Soccer Drills & Games For 7-Year-Olds (Made For You)

Your guide as a coach or parent to help your 7-year-old become the next soccer star. This article will answer your questions and give you some fun games and drills to practice.

7-year-old soccer players come packed with personality and laughter. 

It doesn’t hurt that many of them have at least some soccer experience as well!

Coaching this age group requires fun, fast-paced training sessions that hide soccer fundamentals in common games. These young kids need great energy and encouragement, with a dash of constructive criticism. 

With some patience and lightheartedness, coaches can make a huge impact on this impressionable age group!

Before we look at the soccer drills, let’s take a look at some common questions coaches and parents have about 7-year-old soccer players…

Youth Soccer Players In A Training Session

How should 7-year-old practice soccer?

Compared to a 5-year-old, a 7-year-old may seem much older. However, kids this age are still only in 1st or 2nd grade.

At this age, the focus should still be on fun games and activities that “hide” the skills. 

However, you may start to increase the complexity of the rules or add variations that make a game a bit harder.

By this age, you can start to incorporate a bit of instruction into the games as well, correcting techniques during the game. 

How do I coach my 7-year-old soccer?

You can coach your 7-year-old soccer by practicing with them. Use a variety of drills and have cones, pinnies, goals, and a few balls.

7-year-olds like to have fun and they also love to be competitive. Taking part with them at this age really encourages them.

If it’s just the two of you, you can do the simple thing (which matters) – games of passing. Three-touch, then two-touch, then onto one-touch.

A variety in games will keep you and them interested, whilst it also builds their skill-set. Take this passing warm-up session further will the soccer drills listed later on in this article.

What size soccer ball does a 7-year-old use?

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

How long should 7-year-olds practice soccer?

7 year-olds should have fairly short practices. Keep practices between 45 and 60 minutes long twice a week. 

What soccer skills should a 7-year-old have?

By age 7, many kids have some soccer experience. Yet, you may still have a handful of beginners. Many clubs begin “academy” soccer at U7.

Most often, academy kids have some experience, but the academy is a pay-for-play model so that’s not necessarily true.

Ultimately, you will still have a wide variety of soccer skills in 7-year-olds. Ideally, kids this age should have the following skills:

  • Understanding of the no-hands rule with knowledge of when you are permitted to handle the ball. 
  • Basic passing. 
  • Basic dribbling at least with a dominant foot. 
  • Names and responsibilities for basic positions. 

What soccer skills should a 7-year-old learn?

7-year-olds often still need a lot of work on soccer basics. Here are some of the top soccer skills to focus on with this age group:

  • Spreading out on the field, not crowding to the ball. 
  • Passing technique with both feet. 
  • Basic shooting technique. 
  • Communication on and off the field. How to communicate effectively with teammates and coaches. 
  • Dribbling with both feet, starting to learn simple moves. 
Youth Soccer Players In A Training Session

Soccer Drills and Games for 7-Year-Olds

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.
See also  Soccer Rules for Kids (Parents + Players Guide)

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, 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. 
Dribble To Pass Soccer Drill SoccerBlade.com
Dribble To Pass Soccer Drill SoccerBlade.com

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.
See also  Size Soccer Ball for Age/Game (+ Important Pressure)

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.

Knock Out: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 7-10
  • Length of Session: 10-15 mins 
  • Number of Players: 10-12
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling, keeping head up, defending, decision making 
  • Equipment: cones and a ball for each player 

Description: Players all dribble around the space while trying to knock out the others’ balls. See who the last one standing is. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Create a large circle with cones. 
  • Give each player a ball inside the circle. 
  • Make multiple games if you have a large team. 
Knock Out Soccer Drill
Knock Out Soccer Drill

Drill Instructions:

  • Each player needs a ball inside the circle. 
  • Players must dribble around while trying to kick other players’ balls out of the circle. 
  • If your ball gets kicked out, you must do some small action to get back in (2 jiggles, 10 toe taps, etc).
  • When the knock-out round begins, there’s no re-entry. Players who are knocked out should work on a skill you provide while watching. 
  • As the number of players decreases, use the players who are out to block areas of the circle to shrink the space.
  • To increase difficulty, shrink the size of the circle or add specific dribbling challenges within the game. 
See also  Are Soccer Camps Worth It? (kickstart Your Career)

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 + White
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 & Fun for Backyard and Soccer Training
Franklin Sports Soccer Balls - Competition 100 Soccer Balls - Size 3, Size 4 + Size 5 Traditional Soccer Balls - Single + 12 Ball Bulk Packs - Black + White
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 & Fun for Backyard and Soccer Training
⚽ 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 + White
Franklin Sports Soccer Balls - Competition 100 Soccer Balls - Size 3, Size 4 + Size 5 Traditional Soccer Balls - Single + 12 Ball Bulk Packs - Black + White
⚽ 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 & Adults,Set of 2,Pop Up 4FT Soccer Goal with 210D Oxford & 8 Field Marker Cones & Extra Stakes,Birthday Gift & Fun for Backyard and Soccer Training
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 & Fun for Backyard and Soccer Training
⚽ Cones & Goals ⚽ Yard Games ⚽ Strong Net
-

Best Soccer Youth Soccer Goals

Franklin Sports Blackhawk Backyard Soccer Goal - Portable Kids Soccer Net - Pop Up Folding Indoor + Outdoor Goals - 4' x 3' - Pink
JOGENMAX Portable Soccer Goal, Pop Up Goal Nets with Aim Target,Set of 2, with Agility Training Cones,Led Lights and Carry Case Gift for Kids Teen Boy & Adults Size 4‘X3’X3‘
Franklin Sports Competition Soccer Goal - Steel Backyard Soccer Goal with All Weather Net - Includes 6 Ground Stakes - 6'x4' Soccer Goal - Silver
Franklin Sports Blackhawk Backyard Soccer Goal - Portable Kids Soccer Net - Pop Up Folding Indoor + Outdoor Goals - 4' x 3' - Pink
JOGENMAX Portable Soccer Goal, Pop Up Goal Nets with Aim Target,Set of 2, with Agility Training Cones,Led Lights and Carry Case Gift for Kids Teen Boy & Adults Size 4‘X3’X3‘
Franklin Sports Competition Soccer Goal - Steel Backyard Soccer Goal with All Weather Net - Includes 6 Ground Stakes - 6'x4' Soccer Goal - Silver
⚽ Budget ⚽ Folding ⚽ Carry Bag
⚽ Fun Target ⚽ With Cones ⚽ LED Lights
⚽ Steel ⚽ Competition ⚽ All Weather
-
-
-
Franklin Sports Blackhawk Backyard Soccer Goal - Portable Kids Soccer Net - Pop Up Folding Indoor + Outdoor Goals - 4' x 3' - Pink
Franklin Sports Blackhawk Backyard Soccer Goal - Portable Kids Soccer Net - Pop Up Folding Indoor + Outdoor Goals - 4' x 3' - Pink
⚽ Budget ⚽ Folding ⚽ Carry Bag
-
JOGENMAX Portable Soccer Goal, Pop Up Goal Nets with Aim Target,Set of 2, with Agility Training Cones,Led Lights and Carry Case Gift for Kids Teen Boy & Adults Size 4‘X3’X3‘
JOGENMAX Portable Soccer Goal, Pop Up Goal Nets with Aim Target,Set of 2, with Agility Training Cones,Led Lights and Carry Case Gift for Kids Teen Boy & Adults Size 4‘X3’X3‘
⚽ Fun Target ⚽ With Cones ⚽ LED Lights
-
Franklin Sports Competition Soccer Goal - Steel Backyard Soccer Goal with All Weather Net - Includes 6 Ground Stakes - 6'x4' Soccer Goal - Silver
Franklin Sports Competition Soccer Goal - Steel Backyard Soccer Goal with All Weather Net - Includes 6 Ground Stakes - 6'x4' Soccer Goal - Silver
⚽ Steel ⚽ Competition ⚽ All Weather
-

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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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