Soccer is an uber-popular sport, especially amongst little ones– and while they may love their time at practice and games, lots of kids come home wanting even more time to play the game they love. A quick little match in the back or front yard is always good fun, but did you know that there are actual steps you can take to help your child improve their soccer skills in their own backyard?
We’ve rounded up a small collection of tips and tricks for practicing soccer at home and to improve those soccer skills. Whether your kiddo is a future world cup champion or they just like to kick the ball around at recess, they’ll be more confident in their skills after these simple steps.
Three Soccer Drills to Practice at Home
You might need: A goal
Headers are a fun skill to practice for little ones, and you actually can practice them safely at home. A decent proportion of goals at the top level are made through headers, so they’re good moves to put in some practice on.
One of the best ways to practice headers is with a goal. It helps kids recognize how to aim when they bounce that soccer ball off of their heads. If you don’t have a goal at home, though, you can easily practice header back and forth against a wall.
Figure 8 dribbling
You’ll need: A ball and two cones
Figure 8 dribbling is an easy and effective way to improve soccer skills at home. All you need to do is set up the cones about 4-5 yards apart; this way, you can create a figure 8 path.
Your child can work in intervals (60 seconds is common) to dribble the ball between both cones in a figure 8. You can help your kiddo by encouraging them to keep their knees bent and their body leaned in the proper direction.
You can make figure 8 dribbling more challenging, too. Have your child test out dribbling with only the inside or outside of their feet, or tell them to keep their head up through the entire drill.
Shooting from the side
You’ll need: A goal
It’s tempting to focus on shooting from the front when it comes to soccer– especially if a child is particularly young or inexperienced with the sport. That’s totally okay! But there are steps you can take to improve your kid’s skill at shooting from the side.
You’ll need a goal of some sort so that your child has something to aim at when they practice. Discourage shooting straight forward and ensure that your kiddo gets lots of time practicing shooting goals from off to the side. Before long, they’ll be confident making a shot from anywhere on the field.
Unstructured Play: A Perfect Learning Tool
Drills are the perfect way to help kids learn specific soccer skills and hone their talents, but one of the best ways to help children learn their own natural abilities is to let them play freely. If you have soccer equipment at home, you can use it all to create something fun and engaging for your child. Let them play and practice on their own terms with whatever equipment they want– you might be surprised by the results!
When we trust our kids to teach themselves soccer skills, it helps empower and embolden them to problem-solve on their own. We always recommend giving your child access to as many kinds of equipment as possible to familiarize them with different tools and improve their comfort in the game.
If you’re ready to help your kiddo improve their game at home, grab your own set of soccer equipment to set your own backyard up for success! Check out Omega Sports for all your Active-Play needs.