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At what age do you make drills more important than games?

Kids get bored of drills and I like to balance the two but I don t want kids falling behind because they not completing drills.

Well in the early days 4-7yrs i think most drills should encompass as much fun in them as possible.If you can get across the things you want them to pick up as well as make the drill fun (make it a game as much as you can) it gives the kids the desire to improve on there last scores or achievements. I find the drills kids get bored with most are drill were coaches keep them static for the most part and not actively involved. If you can keep your drills moving and flowing and keep th kids active i find they keep there focus well even in drills.


The most important part with very young kids it to get them to have lots and lots and lots of touches of the football the more they get to play wth a ball the more nature things in general become for them. Too often you see kids in these age brackets standing in ques or lines waiting for turns which in my opinion is wrong and encourages boredom and bad behaviour. Keep them moving makes sure all have a football make sure they have more room than they need but do give them boundries.

As for games if your talking matches as such - They can get alot out of this too in the early ages if you keep the teams to 3v3 - 4v4 and on a pitch with slightly more spac than needed. Keep the teams around this bracket as it allows all the players to get lots of touches and if the pitch is marked out right it will also give them time on the ball. You can also focus points in these games or add conditions to get coaching points out.

As for a age when drills become more important than games thats never fully the case both need to be used in coaching and both have positives to add to any players games at youth level.

I agree a lot with the post above.At younger ages especiallym, the drills should be designed to be as fun as possible (you may have heard of FUNdementals). Games and activities which the players will really enjoy but as the same time develop their basic techniques.

As players get older, we may begin to look at more tactical drills and activities. I am currently doing this with my U14s in Norway (which this country have a great foundation of technical players but lack an astonishing amount of tactical awareness and game understanding!). Agreed, these types of drills might not seem as fun, but as coaches it is up to us to make it interesting!

If the content is strong and the players are "learning" then you will find that it is something they will enjoy. I feel the best coaches are those who teach! And believe it or not... these players will love to learn! So lets teach these players rather than using reptitive drills which become mundane and uninspiring.

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  • or access our tried and tested plans