football drills for 8 year olds

Football Drills for 8 Year Olds | The Journey Kickoff

Uncover fun and engaging football drills for 8 year olds to enhance skills and enjoyment. Essential tips for effective youth soccer coaching.

When it comes to youth football, there’s a common belief that team practice is the only way to develop skills. But what if we told you that you can enhance your abilities even when you’re on your own? That’s right – you can perfect your skills and become a better player before stepping on the field with your team. How? Through individual football drills specifically designed for young, budding footballers like yourself.

In this article, we’ll share seven top tips for football drills for 8 year olds. Whether you’re practicing at home, at school, or at the club, these exercises will help you improve your game, enhance your ball control, and develop the fundamental skills needed to excel on the field.

So, are you ready to take your football skills to the next level? Let’s dive in!

Ball Control Drills for 8 Year Olds

Ball control is the most important skill in football, from starters to the very top of the game. Developing good ball control at an early age is crucial for young players to excel in their football journey. In this section, we will introduce some effective ball control drills specifically designed for 8-year-olds. These beginner football exercises will help young players enhance their ball skills, coordination, and game attributes, setting them up for success in dribbling, passing, and shooting.

balancing the ball on the foot drill

Whether your child is training in a class or practicing at home, these drills are suitable for both environments. They can be done individually or with a small group of friends, creating a fun and engaging practice session. Let’s dive into the drills:

Juggling the Ball Drill

One of the best ways for young players to improve their ball control is by practicing juggling the ball. This drill focuses on feet-to-eye coordination, balance, and control. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Start by holding the ball in your hands.
  2. Drop the ball to your foot and kick it with the upper part, aiming for the laces on your boots.
  3. Try to catch the ball again after kicking it.
  4. Keep your knee slightly bent and your foot/laces facing upwards.

Practicing this drill regularly will help your child become more comfortable with controlling the ball using different parts of their feet.

Dropping Ball Control Drill

This drill focuses on teaching players how to control a ball when it’s dropping down. It simulates situations in a game where players need to cushion the ball as it comes to them, such as receiving a cross-field pass or a throw-in. Follow these steps to practice the dropping ball control drill:

  1. Start with the ball in your hands and hold it at waist height.
  2. Drop the ball to the ground.
  3. Before the ball hits the ground, cushion it with the top of your foot, using the laces area.
  4. As the ball makes contact with your foot, move your leg back, allowing the ball to gently land on the ground without bouncing.

Mastering this drill will enable your child to gain better control of the ball in various game situations.

Balancing the Ball on the Foot Drill

Balance is a key component of ball control. This drill focuses on improving your child’s balance while keeping the ball stable on their foot. Follow these steps to perform the balancing the ball on the foot drill:

  1. Place the ball between the toe and shin of your dominant foot.
  2. Find the right position where the ball stays stationary.
  3. Once the ball is balanced, try to raise your leg, keeping the ball in place with your toe and shin.

This drill can be challenging at first, but with practice, your child will develop better balance and control.

Dribbling and Stopping Drill

This drill combines dribbling with abrupt stops, helping young players improve their ball control while in motion. Follow these steps to perform the dribbling and stopping drill:

  1. Start by dribbling the ball in one direction at a comfortable speed.
  2. On command, quickly stop the ball using the bottom of your foot on the top of the ball.
  3. Focus on keeping the ball close to you during the dribbling phase to maintain better control.
  4. Gradually increase your speed and challenge yourself to perform the stops more quickly.

This drill will enhance your child’s ability to control the ball while changing directions and speed.

Wallie Drill

The wallie drill is an interactive and challenging ball control exercise that pushes young players to improve their control using different parts of their body. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Begin by standing a short distance away from a wall.
  2. Throw the ball against the wall using both hands.
  3. Control the ball with your feet, trying to keep it within a yard of your body.
  4. Once comfortable, kick the ball against the wall using the inside of your foot and control it again with the inside of your foot.

This drill enhances your child’s control and coordination while introducing an element of challenge and fun.

By incorporating these ball control drills into your child’s training routine, they will develop essential skills and techniques that will pave the way for their continued growth as football players. With consistent practice and a focus on ball control, your child will be well-equipped to advance to more complex skills in the future.

Juggling the Ball Drill

A great skill for all players to practice juggling the ball, working on feet-to-eye coordination, and balance in the game. Players can start with their own ball in their hands and drop it to their foot, kicking the ball with the upper part (aim for the laces on the boot) and then try to catch the ball again. The knee of the leg that is kicking the ball should be slightly bent, and the foot/laces facing upwards.

Mastering the juggling the ball drill is an essential step in developing ball control and overall soccer skills. By practicing this drill, young players can improve their ability to strike the ball cleanly, control its trajectory, and maintain balance while performing various movements on the field.

The juggling the ball drill is not only a great way to improve technical skills, but it also adds an element of fun and creativity to training sessions. Interactive sports activities for kids are important in fostering their passion for the game and keeping them engaged in the learning process.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform the juggling the ball drill:

  1. Begin by standing in an open space with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold the soccer ball in your hands and drop it gently in front of you.
  3. As the ball starts to descend, position your kicking foot slightly behind the ball.
  4. Kick the ball with the upper part of your foot (aiming for the laces on your boot) to elevate it into the air.
  5. As the ball reaches the peak of its trajectory, keep your eyes focused on it and prepare to catch it.
  6. Allow the ball to land softly on your foot and cushion its impact by flexing your knee.
  7. Resume juggling the ball by repeating the previous steps.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Start with a low number of repetitions and gradually increase the difficulty level as you gain confidence and control. Set personal goals and challenge yourself to improve your juggling skills with each training session.

By incorporating this juggling the ball drill into your football training routine, you can significantly enhance your ball control, coordination, and balance on the field. It’s a fundamental exercise for players of all ages and skill levels.

Benefits of Juggling the Ball Drill

The juggling the ball drill offers numerous benefits for young players:

  • Improved Ball Control: Practicing juggling helps enhance your ability to control the ball confidently and accurately.
  • Feet-to-Eye Coordination: By continuously tracking the ball with your eyes, you develop better coordination between your feet and visual perception.
  • Better Balance and Stability: Juggling requires balance and stability, promoting core strength and body control.
  • Enhanced Focus and Concentration: Keeping your attention on the ball during juggling helps sharpen your focus and concentration skills, which are crucial on the field.
  • Increased Confidence and Mental Toughness: As you improve your juggling skills, you gain confidence in your ability to handle the ball and overcome challenges in the game.

As with any skill, consistent practice and repetition are key to mastering the juggling the ball drill. Incorporate it into your training routine and watch your ball control and overall performance soar.

Dropping Ball Control Drill

In order to improve ball control skills, it’s essential for young players to learn how to control the ball when it is dropping down. This drill is particularly useful for game situations such as controlling a cross-field ball, receiving a kick from the goalkeeper, or catching the ball during a throw-in. By mastering this skill, players can ensure that they have the ball under control and ready to make their next move.

During this drill, players start with the ball in their hands and then drop it towards the ground. The goal is to cushion the ball using the top of their foot, specifically the laces area. As the ball makes contact with the laces, players move their leg back, allowing the ball to gently land on the ground without bouncing. This technique ensures that the player maintains control of the ball and can progress play without losing possession.

This dropping ball control drill is a fundamental exercise for 8-year-olds in youth football training. By practicing this skill, young players can develop their ability to control the ball in various game situations, improving their overall performance on the field.

dropping ball control drill

Benefits of the Dropping Ball Control Drill:

  • Enhances foot-eye coordination
  • Improves ball control when receiving aerial passes or crosses
  • Develops the ability to cushion the ball and maintain possession
  • Increases confidence in handling challenging ball situations

By regularly incorporating the dropping ball control drill into training sessions, coaches can help young players build their confidence and proficiency in controlling the ball when it is dropping. This skill will be invaluable as they progress in their football journey and face more complex game scenarios.

Balancing the Ball on the Foot Drill

Ball control is also about keeping your balance, and the best way to improve this is to practice balancing the ball on the foot. To start this drill, players can balance the football between the toe and the shin of the player. Once the ball is stationary, the player has to keep their balance too.

balancing the ball on the foot drill

Once they feel comfortable, players can start to raise their leg that has the ball balanced. The challenge is to keep the ball balanced between the toe and shin for as long as possible. This drill not only helps improve ball control but also develops the player’s ability to maintain balance and coordination.

Benefits of the Balancing the Ball on the Foot Drill
– Improves ball control skills
– Enhances balance and coordination
– Develops focus and concentration

Let’s hear what professional coaches have to say about this drill:

“The balancing the ball on the foot drill is a fun and challenging exercise that helps young players develop their ball control skills while also improving their balance and coordination. It’s a great way to prepare them for more advanced techniques like juggling and dribbling.”

So go ahead, grab a football, and start practicing the balancing the ball on the foot drill. It’s a fun and effective drill for young players to improve their ball control and overall skills!

Dribbling and Stopping Drill

Improving ball control while on the move is an essential skill for young football players. The dribbling and stopping drill focuses on enhancing the ability to control the ball while in motion and stopping it on command. This drill is particularly beneficial for 8-year-olds who are looking to improve their dribbling skills and overall control of the ball.

To perform the dribbling and stopping drill, players start by dribbling the ball in one direction. On the command of the coach, they must quickly stop the ball dead by placing the bottom of their foot on the top of the ball. Keeping the ball close to their body at all times makes it easier for players to execute this maneuver.

Once players become comfortable with stopping the ball, they can gradually increase the intensity by transitioning from a slow jog to a faster sprint while dribbling. This progression allows players to develop greater control and coordination while maintaining speed.

This drill helps young players improve their agility, change of direction, and overall ball control. It also trains them to respond quickly to instructions from the coach, which is a crucial skill on the field.

With regular practice of the dribbling and stopping drill, young players will gain confidence and proficiency in dribbling while effectively stopping the ball in various game situations.

By incorporating this drill into their training routine, coaches can effectively develop the dribbling skills of their players while enhancing their ability to stop the ball with precision and control.

Wallie Drill

An old street football classic, the Wallie Drill is a fun and interactive sports activity that helps young players improve their ball control skills. This drill is perfect for 8-year-olds who are looking for exciting ways to enhance their football abilities.

The Wallie Drill begins with the player holding the ball in their hands. They then throw the ball against a wall and challenge themselves to control it using their feet. The key is to keep the ball within a yard of their body while controlling it. This exercise helps develop coordination and agility, as players learn to manipulate the ball with precision.

As players become more comfortable controlling the ball with their body from throwing it against the wall, they can progress to kicking it. Using the inside of their foot, players kick the ball against the wall and attempt to control it again with the same surface. This further enhances their ball control skills and encourages quick reactions.

Incorporating the Wallie Drill into training sessions or individual practice sessions can add an element of excitement and challenge for young footballers. Give it a try and watch your players’ ball control skills improve as they have fun!

Remember to adapt the difficulty level based on each player’s abilities and encourage them to set personal goals. With consistent practice, the Wallie Drill can help young players become more confident and skilled in controlling the ball, setting a strong foundation for their football journey.

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