Parent – Child Football Practices

Teach your child the basics with our progressive football drills that are easily practiced in a small back garden. They start very simple and get progressively more difficult. Ideal for training in your back yard or local park. Very little if any football equipment is required.

1 – One bounce return

The coach stands 2 or 3 metres away from the player and throws the ball underarm so it bounces once before the player gently taps the ball straight back into the coaches hands.

Do 10 successful repetitions on the good foot before attempting 10 on the bad foot. Tell the player to keep their eye on the ball, take their time and very gently tap the ball back. This can be progressed by moving further apart, alternating right foot and left foot or throwing towards random feet. When the player can do 10 in a row straight back to the coach they have mastered lesson 1.

2 – Volley Return

The coach stands 2 or 3 metres away from the player and throws the ball underarm directly to the player who gently volleys the ball straight back to the coaches hands.

Do 10 successful repetitions on the good foot before attempting 10 on the bad foot. Tell the player to keep their eye on the ball, take their time and very gently tap the ball back. This can be progressed by moving further apart, alternating right foot and left foot or throwing towards random feet. When the player can do 10 in a row straight back to the coach they have mastered lesson 2.

3 – Controlling the ball

The coach stands 2 or 3 metres away and throws the ball anywhere between ground and thigh height calling out “eye on the ball” as it is thrown.

Lack of control is one of the most common mistakes made at lower levels.

The player contacts the ball with the inside of the foot bringing it back just as the ball hits the foot. The ball should land gently at the player’s feet. The player then gently and accurately passes the ball directly back to the coach.

Do 10 on the good leg then 10 on the not so good leg. When the player can do 10 perfect controls in a row on each leg they have mastered this lesson. It can then be made more difficult by gradually increasing the distance between the player and coach.

4 – Controlling the ball 2

The coach stands 2 or 3 metres away and throws the ball anywhere between ground and thigh height but this time they walk backward half a metre after each one

Just like in drill 3 the coach stands 2 or 3 metres away and throws the ball anywhere between ground and thigh height calling out “eye on the ball” as it is thrown but this time they walk backwards half a metre after each one to increase the distance up to around 7 or 8 metres.

As soon as the player contacts and controls the ball the coach calls “head up” to encourage the player to be aware of their surroundings as soon as the ball is controlled but not before. The player then passes the ball gently straight back the coach to complete the drill. The coach tells them to take their time passing it back, eye on the ball.

Do 10 on the good leg then 10 on the not so good leg. When the player can do 10 perfect controls in a row on each leg they have mastered this lesson.

5 – Controlling head to the side

The coach stands 6 or 7 metres away from the player who stands facing the coach but turns their head to the left or the right to look sideways. The coach throws the ball towards the player calling out “control”.

The coach stands 6 or 7 metres away from the player who stands facing the coach but turns their head to the left or the right to look sideways. The coach throws the ball towards the player calling out “control”. The player then reacts to see where the ball is and control it moving their feet to get into position if necessary.

Again, as soon as the player controls the ball the coach calls “head up” to encourage the player to be aware of their surroundings as soon as the ball is controlled but not before. The player then passes the ball gently straight back to the coach to complete the drill. The coach tells them to take their time passing it back, eye on the ball.

Do 5 on the left leg turning head to the left, 5 on the right leg with head starting towards right, then 5 on left leg, head right, then 5 on right leg, head left.

6 – Dribbling in a circle

The player walks in an imaginary circle 8 to 10m across with the ball at their feet using alternate feet to control the ball.

The coach encourages them to look up and look around then only occasionally glancing at the ball. When the players have completed three times round the imaginary circle then turn and walk in the opposite direction.

This can be progressed when the player is competent walking to do the drill at a jogging pace, gain aiming to keep looking up and around more than look directly at the ball.

7 – Circle and spin

The player walks anticlockwise in an imaginary circle 8 to 10m across with the ball at their feet using alternate feet to control the ball.

The coach as in drill 6 encourages them to look up and look round them only occasionally glancing at the ball. When the player reaches halfway around the circle they stop, place the right foot on the ball and pivot backward pulling the ball round in a small circle until they are facing the original direction. They continue round repeated at each half circle for three complete circles.

Then change direction and walk in a clockwise circle. Stopping and pivoting round with the sole of the left foot pulling the ball around. The coach encourages the player to look up and around rather than at the ball at all times.

This can be progressed by jogging around the circle.

8 – Dribbling 3 small circle

The player walks anticlockwise in an imaginary circle 8 to 10m across with the ball at their feet using alternate feet to control the ball.

The coach as in drill 6 encourages them to look up and look around them only occasionally glancing at the ball. When the player reaches halfway around the circle they use the right foot to turn anticlockwise in a very small circle using the right foot to guide the ball around.

The coach encourages the player to keep looking up and as much as possible to be aware of surroundings. Once three clockwise circles have been done, move to anti-clockwise using the left foot to guide the ball around the small circles.

9 – Heading 1

The coach stands 3 to 4 metres away from the player and gently throws the ball so the player can head the ball back into the coaches hands. Do 10 good headers.

The coach stands 3 to 4 metres away from the player and gently throws the ball so the player can head the ball back into the coaches hands. Do 10 good headers. This can be progressed by asking the player to head the ball back slightly higher and higher. It can be progressed further by increasing the distance between the player and the coach.

10 – Heading 2

The coach stands 3 to 4 metres away from the player and gently throws the ball so the player can head the ball to the side.

This is best done with the player heading the ball against a wall or goal or at a specific target on the wall. Once 10 good ones have been done, change sides.

This can be progressed by asking the player to head the ball higher or lower at random or increasing the distances between the coach, player, and wall.

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