34 Best Soccer Drills For 5 Year Olds: (With Pictures)

Soccer Drills For 5 Year Olds

Soccer is a game for all ages and drills are an important part of playing the game. When it comes to younger players, it helps to know the best soccer drills for 5 year olds.

The best soccer drill for 5 year olds are Toe Touches because it teaches them how to control the ball and allows players to get comfortable touching the top of the soccer ball. Each player lifts their knee up to touch the top of the ball. Then the foot is brought back down and the drill is repeated with the other leg.

Soccer drills teach patience as well as allow players to develop their skills. The challenge with younger players is that they do not have a lot of patience. The best way to teach 5 year olds soccer skills is by making drills fun. 

When the drills are fun and exciting, kids think of them as games so do not lose interest. But they are learning valuable skills at the same time.

The soccer drills here will be fun and challenging so your young players are encouraged to play properly. The repetition of soccer drills will give your child the skills they need to play the game now and as they get older. 

Starting with fun game-line drills is the best way to keep your child engaged so we have the best soccer drills for 5 year olds right here. It’s game on!

14 Team Soccer Drills For 5 Year Olds

Soccer is both fun and competitive. Younger kids are more into it for the fun and playing with friends, but this doesn’t mean they cannot learn valuable skills. Designing soccer drills to be fun enables younger children to stay active and engaged.

They may think it is all fun and games, but they are also learning the skills of the game. Skills that they can take with them as they grow. The fun soccer drills here cover all the positions and keep the lessons enjoyable. 

Before you get started with any of the drills, make sure your little players are properly dressed for the game. Even though it is practice, they still need the protection of shin guards.

Soccer Dribbling Drills

Figure Eight Soccer Dribbling Drill

This drill is great for teaching kids to dribble with the inside and outside of their feet. Using cones, create a 5×5 grid. Set up soccer training sticks in several lines, evenly spaced apart. 

Divide the kids into even teams. The first player in each line will dribble the ball in a weaving pattern around the training sticks.

Have them practice a few times however they want. Next, they practice using the outside of their foot when dribbling to the left and the inside when dribbling right. After a few practice turns, make it a game, and the first team with all players back wins.

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Catch Me If You Can

The kids can now learn to practice dribbling with a little more speed. This drill is the perfect mix between soccer and ‘tag’, so every kid will love it. Create a grid using cones and start with one player on two of the diagonal corners. Give each player a ball.

When the coach says ‘GO’, the players have to dribble around the outside of the grid, trying to reach the other player. ‘STOP’ means the players need to stop but maintain control of the ball. 

When it is time to ‘GO’ again, the players run in the opposite direction. If one player catches another, the one caught is out and a new player joins the grid.

Soccer Passing Drills

6 vs 4 Team Training

Split the kids into teams of 4 and 6 and make sure each team also has a goalie. This drill is like a mini soccer game that focuses on passing. Each player on the team of 6 gets assigned a number, 1 through 6. The team of 4 does not need to be numbered.

The goal is for the team of 6 to pass to each other in number order before heading to the goal. The team of 4 is to defend only. If the defenders get the ball, the team of 6 must start over passing from ‘1’ again.

You can switch players on the teams after a few tries as well as increase the game to be 6 vs 5 and 6 vs 6 eventually. Only one team needs to pass in numerical order.

Seeing Double

This is a simple soccer drill that helps kids learn how to master the ball and pass among their team. It involves a lot of teamwork between pairs of players. 

Divide the kids into pairs and have them stand facing each other. Each team gets a ball and they start by passing it to one another.

Then place a cone in the center of the two players. They have to pass the ball around the cone only using two touches. Then see if they can do the same thing with two balls. 

This can be made into a team competition once a few practice runs have been completed. The pair that completes the most passes wins.

Soccer Defending Drills

Keep Ball

This drill is designed to give defenders practice at putting pressure on attackers. The goal is to get within touching distance of an attacking player and win the ball. Create a small area with 2 attackers and 1 defender. 

Each player then takes a turn trying to win the ball. Make sure you time every play and the defender that wins all the balls the quickest wins.

Soccer Defending Drills - Keep Ball

A variation of this is to switch players every time the ball is won. The defender that wins a ball becomes a new attacker, and one of the attackers joins the line to be a defender. Rotate through all the players so that each kid gets a chance to be a defender.

You can also set up a few small boxed areas with attackers and a defender. At the whistle the defender tries to win the ball and if they do, they switch places with the attacker they got the ball from.

Pairs

This is a perfect drill for teaching younger kids the basics of soccer defending. Divide the group into teams of two. Each pair goes in a small boxed off area. 

One player gets the ball and the other attacks. The defender acts more passively to start keeping their eyes on the ball. Both players need a chance to practice passive defending.

Soccer Defending Drills - Pairs

Then you progress the drill to active defending. The defending player now wants to win the ball. Switch players up after a few minutes so they can try both roles, then switch teams up so kids can partner with other players.

Soccer Ball Control Drills

Happy Feet

Happy Feet is used to teach young soccer players how to pass the ball between their feet. This helps evade tackles, move the ball, and maintain control. 

Players use the inside of their feet to move the ball back and forth between their feet. As they practice this for longer, they will begin to get control over the ball and keep it between their feet for longer. 

As the kids get better, try challenging them to do this while looking ahead instead of at the ball. You can also make it a competition to see which player can control the ball the longest.

Toe Touches

Toe touches allow players to get comfortable touching the top of the ball. This is important in several soccer plays and can help them pull and roll the ball effectively when they get older. 

To practice toe touches, each player lifts their knee up to touch the top of the ball. The foot is brought back down and then the drill is repeated with the other leg.

Players can start slowly and gradually increase their speed as they get more confident. You can even put the kids into pairs and have both toe-touch on either side of the ball. 

The ball goes in the middle as they face one another. That way they can encourage and cheer each other on. Use this video for guidance on how to perform toe touches.

Soccer Finishing Drills

The Diamond

This finishing drill can be used for individual players as well as teams. It teaches players to keep the ball close and the intensity high, both of which are important in finishing. 

Set the field up with a line of cones to weave through approaching the box. The box needs to be marked with 4 cones.

Soccer Finishing Drills - Diamond

Players dribble the ball, through cones, until they reach the box. They dribble to each cone using certain movements. Side shuffles, toe taps, drag backs, or whatever the coach wants them to practice. 

At each cone they change movements and then head to the goal after the last cone in the box is reached. After some practice, you can add a defender to challenge the player as they come out of the box.

You Choose

Split the group into 3 even teams and position them outside of the box. There will be a group at the left, at the center, and at the right of the 18-yard line. 

The middle team decides which side to play the ball to and the chosen side becomes support for an attack. The team not getting the ball becomes defenders and they need to get across the box to close in on any shot taken.

Soccer Finishing Drills - You Choose

Soccer Attacking Drills

Balanced Attack Drill

This drill helps both attackers and defenders so is great for the whole team. Divide the group into two even teams and each team also needs to have a goalie. Mark of the desired area of play with cones. 

Make sure you have a good supply of soccer balls to allow for continuous play. One player from each team goes at a time and heads to the goal to score. After they shoot, the next player in line goes. 

The first team to score a set amount of goals (chosen by the coach) wins. This drill helps them focus on getting to the goal under pressure.

3v2 Drill

Create teams of two and three players to play against each other. If space allows, set up areas of play for each group of 5. If not, you can rotate the teams through. 

A goal needs to be set up at each end of the play area, marked out by cones. The ideal grid size would be 25 x 35 yards, but you can make this smaller depending on the number of teams and age of the players.

Soccer Attacking Drills - 3v2 Drill

The team of three are the attackers and they start with the ball. Each player on the team must touch the ball before a shot can be taken. The defenders need to rotate after 2 minutes or after a goal.

Soccer Goalkeeping Drills

Goalie Arc Drill

This drill is designed to help the goalkeeper stay focused on their movement around the arc so they can always be at a good angle to protect the goal. 

You will want a large supply of balls for this drill. Other players line up at one corner of the penalty area. Players are to dribble across the box and the goalie must move in the same way along the imaginary arc. 

The dribbler can shoot when they want, and the goalie needs to save the ball and then move into position for the next attacker coming across the box. 

Rotate players through the goalkeeper position so that each child gets a chance at the role.

World Cup Soccer Drill

This is a favorite drill for kids of all ages. Within the penalty box, organize four teams of three players each. You will also need a goalkeeper. The ball is to be thrown into the grid by the coach and there needs to be plenty of balls nearby. 

Each team plays against one of the others and the first to score a set amount of goals advances to the next round. The tournament continues like this until there is one World Cup winner. 

Let the teams come up with their own team names too for added fun.

13 Individual Soccer Drills For 5 Year Olds

Just as important as it is for players to practice drills as a team, individual players need drills to sharpen their skills too. Often individual drills can be practiced at home and outside of designated practices too. 

Even when you child is running drills by themselves, make sure they have proper soccer cleats on so that their actions mirror a real game as much as possible. They will develop better ball handling this way too.

Soccer Dribbling Drills

Musical Dribble Drill

This drill will help your child sharpen their dribbling skills in a fun way. Set up cones in different areas on the field. Play music and the player can start dribbling around the grid. 

Ideally you want them to alternate using their strongest and weakest foot. When the music stops, they need to get to the nearest cone and knock it over with the ball. They score a point for every cone they can knock over.

Bulldog Attack Drill

This is a great drill to proactive with your child to increase dribbling skills and awareness of the game play. Set up a square grid and give your child the ball. You stay in the grid and will be the bulldog. 

Your child is to start dribbling into the grid and after 10 seconds, you attempt to kick the soccer ball out of bounds. 

The player needs to protect the ball from the bulldog and if the ball gets knocked out, you switch roles, so they can be the bulldog. This is also great for two kids to practice when they are not with the team.

Soccer Passing Drills

Pass and Overlap

This drill works with three players. Players make their way up the field passing and overlapping one of their teammates. Once they approach the box at the end of the field, the player with the ball can take a shot. 

This drill allows players to dribble at speed and to coordinate movements with teammates. The ball starts with the middle player and they pass to either the left or right. Then, they run around that player. 

The receiver continues forward and then passes to the third player, before overlapping them. This continues up the field and can be done as many times as needed.

Grid Passing

There needs to be two players for this drill and only a small area of play. You can use cones to designate the area. The players exchange a ball back and forth while staying within the square. 

The goal is to pass the ball while keeping it within the grid. If the receiver does not keep their first touch in the square, the passer gets a point. If the passer kicks the ball outside the square, the receiver gets a point.

This drill allows kids to keep their first touch close and to keep their feet soft. It can be used as a warmup practice or a passing drill. Continue this drill for a set amount of time and the player with the most points wins. 

You can vary this drill up by having the kids use their weaker foot to pass or by having them use different parts of the foot such as inside, outside and so on.

Soccer Defending Drills

Guard The Castle

Using a disc cone, place the soccer ball on top to be the castle. This needs to be placed at the middle of a designated play area. Two players try to knock the castle over by passing each other a ball. 

One defender protects the castle. Ideally, the grid for this will be a square with 10 or 15 yard sides. As the kids get better you can make the playing grid smaller to present more of a challenge.

If the castle gets knocked over, the defender resets the ball and the drill continues. If the defender gets the ball or if the ball goes out of the playing grid, it is returned to the offensive players. Players need to rotate positions after each round so that all players get a chance to defend.

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Defend The Gate

Using cones, set up a playing grid that measures 20 yards wide by 10 yards long. Place two cones in the middle. 

Your child will be the defensive player and they start with the ball. They kick the ball out to another player or you as the offensive player for the drill.

The offensive player tries to dribble the ball through the gate and the defender tries to prevent this. 

The defender also wants to try and win the ball. If the attacker gets the ball through the gate or the defender wins the ball, the round is over. This drill can be done as many times as you like to practice defense movements.

Soccer Ball Control Drills

Dribble, Turn, Explode

Set up a series of cones in a line moving away from the box and goal. The player will dribble through the cones in a weaving pattern. 

The cones can be placed any distance apart from each other, depending on the skill of the player. As they get better with ball handling and control, the cones can be moved closer together. 

At the top of the cones, they are to quickly turn and sprint with the ball towards the box and finally take a shot.

Ball Juggling

Ball juggling is a great drill for learning ball control. The earlier kids start this, the better Ball juggling can be basic to start with. Make sure they are working on a flat surface. 

While sitting at first and holding the ball, they drop it in front of their feet and catch it. This video shows the steps for learning to juggle soccer balls. This needs to be done until they can catch the ball every time.

Then they drop the ball on their feet and catch it. To juggle, they need to be able to stand and move one foot up to the ball in the air. 

Have them work on moving from a bended knee to a straight leg as they hit the ball. They can do this a few times without the ball. Then they practice dropping the ball onto one knee. Eventually they can bounce the ball back and forth from each knee.

Soccer Finishing/Attacking Drills

Power From Distance

For this you will want to have a soccer mannequin. Place this on the field between the box and mid-field line. This drill is designed to promote attacks from a distance and to enhance shooting. 

Stand by the goal with a second ball ready for them. The player dribbles the ball around the mannequin and takes a powerful shot at the goal from outside the box. Throw in the other ball for them to take a second shot from within the box.

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The Two Footed Striker

Stand midfield while the player stands towards one corner of the field. They dribble the ball and then shoot a long pass to you. 

They immediately run to catch a layup from you which should be just outside the box at the other end of the field from where they start. 

They touch the ball from the layup and then take a shot. This drill helps to focus shooting skills while moving.

Snapshot

In the game, attackers have to take shots without delay. The defenders have the most time. This drill is designed to train strikers to take those shots under pressure. 

You can have a goalie for this drill or not, depending on the skill level of the child. The player stands at center field while you throw the ball into them from the side. 

They need to get control over the ball and take a shot right away. You can add an additional player to this drill for a challenge. Both players run to win the ball after it is thrown onto the field. The one who gets the shot gets a point.

Soccer Goalkeeping Drills

Deflect and Dive

This drill helps the goalie to block low shots at one post before moving to the other side to block a high shot. Goalkeepers can improve their agility and quickness with this drill. 

Divide players evenly into two sides and have each line up outside the box. One group to be on the goal line about two yards off the goal posts and will take low shots.

The second group will be inside the field about 6 yards off the opposite goal post and will take higher shots directly after the low ground shot has been deflected. 

With deflection and diving, the goalie can enhance their skills for protecting the goal. You can rotate players through so that each child has the chance to be goalie.

Goalie Wars

This drill is for two goalkeepers that will face off against each other to score in the opposing goal. Set up a playing grid with cones that is 20 x 15 yards and set up a goal at each end. You can get affordable goals from Amazon.

Two goalkeepers play against each other attempting to score in the other’s goal. Each goalkeeper can throw, kick, or drop kick the ball at the other goalkeeper in an attempt to score while the other goalkeeper attempts to save the ball. Use cones to mark a 5-yard line in front of each goal. These will be the goalie zones.

One goalie starts with the ball and attempts to score. They can throw, kick, or volley the ball. If they score they get a point. If the ball is blocked, then the goalie who stopped the goal gets a point. 

The goalies each take turns (as seen in this video) for a set amount of time. If there are additional players, rotate them in to have a turn as goalie.

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Fun Soccer Games For Kids

In addition to drills, it is a good idea to organize games for kids to help them practice and sharpen their soccer skills. 

Having games makes the learning more fun and is more likely to keep them interested. These games all involve important skills that are also practiced in drills and can be used to end training sessions.

Space Wars Soccer Game

The group is divided into teams, or fleets of star fighters. Each side of a marked 30 x 30 grid is their launch pad. The playing area is the battlefield. Each player in the fleet has a ball. 

This drill lets kids practice accurate passing. When the while blows, players try to knock the ball of the opposing team out of the grid. At the same time, they have to protect their ball from being knocked out. 

If your ball is knocked out of the grid, you have ‘crashed’ and are out of the game. After a specified amount of time, the fleet with the most tar fighters left wins.

Bumper Cars Soccer Drill

Create a playing grid with cones that is 5 x 5 yards. 4 players dribble inside this playing area. Two defenders that do not have balls and are trying to knock balls out of the grid. 

If they knock 5 balls out of the grid they win, and the game is over. There are also safety zones set up to the side of the grid. If a player needs a rest, they can bump a player out of the safety zone. 

If you are in the safety zone and a ball is passed to you, you have to leave your zone and return to the main area. As players get better, you can reduce the size of the safety areas so that passing can become more accurate.

Catch The Tail Soccer Game

In this game, every player is a tiger and they need to have a tail. You can use the same bands that are used for flag football and can find them easily on Amazon. Players run around a designated area trying to steal the tail of other tigers. 

There is no soccer ball needed for this game. The goal is to let players work on agility, turning, and evading other players. When you steal a tail, you have to add it to your own and those tails are now up for grabs. 

The game plays for a set amount of time and the tiger with the most tails at the end wins. You can also add balls to the game to make it more challenging. Players then have to protect their ball and their tails.

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4 Soccer Drills For Kids At Home

When the kids are at home practicing drills, they may not have access to the same equipment as they do when training. This is ok because there are still many drills that can be done in the backyard. 

There are also items in the yard that can be used to help your child practice. No matter where your child is, there are always ways to sharpen their soccer skills and moves.

Dribbling

Dribbling drills are always one of the most important because it is the most used movement in a soccer game. You can never have too much practice. 

Instead of cones, you can place stones or sticks that you collect from around the yard. Place them in a line to practice weaving around or set up a small course around the yard. 

Being at home allows kids to practice at their own pace so they can really focus on controlling the ball and getting better with their pattern and speed.

Shooting

Kids can also practice shooting at home. Set up a goal using stones or if you have a gate, you can shoot through that. Additionally, grab a few chairs front the patio and set those up to be a goal too. 

Shooting like dribbling is essential to the game, so there can never be too much practice. While they have the time to practice without other players around, they can focus on shooting from different angles and distances.

Wall Passes

So long as there is a wall that can handle a few kicks and it doesn’t shake the house, practicing kicking against a wall is a great drill. Wall kicks and wall juggling help kids strengthen their reflexes. 

Make sure they are standing about 3 yards from the wall for the best test of their reflexes. They start by throwing the ball against the wall to start, then juggle the ball using their feet. 

They keep doing this until they cannot control the ball. With practice, this drill becomes less difficult and they will develop great ball control.

Rollover Dribble

Rollover dribbling is another way to perfect dribbling skills when at home. It also helps to sharpen balance and concentration. Ideally, your child should practice this every day. 

100 touches per day is a great way to become a master of dribbling. Rollover dribbles involve pushing the ball with the sole of your feet. It helps them learn to turn the ball when under pressure from other players.

Helpful Tips To Come Up With Best Soccer Drills For 5 Year Olds

When it comes to soccer drills for kids, there are many options. Each of the drills discussed can be used for team practice or individuals. They can also be customized according to the skill of the player. A few helpful tips to remember when choosing drills for 5 year olds include:

  • Make the drills fun: Children have short attention spans so the more fun the drill or game is the more likely they will continue to focus and practice.
  • Play along: When they are not around their teammates, make sure you practice with them. Some drills can be done alone, but it helps to have another player around to act as a defender or attacker.
  • Practice smart: Make sure there is always plenty of water around when they are doing drills and that they have the right soccer attire and protective gear. Wearing the right gear allows them to get comfortable moving as they would during a game.

Final Thoughts

Soccer is a game of the ages and for all ages. As one of the top sports in the world, many kids want to play. Whether they play for fun or competitively, there is always room for running drills to become a better player. 

Just make sure you offer variety and match the drills to their skill level. Drills should be fun but also a little challenging. With any of the best soccer drills for 5 year olds in this guide, your child will be the MVP in no time.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

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