Getting your players warmed up properly can be a challenge. A proper warm-up is essential for preventing injury and ensuring your players will be at their best during practice. Young players, though, may have difficulty focusing at the beginning of practice.
Here are 5 fun warm up soccer drills for youth soccer practice to help you get your players in the zone and elevate your practices. These drills will gather your players’ attention and get their bodies ready in a fun way.
Let’s get started.
The first drill is circle passing. The setup is straightforward and simple to understand. Have your team stand in a circle and pass to each other.
If you have a large group, you can split the team in half or even smaller groups to ensure every player gets a chance to pass. With multiple groups, you can also include a competition to see which group can complete more successful passes without losing control.
This drill will improve your player’s passing skills and overall control. It will also help warm up their touch and help them start moving their bodies before more intense practice.
The next drill is a classic game of keep-away. This game has many variations, but one of the most popular setups also includes having players gather in a circle.
Depending on the group size, select one or two players to be defenders, and have the rest of the team try to pass around without getting the ball taken.
Players can also do this in smaller groups to ensure everyone can participate. To make this game more challenging for the passers, keep the circle small so the defenders can reach the ball faster.
Red Light Green Light
The next drill is a soccer-oriented version of the classic red light green light game. This game will allow your players to have fun while warming up their bodies for practice.
The setup is as follows: Have your players line up at the goal line while you set up a line of cones 30 to 40 meters away. Call out “green light” to signal the players can move and “red light” to signal the players to stop.
If a player is caught moving after you say “red light,” they are out. The goal is for the players to reach the line of cones without getting caught. Having your players try to complete this with a ball is an excellent warm-up for ball control.
The next drill is the well-known game, Simon says, but with a ball. Have your players line up in front of you with a ball and yell commands for them to perform.
If you say “Simon says” before the command, they should follow it. However, if you do not say “Simon says” before the command, and they still follow it, they are out.
Here is a link to a great video demonstrating some examples of commands for young players!
You can use dribbling techniques or simple movements with the ball to improve their ball control while they enjoy the game. You can easily alter the commands and techniques depending on your team’s age and skill level.
This drill is a great way to let your players have fun while improving their shooting and penalty kicks. Players love the intensity and opportunity of penalty kicks!
Set your players up in teams of 5 and let them take turns taking penalties. You can have your designated goalie try to save all the shots or have players rotate in and out of the goal.
Why Warming Up Is So Important
Warming up is essential for any practice to lower the risk of injury among your players. By first stretching and starting with less rigorous drills,
your players’ muscles will be in much better condition for practice.
The muscles will be more flexible and have more blood and oxygen flowing through them. This means your players can play better and are much less likely to pull a muscle.
Importance of teamwork in youth soccer
Teamwork is an essential component of youth soccer. While individual skill and talent are important, the success of the team ultimately depends on the ability of its members to work together towards a common goal. Here are some reasons why teamwork is so important in youth soccer:
- Maximizes strengths and minimizes weaknesses: Each player brings their own strengths and weaknesses to the team. By working together, players can maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, leading to a more effective and well-rounded team.
- Builds trust and respect: Teamwork requires trust and respect between players. By working together towards a common goal, players learn to rely on and trust each other, leading to stronger bonds and a more cohesive team.
- Enhances communication skills: Effective communication is crucial in soccer, and teamwork helps players develop their communication skills. By communicating effectively, players can better coordinate their efforts and make quicker decisions on the field.
- Encourages creativity and problem-solving: Teamwork allows players to be more creative and innovative in their approach to the game. It also helps players develop problem-solving skills, as they work together to overcome obstacles and challenges on the field.
- Builds character and sportsmanship: Youth soccer is not just about winning, but also about character development and sportsmanship. By working together as a team, players learn to respect their opponents, follow the rules of the game, and display good sportsmanship.
Overall, teamwork is a critical component of youth soccer. It helps players develop important life skills, improves their performance on the field, and fosters a positive and supportive environment for everyone involved.
While gathering your players’ focus at the beginning of practice can be challenging, warming up is necessary. A proper warm-up will reduce injury and improve players’ performance during practice.
These 5 fun warm up soccer drills for youth soccer practice will help you prepare your players for practice in a fun way.
Your players will have too much fun noticing that they are warming up their bodies and muscles, and their focus will be all on you!