Soccer Drills & Games For 6-Year-Olds (Easy Guide)

This article is made for you if you’re a coach or parent with a 6-year-old soccer fan. Your questions were answered, plus sessions, drills, and games.

After over 20 years of playing soccer, I can’t exactly remember when I started. According to my mother, it was at the ripe age of 6. 

While many kids try soccer at younger ages, a lot still start for the first time at age 6. Additionally, age 6 is the first year that’s not considered “pee wee” soccer. 

6-year-olds need a lot of help with soccer basics and should have fairly short and fun practices. At this age, the purpose of soccer is still to build interest in the sport while teaching the basic concepts. 

Coaching 6-year-olds may feel like recess, but it’s a crucial time in a soccer player’s early development. 

Before we look at the soccer drills, let’s look at some common questions coaches and parents have about 6-year-old soccer players…

Soccer Equipment On Turf And Players Training Behind
Soccer Equipment On Turf And Players Training Behind ○ Soccer Blade

How should 6-year-old practice soccer?

At 6-years-old, some kids may have a little soccer experience, but many others are still new. 6-year-olds should still practice soccer in a way that’s fun and enjoyable.

Like 5-year-olds, the focus should be on fun games incorporating soccer basics. 

How do I coach my 6-year-old soccer?

Coach 6-year-olds with an open mind. You may already see some differences in ability and interest at this age.

Do not allow bias to taint your coaching. Focus on fun games that incorporate soccer skills. 

Establish clear expectations for listening when the coach talks and how to treat teammates. Keep activities fast-paced and provide plenty of breaks.

Rather than focusing on corrections, emphasize when a child does something correctly or shows effort. 

What size soccer ball does a 6-year-old use?

6-year-olds use a size 3 soccer ball. 

How long should 6-year-old practice soccer?

6-year-olds should have fairly short practices, up to 45 minutes long twice per week. 

What soccer skills should a 6-year-old have?

6-year-olds who have played some soccer before may have a few basic skills, like passing, dribbling, and understanding the fundamental rules.

But remember that many 6-year-olds are still new to the sport and will need significant guidance. You may have 6-year-olds with a range of soccer skills. 

What soccer skills should a 6-year-old learn?

At this age, teaching the basics is still important. Kids are still young and generally a bit clumsy. Focus on the following soccer skills:

  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Running technique 
  • Passing
  • Dribbling/ ball control 
  • Teamwork 
  • Communication 
  • Listening
Youth Soccer Players In A Training Game
Youth Soccer Players In A Training Game

Soccer Drills and Games For 6-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. 
Dribble Between The Squares Soccer Drill
Dribble Between The Squares Soccer Drill ○ Soccer Blade

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. 
Musical Balls Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Musical Balls Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com

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. 
Hungry Hippos Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Hungry Hippos Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com ○ Soccer Blade

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 in 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: 6+
  • 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. 
Sharks And Minnows Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Sharks And Minnows Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com

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 the 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. 
Dribble Through Gates Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Dribble Through Gates Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com

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. 
Hit The Coach Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Hit The Coach Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com

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. 
4V4 Mini Goals Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
4V4 Mini Goals Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com

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, you could make a 1-touch finish worth 2 points for older kids. 
  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. 

Freeze Tag: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 6-10
  • Length of Session: 10 mins
  • Number of Players: 6+
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling, keeping head up, ball control
  • Equipment: ball for each player, cones, pinnies

Description: One or two taggers try to tag the players dribbling around with the ball. Once tagged, a player is frozen until another player passes the ball between their legs to unfreeze them.

Drill Set-up:

  • Create a large square roughly 30 m X 30 m. Adjust the size based on the number of players. 
  • Put all players in the square. 
  • Select 1-3 taggers (depending on the size of the group).
  • Give the taggers a pinny to differentiate them. 
  • Give all non-taggers a ball. 
Freeze Tag Soccer Drill
Freeze Tag Soccer Drill

Drill Instructions:

  1. When you say go, the taggers will run around trying to tag those who are dribbling. 
  2. If a player is tagged, they “freeze.” The frozen player stands with their feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. They should raise their ball above their head. 
  3. A teammate can “unfreeze” a player by passing their ball between that player’s legs. 
  4. Once unfrozen, the player puts the ball down and begins dribbling again. 
  5. Play until the taggers freeze everyone, or for up to 2 minutes. 
  6. Switch taggers each round. 
  7. For younger kids, you can start without the ball as a warmup. 
  8. Older, more advanced kids, require the tagger to steal the ball instead of just tag. 

Pass Through the Gates: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 6-10
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: any
  • Skills to Learn: passing, communication
  • Equipment: balls and cones, optional pinnies

Description: Players must pass the ball through a gate to their teammate to earn a point. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Set up a large space based on the number of players you have and their ages. 
  • Randomly place gates using cones. Gates should be about 3 meters. 
  • Give each player a partner.
  • Optional: use pinnies to distinguish groups. 
  • Each group of 2 gets 1 ball.
Pass Through The Gates Soccer Drill
Pass Through The Gates Soccer Drill

Drill Instructions:

  1. Kids must dribble around the area and pass through the gates to their partners. 
  2. Each successful pass through the gate earns one point. 
  3. Kids cannot go through the same gate twice in a row. 
  4. Challenge your players to see who gets the most passes in a set time or who can complete all gates first. 
  5. Keep each round to 60 seconds or less. 
  6. Challenge older players to use their weaker foot or complete the drill with smaller gates. 

1v1 Shooting: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 6-10
  • Length of Session:10 mins
  • Number of Players: 2+
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling, 1v1 attacking and defending, finishing
  • Equipment: balls, cones, a goal

Description: Both players face the goal and engage in a race to the ball and goal. Who can finish first? This fun game is a combination of 1v1 and shooting. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Place a cone about 25 meters away from the goal. 
  • Bring all of the balls to the cone. 
  • If you do not have a goal available, create one with cones or use a mini goal. 
  • Split players into two even teams. 
  • Have each team line up on one side of the cone. 
1V1 Shooting Soccer Drill
1V1 Shooting Soccer Drill

Drill Instructions:

  1. Have the goalkeeper (s) head to the goal. They can switch off every few times.
  2. Stand at the cone with the balls. 
  3. Pass the ball forward toward the goal. 
  4. The first player in each line should react to the pass and race to the ball. 
  5. The players should compete to see who can win the ball and finish first. 
  6. If the players are unable to finish right away and engage in a 1v1, keep the game at under 20 seconds. 
  7. Play the first team to 10 goals and then switch sides. Keep the entire activity around 10 minutes or less. 
  8. Have players start in different positions. At first, they can face forward. Then have them face sideways and backward,  or start kneeling or in a push-up position. Different starting positions help them work on power and reaction time.

Here are some high-quality training equipment pieces you’ll need for the soccer drills later on. If you’re on a budget get the set of balls – if not, I highly recommend getting multiple individual balls for the best enjoyment and longevity.

You might have some of the gear already. If not, I highly recommend these;

Best Youth Soccer Balls

Franklin Sports Futsal Ball - Low Bounce Futsal And Indoor Soccer Training Ball - Heavy Indoor + Outdoor Futsal Ball - Junior Size - Size 3
Wilson Ncaa Copia Ii Soccer Ball, Optic Yellow - Size 3
Adidas Unisex-Adult Mls Nativo Xxv Club Ball, Samba Blue/Solar Green/Black/Glory Blue, 4
Franklin Sports Futsal Ball - Low Bounce Futsal and Indoor Soccer Training Ball - Heavy Indoor + Outdoor Futsal Ball - Junior Size - Size 3
WILSON NCAA Copia II Soccer Ball, Optic Yellow - Size 3
adidas Unisex-Adult MLS Nativo XXV Club Ball, Samba Blue/Solar Green/Black/Glory Blue, 4
DETAILS
⚽ Futsal Weight ⚽ Soft Touch ⚽ Low Bounce
⚽ Strike Zones ⚽ Butyl Bladder ⚽ 32 Panels
⚽ Choice of Color ⚽ MLS Style ⚽ Butyl Bladder
AGE
Sizes 3 & 4
Sizes 3, 4, & 5
Sizes 3, 4, & 5
-
-
Franklin Sports Futsal Ball - Low Bounce Futsal And Indoor Soccer Training Ball - Heavy Indoor + Outdoor Futsal Ball - Junior Size - Size 3
Franklin Sports Futsal Ball - Low Bounce Futsal and Indoor Soccer Training Ball - Heavy Indoor + Outdoor Futsal Ball - Junior Size - Size 3
DETAILS
⚽ Futsal Weight ⚽ Soft Touch ⚽ Low Bounce
AGE
Sizes 3 & 4
-
Wilson Ncaa Copia Ii Soccer Ball, Optic Yellow - Size 3
WILSON NCAA Copia II Soccer Ball, Optic Yellow - Size 3
DETAILS
⚽ Strike Zones ⚽ Butyl Bladder ⚽ 32 Panels
AGE
Sizes 3, 4, & 5
-
Adidas Unisex-Adult Mls Nativo Xxv Club Ball, Samba Blue/Solar Green/Black/Glory Blue, 4
adidas Unisex-Adult MLS Nativo XXV Club Ball, Samba Blue/Solar Green/Black/Glory Blue, 4
DETAILS
⚽ Choice of Color ⚽ MLS Style ⚽ Butyl Bladder
AGE
Sizes 3, 4, & 5

Best Youth Soccer Equipment

Franklin Sports Soccer Balls - Competition 100 Soccer Balls - Size 3, Size 4 + Size 5 Traditional Soccer Balls - Single + 12 Ball Bulk Packs - Black +...
Soccer Cones (Set Of 50) And Sports Jerseys Pinnies (12-Pack) - Perfect Disc Cones For Basketball Drills, Complete Soccer Training Equipment
Poray Portable Soccer Goal Net For Kids &Amp; Adults,Set Of 2,Pop Up 4Ft Soccer Goal With 210D Oxford &Amp; 8 Field Marker Cones &Amp; Extra Stakes,Birthday Gift...
Franklin Sports Soccer Balls - Competition 100 Soccer Balls - Size 3, Size 4 + Size 5 Traditional Soccer Balls - Single + 12 Ball Bulk Packs - Black +...
Soccer Cones (Set of 50) and Sports Jerseys Pinnies (12-Pack) - Perfect Disc Cones for Basketball Drills, Complete Soccer Training Equipment
Poray Portable Soccer Goal Net for Kids & Adults,Set of 2,Pop Up 4FT Soccer Goal with 210D Oxford & 8 Field Marker Cones & Extra Stakes,Birthday Gift...
⚽ Bulk 12 Pack ⚽ Budget ⚽ With Pump
⚽ Pinnies and Cones ⚽ Various Sizes ⚽ Two Colors
⚽ Cones & Goals ⚽ Yard Games ⚽ Strong Net
-
-
-
Franklin Sports Soccer Balls - Competition 100 Soccer Balls - Size 3, Size 4 + Size 5 Traditional Soccer Balls - Single + 12 Ball Bulk Packs - Black +...
Franklin Sports Soccer Balls - Competition 100 Soccer Balls - Size 3, Size 4 + Size 5 Traditional Soccer Balls - Single + 12 Ball Bulk Packs - Black +...
⚽ Bulk 12 Pack ⚽ Budget ⚽ With Pump
-
Soccer Cones (Set Of 50) And Sports Jerseys Pinnies (12-Pack) - Perfect Disc Cones For Basketball Drills, Complete Soccer Training Equipment
Soccer Cones (Set of 50) and Sports Jerseys Pinnies (12-Pack) - Perfect Disc Cones for Basketball Drills, Complete Soccer Training Equipment
⚽ Pinnies and Cones ⚽ Various Sizes ⚽ Two Colors
-
Poray Portable Soccer Goal Net For Kids &Amp; Adults,Set Of 2,Pop Up 4Ft Soccer Goal With 210D Oxford &Amp; 8 Field Marker Cones &Amp; Extra Stakes,Birthday Gift...
Poray Portable Soccer Goal Net for Kids & Adults,Set of 2,Pop Up 4FT Soccer Goal with 210D Oxford & 8 Field Marker Cones & Extra Stakes,Birthday Gift...
⚽ Cones & Goals ⚽ Yard Games ⚽ Strong Net
-

Best Soccer Youth Soccer Goals

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Essential Equipment You Need

20 Pieces of Gear Soccer Players and Coaches Need For Soccer - With Pictures

Youth Soccer FAQ

How do you know if a youth player is good?

A youth player is great at soccer they will have some of these qualities; ball control, endurance, speed, movement, strength, leadership, creativity, attitude, will to play, and will to win.

How can a parent support their child in soccer?

+ Play for fun with them. Don’t “coach” or “train” your child, just play soccer games with them!
+ Take them to soccer games. Getting kids around soccer is one of the best ways to grow their love for the sport as well as their game IQ. 
+ Sign them up! No matter what level your child is at, there are opportunities to play.
+ Choose the right level. If you want to help your child, choose a team/level that suits their abilities and interest level. 
+ Be the biggest cheerleader. Leave the coaching to the coach. As a parent, your job is to encourage your child and support them.

Do youth players get paid in America?

Players in the United States only get paid for playing soccer when they sign a professional contract. This is normally possible when a player turns 18 years old. In Europe, it is common for players to earn a salary when they are 16 years old.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a youth soccer coach? 

+ Selecting a team
+ Organizing training sessions
+ Communicating with parents
+ Scheduling practices
+ Scheduling games
+ Registering for tournaments/leagues
+ Attending league meetings
+ Administrative duties (e.g. registering players)

What are the youth soccer levels?

The youth soccer pyramid is now incredibly complex and often confusing. There are three separate organizations (USYS, USSSA, and US Club Soccer) sanctioning several divisions for youth soccer players, resulting in multiple high-level youth leagues. 

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