Hey Moms! Hey Dads! Want your lil’ soccer player to improve? Want him/her to play better? Play more? Want other parents complimenting your son/daughter? Or…is your youngster a soccer die hard? Can’t get enough of the sport? Always kicking it around at the house?
Well let’s take a look at a few ways you can help make them the little star they are with some fun home training. (Kids from 3 to 10)
Start with a little kick-around in the back yard. Work on the fundamentals in a fun way.
Dribbling Skill Development
Dribbling is one of the most fun parts of the game -- for players and fans! Everyone loves to watch a good dribbler. It’s a simple skill that requires practice, but it’s a fun skill to practice if you make it fun!
Start by setting up some obstacles for your little dribbler. Get some shoes, socks, empty water bottles, and sprinkle them around the yard or driveway. Have your son/daughter dribble in and around them. Make a little slalom course for them. Get a watch out and time them just for fun.
Encourage them to use their left foot and right foot. This is a great way to teach them coordination, ball control, and make them a dribbling artist.
Set up a Goal
Find a good backyard goal at a local soccer store or Soccer Innovations
Help your youngster. Try and defend your goal from a distance. Have your little one dribble at you and dribble by you and try to score. This allows him to work on his dribbling timing, cuts, fake, and feints in order to beat a human defender in a real game like situation.
Make sure you let them have lots of success!
Kicking/Shooting Skill Development
One of the most important skills in the sport is kicking the soccer ball. There are many levels of this skill based on your son/daughter’s age. Let’s start with the youngsters.
For Younger or New-To-Soccer Kids
If your child is very young, the first thing you want to work on is the basic kicking motion and ball striking technique. Don’t worry about side of the foot push passing techniques until their motor skills are more developed and their coordination is ready for them.
Just let them swing away and kick the ball. That’s a great place to start. It’s also very important when they’re young to get them swinging both legs equally. This will develop coordination, timing and teach the techniques required to make them good shooters.
Concentrate on the following basic techniques:
- Non-kicking foot: step next to the ball; point non-kicking foot toes in the direction of the kick.
- Focus on kicking the ball with the laces -- that means pointing the toes downward and kicking with a flat and stiff ankle.
- Approach the ball from a slight angle so the toes don’t drag on the ground when the knee is straightening.
For Older or More Skilled Soccer Players
Now for those of you with kids that are more developed, more coordinated and older; and they’ve mastered or are very good at fundamental kicking techniques.
It’s now time to make sure they’ve mastered the push passing technique. It’s where we position the player’s toes upward and outward and their knee twists outward and they swing the leg almost like a golf putter.
They are using the inside/large surface area of their foot which allows more accuracy and control when striking/passing the ball to teammates.
This technique is the most popular kicking technique and kicking motion in the sport. At every level of soccer from amateur to collegiate and even to professional, this technique is used hundreds, if not thousands of times during the game to keep the ball under control while distributing it to a teammate.
For years to come, your soccer player will be practicing this technique. In warm-ups, while playing with friends, and in many training exercises this passing technique will be practiced, polished, and utilized.
A good way to practice this technique is to simply stand in front of your athlete/soccer player and pass the ball back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth.
Start off about 5 yards away, vary your distance, add players or people to change the angles.
Soccer Training Equipment Recommendations
In addition, we have other great tools your aspiring young player can use by themselves to practice. Take a look at our Jimmy Ball Technique Training Ball which is a super soccer technique tool that any age player can use to practice their soccer techniques on their own. It’s great because you can use it indoors. Check it out here!
A good soccer rebounder allows the player to play a ball into it and it bounces the ball back on the ground. Make sure your rebounder allows the player to play the ball on the ground and make sure it returns the ball on the ground. This is the key, as it allows good repetition.
About the Author
Jimmy Elder is the President and Founder of Soccer Innovations. He is also a National Championship winning coach at Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas. Find more of his blogs here.
Subscribe to his Youtube channel My Soccer Secrets.
Soccer Innovations offers a partner program for youth soccer associations and soccer clubs. Contact us or call: 877-757-9255, for more information.