For the U8 age level, I suggest soccer drills that meet the following criteria:
- They are fun!
- They incorporate the main skills that you should practice at this age (which are dribbling, controlling, inside foot passing, two touch passing, striking, basic defense concepts, pass and move, and one touch passing).
- They are fast moving (nobody standing in lines).
- Drills that they all benefit from (instead of breaking into positions).
- Drills that are fun that get them exercise and conditioning with them not even knowing.
It’s also important to practice lots of small sided games (3 on 3) with a smaller field size, no goalie, and small goals. This allows players to get more touches and practice their newly developed skills with less pressure.
When running drills with young kids, it’s critically important to stay positive. A coach at this level can literally make or break the kid’s future so a special kind of teacher is needed. A coach at this level really needs to redefine what success means for themselves. In other words, success can’t be based on wins but rather, for example, David used an instep kick today instead of his toes!
For some good U8 soccer drills, download this free ebook 42 Soccer Drills and Practice Plans. In particular, some good soccer drills for U8 are:
- Harassment – Page 9
- Breathing Room – Page 17
- Zig & Zag – Page 28
- Pass Through Traffic – Page 31
- Fox and the Hounds – Page 34
- Stop and Go – Page 79
- Drop Off – Page 82
- Musical Balls – Page 86
You can also check out this ebook (50 Fun Soccer Drills & Games) that has lots of drills that are really good for this age level: