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U8 - U10

Ball Mastery - Dribbling

Download the practice card


Warm up – Appropriate size circle with 10 players in 5 pairs and one ball for each pairing. The pairings are numbered 1 – 5 and stand on the opposite side of the circle from their partner.

• The coach calls out a number.

• The pairing with that number run clockwise. The player with the ball has to run round the circle and back to their starting point before the chasing player tags them.

•Once the exercise is finished, the chasing player now has the ball and waits for their number to be called out.


You can call two numbers at the same time. Warn the players to keep their heads up so they don’t bump in to each other.

Players chasing can run either direction.

Coaching points:

Fun, energetic, competitive.

Keep the ball close to you running tight to the circle. Awareness.

Area – 3 boxes. A 12 x 12, 6 x 6 and a 3 x 3. Three players are at each box with one of them being a defender in the middle and the other two having a soccer ball. Players start from any side of the square. 

1.The player has to dribble to any side of the square without being tagged.

2.If they dribble to the opposite side, they get two points. If they dribble to the nearest sides, they get one point. If they are tagged while doing this, the point does not count.

3.Players cannot be on the same side. So if a player dribbles to a side where the other player is, that player must move.

4.Players cannot stand at a side for longer than 3 seconds.


You could have 3 outside players if you have 12 players or make more squares.

Coaching points:

Look to attack space.

Keep the ball close to you.

Quick feet on the ball.

If this is too difficult, just finish the session with a game.


Area – 40 x 30. 9 Players 2 goalkeepers 3 v3 with a “Magic man” (Floater). In one half there is a 2v2 and in the other half a 1v1.

1. When play starts the “Magic man” plays in the half with the team who has the ball. This creates an overload.

2. When the ball is transferred to the opposite half, the “Magic man” moves to support the player with the ball.

3. If the defending player wins the ball, the “Magic man” now plays with that team.

4. Keep rotating the floating player.

Coaching points:

Lots of movement to create the angle for a pass.

Does the player need to use the support player? Use the support player as a decoy.

Timing of run and pass


Patience to get the ball to the opposite side.

Decision making when taking the shot.

Do not aim for the middle of the goal.

  • Decision making
  • Team work
  • Players have to concentrate on the task
  • Team mates will verbally help a team mate
  • Playing numbers down
  • Fun
Psychological / Social
  • Competitive
  • Go, go , go
  • You need the coach to be enthusiastic
  • Short bursts of energy
  • 1 v 1 battles
  • 60 - 90 minute session
  • Close ball control
  • Dribbling
  • Turns
  • Using inside, outside and sole of the foot
  • Passing
  • Shielding
  • Shootin
  • Field awareness
  • Decision making
  • Pass to team mate or dribble
  • Find space
  • Defend - Pressure and cover
  • Movement
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