Soccer Drills for U8 Players

These specific U8 soccer drills will combine the basics players learned at a younger age with more advanced training methods. Included in this section are 1v1 defensive drills, advice on getting your players to win the ball in midfield and finishing drills for strikers. Click on the headings for detailed soccer drills complete with diagrams.

  • Goalkeeper training: positioning tips - Soccer coaching tips and tactics to get your young goalkeeper in the right position to make a save.

  • Soccer coaching tips to win possession from a goal kick -

    The ideal way of getting your young soccer (football) players into shape to defend or attack goal kicks is by shouting a one-word code. If you use my technique, all you will have to shout is "DIAMOND." 

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  • Soccer coaching tips to keep your goalie happy -

    The position of goalkeeper is always the hardest to fill in any youth soccer team. Use this soccer goalie drill and coaching tips to make sure your keeper is happy in his role.

  • Kick off tactics to keep opponents guessing - Kick-offs are particularly important in junior soccer because if you’ve just given away a goal, or you are starting the first or second half of a match, you need your players to take the initiative. Use these kick-off soccer coaching tips and tactics to catch your opponents out.

  • Three way soccer drill for goalie and striker skills - Strikers and goalkeepers work well together in threes. This quick, shooting soccer drill keeps your goalkeeper on his toes and helps your strikers find the best place to put their shots to beat the opposition keeper.

  • Soccer drill to give wingers the edge -

    Get your wingers to focus on a quick one-two soccer drill with their midfield team-mates so they can carve a way to goal and leave a few defenders behind on match days. Sometimes this move is better than dribbling.

  • Decision making soccer drills for young players -

    Try a 1v1 soccer training drill to encourage decisive thinking in young attack players.

  • Goal approach game - In this game, the aim is to get your attackers used to running at the goal from different angles. Ask your defender to call out an attacker's position and they must then get past the defender and attack the goal.

    Players must be alert to the call and able to move the ball quickly for a shot at goal.

  • Finishing circuit drill to put striker skills to the test -

    This is a testing 1v1 finishing circuit to put your strikers through their paces as they face a different challenge at each stage of the drill. Players are constantly on the move, answering questions in both attacking and defending situations.

  • Hands on soccer drill for young goalkeepers - Soccer coaching tips and drills to get your goalie saving a goal using their hands, not their feet.

  • Score and assist attacking and finishing drill - This attacking and finishing soccer drill aims to see if the first attacker can finish their chance before spinning to lay-off a pass from his teammate and create a second opportunity.

  • Soccer drill to boost attacker confidence - Use this soccer training drill to build up confidence in your young attackers without defenders to ruin the party!

  • Help your attackers when their back is to the goal - Follow these soccer coaching tips and drills to improve your attackers' understanding and skills when their backs are to goal. It is a skill in itself being able to turn or move the ball into space without having the luxury of seeing where all the defenders and the goalkeeper are.

  • Soccer attack drill using 2v1 - Players are reacting to decisions all the time in a game - decisions they make and decisions their team mates make. With this soccer attack drill, I am looking for players to support quickly once they have chosen their attacking partner.

  • Soccer drill to help attackers turn and shoot - Young attackers often find it difficult to turn and shoot when they receive the ball with their back to goal, because they are unsure of where it is and what's behind them. This versatile soccer drill will make them aware of the goal and where they have to turn, so they can shoot effectively.

  • Soccer drill to coach blocking the shot - Defenders can save goals by placing themselves between the goal and the ball. Some defenders have the ability to read the situation and will "throw" themselves in front of the ball to deflect it away from goal. The following soccer drill is a good one to get defenders blocking shots to protect the goal and working at match speed to make their reactions fast and instinctive.

  • Goalkeeper drill to deflect the ball - In a perfect goalkeeper’s world, every shot would be cleanly caught and brought into the body. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. Tony Carr, academy director of West Ham United, English Premier League, has this soccer training drill to help goalkeepers deflect the ball safely away from the goal using the correct technique and quick decision-making skills.

  • Prepare your team for playing one man down - Get your players practising the following soccer training drill to help them cope in match situations when the team is one player short.

  • Defending in twos soccer drill - This soccer coaching drill looks at two defenders working together to stop attackers. The coaching session tests players' ability to communicate and support when attackers are running towards goal, and when they receive the ball with their backs to goal.

  • Muddy pitch warm up drill for goalkeepers - If the pitch is muddy, use this soccer drill to warm-up your goalie's feet as well as their hands because in these conditions it is the goalkeeper's footwork that will often be the deciding factor when the ball is played.

  • Soccer end zone alley drill to coach 1v1 defending - 1v1 defending should be seen as an important part of your soccer coaching programme. Your players will respond better on match days when they know how to tackle 1v1 situations. The only way to achieve this is with repeated practice but you can make defending skills drills more fun with the help of this end zone alley soccer drill.

  • Soccer coaching game to build defending skills - This fun soccer (football) coaching game uses elements of rugby in order to teach your young players group defending skills.

  • Soccer drill to coach defending against attacking wingers - Clearing the ball when you have players running at you is never easy. It often needs a calm head and a reminder not to jump into the tackle and make it easy for the attacker to get past you. Use this soccer drill to coach these defensive skills.

  • Soccer drill for predatory attackers - A good attacker is always on the lookout for easy goals so they must be a predator around the goal area looking for rebounds off the goalkeeper, connecting with crosses and pouncing on any loose balls that come their way. This soccer training drill is a great way to  coach this.

  • Soccer drill to get attackers switching the ball - In this soccer coaching session, you need to get your attackers to make decisions. They have the chance to score in two goals at one end of the playing area, so they have to switch play quickly to catch the opposition off guard.

  • Small sided soccer game to get through to lone striker - One of the most important areas of youth soccer is the through ball to the attacker who has got beyond the
    defenders. Use this small-sided soccer game to get players practising attacking to get the ball through to the attacker.

  • Soccer drill to get players shooting at an angle - Use this soccer (football) drill to get your young attackers shooting from angles. You are coaching them to use basic football tactics that will make it much harder for the goalkeeper to dive across and save the shot.

  • Soccer drill to coach possession skills - Use this soccer training session to coach your players how to work hard to win back the ball if they lose possession.

  • Soccer coaching game on winning the ball in midfield - This game focuses on winning the ball in midfield and releasing to a "target man" who must set up a chance for one of the midfielders to score.

  • Soccer coaching game for teamwork, strength and balance - Try the fun game called "Chain gang". Will any of your players be a weak link and break the chain? Find out as you test their ball control skills.

  • 1v1 soccer drill for kids - Try this 1v1 soccer drill for kids to encourage decisive thinking in young attacking players.

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