facing 90-degrees to the players, facing the players, and facing the opposite 90-degrees to the players.
ACTIVITY ONE – Place 2-inch-long strips of white adhesive tape over the instep of both shoes of every player.
ACTIVITY TWO – On hands and knees, players (with the help of parents or assistants) point toes straight behind and tap the ground alternately with both insteps. Emphasis on foot extension, ankle lock, and contact of instep (tape) with ground.
ACTIVITY THREE – In the position above, add the ball, held by the parent or assistant, so that it is struck (into the ground) with the instep, first with one foot and then with the other. Emphasis on foot extension, ankle lock and contact of instep (tape) with ball.
ACTIVITY FOUR – Have players sit with arms out and back, hands to the ground for balance, so that one leg and then the other can be brought up freely. Add the ball, held by the parent or assistant, so that it can be struck with the instep, first with one foot and then the other. Emphasis on foot extension and ankle lock.
ACTIVITY FIVE – Using teammates, parents or assistants to support themselves, players stand on a plant foot and then swing a leg freely as if kicking a ball; right then left, ensuring that the foot is extended and the ankle locked.
ACTIVITY SIX – As above, but players perform free leg swinging, but without support.
ACTIVITY SEVEN – Using a stationary ball, perform a standing instep drive to the parent or assistant, right then left, using proper form and not for power or distance.
ACTIVITY EIGHT – Same as above with a simple walk up to the ball and kick.
ACTIVITY NINE – Try a short run up to the ball and kick, right then left.
ACTIVITY TEN – Try a run up to the ball and kick for power and distance, right then left.
ACTIVITY ELEVEN – Try to dribble the ball and then kick, right then left.
ACTIVITY TWELVE – Practice shooting at the “big goal.”
CONCLUSION – What are the names for the kick we learned today? Point to the part of the foot that hits the ball.
ADMINISTRATION – Parents come dressed to play with the kids next week.
PRACTICE NUMBER: TEN (Main Topic – Fun, Field Day)
ACTIVITY ONE – Players’ Choice: Fun Game(s) – any Fun Games from any practices.
Chase the Coach
Red Light / Green Light
Sharks and Minnows
Red Light / Yellow Light / Green Light
Follow the Leader
Turn, Turn, Turn
- And / Or –
ACTIVITY TWO – Playground Games: Relay Races, Leap-frog, etc.
- And / Or –
ACTIVITY THREE – Parents, each with their own child, set up in two teams and play against each other.
- And / Or –
ACTIVITY FOUR – Parents vs. Kids (Parents MUST BE WARNED to be gentle, keep the ball on the ground, and never to kick the ball with any force.)
- And / Or –
ACTIVITY FIVE – Kids’ Full-Sized Game
CONCLUSION – Mementos
© Copyright, John C. Harves