If you want your kid to have fun and become a better soccer player, you're in the right spot. Soccer is a great game for all youth because it is very affordable and can be played virtually anywhere and with anyone. Follow along to find out how to help your child improve at soccer.
Practice makes perfect. Two key technical skills that your child should dominate are:
1. Drills without the ball
- Cone Drills: Set up cones 5 yards apart and create agility. Have your child run back and forth, with turns and zig-zags.
- Juggling: Kick-ups and moves. 10-30 minutes a day will make a difference. Don't let your child be afraid of trying moves in practice, the more he/she practices them, the more confident they will be.
- Ladders: Foot agility and ultimately all footwork is essential in soccer. The faster your child can start a sprint from a standing position, the tougher it will be to be caught by defenders and the easier it will be to guard forwards.
2. Drills with the ball
- Cone drills: Make your kid run in between cones with the ball extremely close to their foot. Try to have him/her go as fast as he/she can with the ball always being very close to his/her foot.
- Have your child use both inside and outside part of your foot
- Always have your child do drills with both dominant and weak foot! Don't let your child get lazy or frustrated with their weak foot.
This is probably one of the best tips if not the best. Playing with more experienced soccer players will make your child learn the fastest. Sometimes, as a parent, we get scared for their safety because they may be playing with bigger kids than your own. This will make your child endure, learn, adapt well and ultimately make him/her a great player.
Learn Multiple Positions
Your child will instantly know if he/she is a forward, midfielder, defender, or goalkeeper from what he/she enjoys the most, but don't let them stick to one specific position. Especially at a young age, exploring the field to learn the key aspects of each position, is so important to becoming a great soccer player. It is okay to only play midfield or defender or forwards, just make sure they play all positions within that role (right back/center back or left wing/ right wing).
Practice Penalty Kicks, Corners, and Free Kicks
In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, 43% of all goals were scored off of a penalty kick, corner, or a free kick. This percentage is growing more and more and becoming the key to winning games. Have your child recreate famous plays from great goals scored by soccer legends and practice them. On top of that, it will make practice fun and will not only improve his/her technical skills but also their mental game.
Embrace the Love for the Game, Have Fun!
If your child has fun playing, he/she will practice more and more. As parents, we need to remember that soccer is a game and games should be fun. Encourage fun drills, challenges but most importantly stay having fun!