Soccer Drills & Games For 5-Year-Olds: Easy Guide

There are many skills for a 5-year-old to learn playing soccer. This article will guide you will skills, practice, and drills.

The ripe age of 5 is when many kids first try their hand (or foot) at soccer. 

The truth is that many of these bright-eyes 5-year olds won’t end up playing professional soccer, and that’s okay!

5-year-olds should only have a few short practices a week that are focused on fun games. The focus should be on basic skills, both soccer and social, to help these kids grow their interest in the sport. 

Make no mistake, coaching 5 year-olds is no walk in the park! Soccer coaches and parents alike must understand the ins and outs of how young kids should practice soccer. 

Before we look at the soccer drills, let’s take a look at some common questions coaches and parents have about 5-year-old soccer players…


How should a 5 year old practice soccer?

5-year-olds should practice soccer in a way that is fun and enjoyable. Games that incorporate basic skills are the best way for 5-year-olds to grow their skills and love for the game. 

How do I coach my 5 year old soccer?

How you coach a 5-year old can impact how they view the game for the rest of their lives.

If they have a strongly negative first experience, there’s a good chance they won’t continue the sport. Coaches should be encouraging, positive, and fun.

While you will need to establish rules for respect and appropriate behavior, coaching 5-year-olds is more about introducing them to the sport in a fun way. 

Focus on games that “hide” soccer skills in them, not rote soccer drills. Remember, attention spans are short. Keep activities moving quickly and give plenty of breaks. 

What size soccer ball does a 5 year old use?

5-year-olds use the smallest soccer ball, a size 3. 

How long should a 5 year old practice soccer?

Soccer practices should be kept short for young kids, around 30-45 minutes once or twice a week. 

What soccer skills should a 5 year old have?

Many kids first start playing soccer around this age, so they may not have any soccer-specific skills. That is just fine!

The aim for this age is to start teaching them some of the soccer basics. It is perfectly okay if the kids do not have basic skills yet at this age. 

What soccer skills should a 5 year old learn?

Keep it simple for young kids. At 5 years old, kids are still learning balance and coordination, which makes advanced soccer skills difficult.

This is a great time to start teaching kids basic soccer skills. 5-year-olds should learn:

  • Social skills/teamwork 
  • Listening 
  • Taking turns 
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Basic agility 
  • Passing
  • Dribbling
Youth Soccer Players Playing A Game On The Field
Youth Soccer Players Playing A Game On The Field

Soccer Drills & Games For 5-Year-Olds

Dribble Between the Squares: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-6
  • Length of Session: 5 mins
  • Number of Players: groups of 4
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling, ball handling 
  • Equipment: 8 cones and 4 balls for each group of 4

Description: Each child will dribble their ball from one square to the next and back using a variety of different dribbling tactics defined by the coach. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Set up two squares 10 meters apart with side lengths of 5 meters. 
  • Place 4 players in one square and give each player a ball. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. Instruct the players to dribble to the other square and back using different techniques. 
  2. Right foot only. 
  3. Left foot only. 
  4. Inside of the feet. 
  5. Outside of the feet. 
  6. Doing a particular move every few dribbles (stepover, cut, roll and touch, etc.)

Musical Balls: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-6
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: any
  • Skills to Learn: awareness, speed, coordination 
  • Equipment: balls and cones 
  • Description: The number of balls decreases by one each round

Drill Set-up:

  • Create a large square based on the number of players you have. 
  • Give each player a ball.
  • Optional: set up a small side activity for kids to do once they are out of musical balls. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. Give each player a ball at first. 
  2. Instruct players to dribble around the area using different techniques. 
  3. When you stop playing music or blow your whistle, each kid must leave their ball and find a new one. 
  4. Take away one ball. 
  5. Repeat the steps, this time one player won’t have a ball in the end. 
  6. The player without a ball must perform a simple action, like 5 jumping jacks, or they are out. 
  7. You can repeat the activity this way or take away one more ball each time the same way you would with musical chairs. 

Hungry Hippos: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-6
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: up to 20
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling at speed, keeping head up
  • Equipment: a lot of soccer balls, pinnies, and small goals are optional 
  • Description: Two teams compete to see who can bring the most balls back to their area. 

Drill Set-up: 

  • Split the kids into two even teams. 
  • Give each team pinnies to distinguish. 
  • Create a large rectangle with a small zone on each end. 
  • Place all of the balls in the center of the space. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. Place each team at either end of the rectangle. 
  2. Each team can send one player at a time to go retrieve a ball and dribble it back. 
  3. Optional: add a mini goal. The player must shoot the ball into the small goal to earn it for their team. 
  4. If a player goes out of bounds, they must put the ball back to the middle and go back to their team for a new player to go.
  5. Perform as a race until all the balls are gone. 

Sharks and Minnows: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-8
  • Length of Session: 10 mins
  • Number of Players: any
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling, keeping head up, ball control
  • Equipment: balls for each player, cones, pinnies optional.

Description: Kids try to dribble from one side to the other without getting tagged by the shark. Anyone tagged becomes a shark.

Drill Set-up: 

  • Create a large rectangle suitable for the number and age of players. For example, 35 meters long by 20 meters wide for 12-15 6-year-olds. 
  • Give each player a ball and line them up on the starting line.
  • Select a “shark” to start. 

Drill Instructions

  1. Line up all of the “minnows” with their balls.
  2. Choose 1-2 sharks and place them in the middle of the space. 
  3. When you say go, have the minnows try to dribble across the other side without getting tagged by a shark. 
  4. Anyone who is tagged must become a shark for the next round.
  5. Challenge players to see who can be the last minnow standing.
  6. Younger kids, 4-6, can focus on just tagging the player. For kids 6-8, change the rules so they must knock the ball away from the minnow to count. For kids 8-10 or with advanced skills, you can require them to take full possession of the ball. 
  7. Another way to make the drill more challenging is to make space smaller. 
  8. You can also add specific dribbling challenges within the game (weak foot only, must complete 2 moves before crossing, etc.

Dribble Through Gates: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-8
  • Length of Session: 10 mins
  • Number of Players:  3-10
  • Skills to Learn: Ball control, keeping the head up while dribbling
  • Equipment: enough balls for each player and cones

Description; Randomly place gates that are approximately 3 meters wide. Kids will aim to dribble through each gate once or as many gates as possible in the set time. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Set up a large area around 30 meters by 30 meters (use a larger space for more kids)
  • Randomly set up 6-10 3m wide gates using cones
  • Give each kid a ball. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. Kids 4-6 can have more gates and larger gates to minimize collisions. 
  2. Give kids a set time and goal. For example, you can see who can get through the most gates in 60 seconds, or who can get through every gate first. 
  3. Make the drill more challenging for older players with restrictions, like right or left foot only. You could also require older kids to complete a move before dribbling through the gate. 

Kick the Coach: Soccer Drill 

  • Age Range: 4-8
  • Length of Session: 5 mins 
  • Number of Players: any
  • Skills to Learn: passing
  • Equipment: balls for each child 

Description: The coach runs between two lines of kids who are all trying to hit the coach’s legs with the ball.

Drill Set-up:

  • Create two lines facing each other. Place a cone for each kid. 
  • The lines should be 10-15 yards apart. 
  • Place each kid on a line and give them a ball. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. Kids line up facing each other. 
  2. The coach will run through the middle of the lines. 
  3. The kids try to pass (NOT shoot) their ball to hit the coach. 
  4. Only contact below the knee counts. 
  5. Ideal for younger kids just learning how to pass. 

4v4 to Mini-Goals (no GK): Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-10
  • Length of Session: 3 min games, up to 15 mins
  • Number of Players: 6,8,10
  • Skills to Learn: game decisions, passing vs dribbling, 1v1 situations
  • Equipment: regular cones, mini-goals/pug goals or large cones, pinnies, or different colored shirts. 

Description: Allow kids to compete in 4v4 small-sided games up to 3 mins long. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Set up the field based on the age of players. For younger players, 4-6, make a field about 15x 20 meters. For older groups, make the field a bit larger. 
  • Set up multiple fields if you have a large group. 
  • Use cones to create the outline of the field. 
  • Set up either mini-goals, pugg goals, or large cones as the goals. 
  • Split the players into even teams of 4, and give each team a color. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. Play 3 min games to the mini-goals. 
  2. Define how players earn points. You can create unique rules to shift the focus and practice different things. For example, for older kids, you could make a 1-touch finish worth 2 points. 
  3. Keep the simple focus for kids 4-6, emphasizing taking the ball from the other team but not your team. Also, guide them to stay spread out and communicate. 
  4. For older kids, emphasize decision-making between passing and dribbling. 
  5. You can also use larger goals and add a GK for older kids, ages 9-10. 

Dribble to Pass: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-10
  • Length of Session:  10 mins
  • Number of Players: 4+
  • Skills to Learn: passing on the move, ball control, receiving 
  • Equipment: cones and balls

Description:  Players dribble through a series of cones and then pass the ball off to the next player in line. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Set up 10 cones in a line. 
  • The cones should be 1.5 to 2 meters apart. 
  • On each end of the line of cones, set another cone 5-7 meters away. 
  • Repeat this setup to create multiple groups if you have a lot of players. 
  • 2-3 players will line up behind the cone on each end of the line of cones. 
  • Give the ball to the first player in line. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. The first player dribbles through the line of cones. 
  2. Once they complete the line of cones, the player then passes the ball to the next player in line who is at the cone 5-7 yards away. 
  3. The second player should receive the ball and then dribble through the line of cones. 
  4. Create different dribbling rules (right foot, left foot, inside-outside, stepovers, etc).
  5. Focus on dribbling and passing technique, picking the eyes up, and being ready in line. 
  6. Extend the distance of the pass for older/ advanced kids. 
  7. Make the game competitive by having multiple groups compete to see who can have all players go twice. If you only have one group, turn it into a race against the clock.



adidas 2019 MLS Official Match Ball White/Silver Metallic/Blue/Red Size 5
Official MLS Soccer Ball
adidas mens Copa Mundial Soccer Shoe, Black/White/Black, 10 Women 9 Men US
Best Leather Soccer Cleats
QUICKPLAY Q-Fold Soccer Goal | The 30 Second Folding Soccer Goal for Backyard [Single Goal] The Best Weatherproof Soccer Net for Kids and Adults 2YR Warranty (2) 8x5'
30 Seconds Quickplay Goals

Thank you for reading our articles - we hoped you've enjoyed them and are having fun playing, coaching, and watching soccer.

Soccer Blade is an affiliate and an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases - at no extra cost to you.