Transform your
team's season with
planned sessions

Use our expert plans or build your own using our library of over 500+ drills, and easy-to-use tools.

Drills for 4 and 5 year olds

Hi all, I've just started coaching a soccer team of 4 and 5 year olds and would like to discuss with my fellow coaches any drills which you have found to be safe, fun and valuable to the younger age group.


I have my level 1 course under my belt and have difficulty in applying what I've learnt to the small kids. They get bored very quickly and are only interested in playing a match at the end of the session. They have no interest in passing the ball or shooting at goal whilst doing drills. Running with the ball is no problem as they are keeping active and all have a ball at their feet. As soon as they line up or have to share a ball, there are problems.


I have a variety of drills which I run through with them, traffic lights, robin hood, alamo, sharks and fishes to name a few with variations of each but I crave more as everywhere I search caters for U6 upwards. I coach an U8 side midweek and have no problem with these lads as they are that bit older and have a greater level of concentration. (not by much mind).


So I'm asking for advice from anyone who has coached 4 and 5 YOs and would like to know what has worked for you.


PM replies welcome.  Marc

one routine i do is very simple but seems to work well. 2 teams trying to knock over as many cones as possible (bowling with a football really) it is competative and it gets them counting and using instep in a pass when down to just a few cones. they only get one shot per turn and simply collect cones knocked down and line them up behind their team. place as many cones as poss in centre of area and one team either side of cones. its fun but you need to gee them up with the counting.

I always start my sessions with a square marked out with 4 red markers and  half way inbetween each red marker place a coloured one so you have in essence a yellow "line" a blue line a purple line and a white line, this square needs to be big enough for players to dribble around. simply shout a colour and they have to turn and move to that line. placing there foot on the ball to control it once there. whilst dribling shout out instructions such as turn, header(jump as high as they can) shout a colour or all four and they must visit each line in order. to make it more challenging place large cones in the square that they must go around.

Lee, really appreciate your reply and I'll definitely put those ideas into practice.  I'm wary of what I'm doing with them at present going stale so this will freshen the sessions up.  Really like the idea of using the cones to get them passing with the instep of their feet.  Will be great to see them do this rather than, hoooof :)  Thanks.

Hi Marc,

I coach children as young as 3 and have a couple of ideas that have worked for me. Bodyparts is always popular, each child has a ball, coach shouts a body part such as forehead, hand, knee etc, the children have to stop the ball with that part of the body.

Cat and Mouse is also popular. Split the children into two teams, one team are cats, other is mouse. Set cones up in a circle or square. Put as many footballs you have in the centre of your area. The cats must dribble around the area whilst the mice run into the centre, collect one ball and dribble back to where they started, they keep repeating this until the cat has completed dribbling around the whole area. Each cat and mouse has a turn, take a note of how many cheeses (balls!) the mice have got, then change over teams. Obviously the winner is the team who collected the most cheeses!

These are two good games my kids enjoy.

Let me know how it goes, I'll think of some more for you.



Jon that's fantastic cheers.  I found something similar to the body parts game online last week and combined it with the suggestion Lee gave me earlier with the coloured cones.  It worked a treat and the kids had great fun, until a helicopter flew over and that was it, chaos.

Will definitely give the cats/mouse game a go.  Does it work best with 1 or more cats?  Marc

Hi Marc,

Glad bodyparts went well. I use one cat and one mouse at a time and add up the scores. The only down side to doing one at a time is that the others can get bored and begin to mess around. I find if you get them to cheer on their cat / mouse it keeps them focussed and involved.

A game i use, the children love is a game i call payback, i have young volenteer coaches but you can use parents i will split the group up into 4/5 players and asign one adult to that group in a shape made from cones, ( dnt always use squares) and 1st follow the leader with the children following the adult, children with a ball each and adult without. when i shout payback to score a point the children have to dribble and then try to hit  the adults legs with a shot to score. its great fun for the children and they really love hitting the adult. my team are 12 months down the line and now when we play this they can nearly knock you over.if they miss they have to go and dribble their ball back.

This improves dribbling skills and awareness as i ask the adult to keep changing direction no straight long lines


Join now for free

  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans
Join now for free
  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans