It is very important that the proper body posture is explained to children: lowered body gravity centre, bent knees and hip joint, moving with the front part of the foot, head raised (in line with the spine), and central focus on the environment, not the ball.
- Kicking with the inner side of the foot
- Kicking with the instep
- Kicking with the inner side of the instep
- Kicking with the outer side of the instep
- Kicking with the front of the foot (the tip of the foot)
- Kicking with the heel
KICKING WITH THE INNER SIDE OF THE FOOT – PLACING
Individual or pair exercises
Body posture: the standing foot is 10-20 cm away from the ball, leg slightly bent at the knee. The striking leg is turned by 90° in relation to the standing leg and is moving parallel with the surface. At the moment of striking, your arms and trunk turn in the opposite direction to that of the striking leg. Depending on the strength of the kick and the distance the ball is expected to reach, the trunk is slightly bent forward, held straight, or bent backward.
Pass the ball to each other while
- Standing in place.
- Moving constantly but still facing each other, approaching (the ball) and moving away (from the ball).
- Moving in a limited area, e.g. in the penalty area.
- The ball is received and passed with different parts of the foot.
- If possible, pass the ball straight away at approaching and move away.
Hit or knock down your partner’s marker or cone
Short distance. Players stand beside their markers/cones.
- How many times can you hit/knock down a cone in x minutes (various kicks).
- How many times can you hit/knock down a cone in x minutes with your weaker foot?
Players work in pairs at 10-15 metres away from each other. Between them, there is a marker goal about 2 metres wide. Passing the ball through the goal counts as one point. The player who passes the ball through the goal the most times wins the game.
Knock down the cones
Players move in a limited area with several cones on it. Each player is given a ball. They dribble the ball and attempt to knock down a cone by placing the ball from 3-5 metres distance. The player who knocks down a cone has to lift it.
A 4:4 - 8:8 game in a limited area
A team scores a goal by knocking down a cone with a placed shot. You can make small goals or quadrangles of cones. One of the teammates has to receive the ball behind the goal.
Shots on goal
It is not very frequent that placed shots are used as strong shots on goal. Look up the “Games” or “Shooting with a stretched foot” section and see how you can modify the placed shot in the final phase.
Coaches should bear in mind that children of this age should avoid longer and stronger shots in order to prevent groin pain or leg injuries common with unprepared and insufficiently developed muscle structure.
- Shooting when the ball is at rest, from a shorter distance (you can also organise group competitions – which group will score more goals).
- Shooting after dribbling or shooting across the training ground.
- Shooting after passing the ball to the coach.
- Shooting after a double pass with the coach.
3 players together
Two players are goalkeepers, while the third dribbles the ball and shoots.
- A dribbles and shoots the ball to B.
- B gets his/her ball, dribbles and shoots to C.
- C takes the ball, dribbles, and shoots to A, etc.
- The goalkeeper A kicks the ball from his hands with the entire instep to player C.
- Player C dribbles the ball he/she received towards player B and then shoots on goal.
- Players take turns: A moves to place B; B moves to place C, whereas player C, who received the ball, dribbled,
and shot on goal, proceeds to where player A had been standing.
There are two teams (4:4) facing each other and both are at the same distance from a med ball in the centre of the field. Each player is given a ball.
Objective: Hit the med ball as many times as you can in a given time.
It is allowed to use the balls of the opposing team that end up on the opposite side.
3:1 on 4 cones
The player who is in possession of the ball has to have two possibilities for passing.
Remember! You must not keep the ball in the centre for too long; change the player in the middle or else he/she is out of the circle when he/she gets hold of the ball and the player who made the mistake takes his/her place. Options: frog, crab, or snake positions.
KICKING WITH THE FULL INSTEP
In a modern football game, an instep kick is often used for moderate and long passes, shots at the opponent’s goal as well as for clearing the situation at one’s own goal. In a biomechanical sense, it is important to note that the standing foot is 10-20 centimetres away from the ball and that, at the moment of striking, the player is on the toes to allow enough room for the striking foot; otherwise the trunk would bend too much to the side from the ball. The striking foot is stretched and strained (vertical to the ground), while the head is aligned with the spine. At the moment of striking, the player looks at the ball and swings his/her opposite arm, turning the shoulder and trunk in the opposite direction in relation to the striking foot.
Kick the ball high in the air. Receive the ball in different ways. Keep moving.
Kick the ball with the foot towards each other from a fair distance. Remember to move forward and back.
Kick the ball high in the air. Receive the ball in different ways. Keep moving.
- In pairs, either toss or pass the ball from a shorter or longer distance; combine with receiving, dribbling, and passing/shooting in different ways.
Shots on goal
Shooting at a cone goal
2 players, each at his/her goal. There is a 10/20-metre distance between the goals. Try to score a goal. Possibly on time!
- Only the below-the-waist shots are valid and count as a goal.
- The goalkeeper is not allowed to use his/her hands.
Both the distance between the goals and the goal width are changing.
Shooting at a goal with a goalkeeper + cooperation
Player A passes the ball to player B with a placed shot.
Player B receives the ball, dribbles, and passes it to the middle.
Player A runs forward and shoots at the goal with a downward full instep.
Playing a 1:1 game on two goals
- The size of the field is 10×10 metres.
- Which player will manage to jeopardise the opponent’s goal will depend on the outcome of this duel.
- The coach tosses the ball towards the centre of the field where the players are.
- The team that scores the most goals wins.
- Change the pairs so that players can try playing with each player from the opposing team.
- Shoot the ball high in the air and receive it. This exercise is done individually.
- Same as above, only in pairs. One player passes the ball and the other receives it and passes back.
- Another option is to try and hit a wall, cone, or something similar.
Shots on goal from different positions
At first, shoot carefully (cautiously) and accurately bearing in mind your body posture, the position of your standing and striking foot, the kick, and your movement.
- Straight at the goal.
- From the side and to the opposite side.
Hit a cone. The partner is behind his/her cone.
A shooter stands beside his/her cone.
Both players attempt 10 shots. The winner is the one who managed to hit the most cones. Shots on goal after players-coach cooperation.
Players are divided in two columns. One column has the ball. The coach stands in front of the column at a certain distance. The first player passes the ball to the coach who returns the pass; the player then passes the ball towards the centre for the first player from the second column to attempt a shot on goal. After that, the players exchange places. This exercise can also be done in a different order – the coach sets the ball for the player from the second column and he/she sets it for the shooter behind the coach’s back.
KICKING WITH THE INNER SIDE OF THE INSTEP
(Kicking with a half-stretched foot)
This kick is used for moderate and long passes, diagonal forward and backward passes, centre shots, free kicks, corner kicks, etc. The ball’s trajectory will depend on the position of the foot and the striking surface as well as on the player’s movement towards the ball. The player approaches the ball at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees in relation to the direction of the kick.
The ball is kicked over the goal or over a rope.
- Divide the players in two teams. The field should be cleared of balls.
A game played in limited space - 5:5 - 7:7 + 1-3 goalkeepers
A goal is scored when the ball is passed with a long, lobbed kick into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Remember that receiving the ball (changing its direction, which is relevant for the game) practically means to prepare the ball for its next task, to ensure control over the ball, and to focus your attention on the space and all the players in it (your teammates as well as the opponents).
A 5:5 game
You are not allowed to move in the central zone. When the ball is out of the field, the ball is thrown into the centre.
A 5:5 - 7:7 game with goalkeepers
There is a ditch. A corridor on both sides of the field in which the players are not allowed to attack. Scoring with a header or footer wins you two points. A centre-shot, a lobbed ball with more or less swerve is taken from the side, while the kick is made with a half-stretched foot so that the ball is raised from the ground by slipping the big toe of the striking leg under the ball.
An 8:8 centre-shot game
One team returns the balls, while the other is divided into two groups of four – one group takes centre-shots and the other shoots at the goal. Both mistakes and scored goals are counted. Having made ten mistakes, the groups exchange roles. The winners are those who manage to score the most goals.
- Centre-shot with the ball in place.
- Centre-shot after dribbling through the obstacle course
8:8 hitting a marked area of the field, kicking the ball with the inner side of the instep (use hoops or cones as markers).
KICKING WITH THE OUTER SIDE OF THE INSTEP
This kick is mostly used for shots on goal and short-, medium- and long-distance passes. It is very difficult to master for this particular age-group, but it should be introduced at a certain stage so that children could get a basic grasp of its technique through training and individual practice. Be careful to observe the methodological cycle:
- Explanation, role, and importance.
- Working in place (pairs passing the ball to each other from a longer distance). Gradually increase the distance between the players
- Working in place. The ball moving (working in pairs, tossing a rolling ball, and kicking alternately).
- Working while moving. Both the players and the ball are moving (increase the strength of the
To improve players precision and kicking technique, use the aforementioned games and exercises for practicing kicking with the full and inner side of the instep, both from the ground and in the air.
KICKING WITH THE FRONT OF THE FOOT (TIP)
This is a kick most frequently used for quick reactions in different situations, e.g. when taking a shot on goal among a crowd of players, getting the ball away from your own goal, kicking the ball away from your opponents feet, and for short passes. The technique itself is not all that complex and is very similar to that of an inner kick with the exception that the ball is kicked with the tip (front) of the foot. The kick is the strongest if you are striking the centre of the ball. If the foot is closer to the top of the ball, it will move on the ground (or, as it often happens, bounce). Striking the bottom of the ball sends it high in the air giving it an arched trajectory. Do not waste too much time on this technique. More attention should be paid to previously-mentioned techniques moreover because this technique is also known as a forced kick.
Playing in limited space
- Each player is given a ball. Players attempt to kick the ball away from each other’s feet with a tip-of-the- foot kick and send it outside the field.
- Another option is that one player should be left without a ball. His/her task is to attempt to kick the ball away from as many players as he/she can. (You can also have more than one player without a ball and make them compete as to who will kick away the most balls). You can also make them exchange roles after they have succeeded in kicking the ball away from their opponents.
- Pairs or groups of 4 or 8 compete. Who is more precise in kicking with the tip of the foot – knocking down the cones with the balls?
- A competition in attempting shots on goal with a goalkeeper (with the ball in place or after dribbling).
KICKING WITH THE HEEL
This kick is mainly used for sudden passes and for passing other players on all parts of the pitch. At times, this kick can be used for a goal shot. As for children of this particular age, it should largely serve as a means for developing their imagination and fantasy, which is our main intention and one of the main goals of the Open Fun Football School.
- Groups compete at kicking the ball with the heel with the ball in place (with the goalkeeper if they are shooting at a big goal and without him/her if the goal is small).
- Attempting a heel kick after dribbling and turning by 180 degrees and after a fake kick move.
- Playing on two goals. Goals are scored only with heel-kicks.
- Playing the ball into an open space in front of your teammate after a fake kick move and turn.
The playground is divided into two large areas and a small one in the middle, about 4 metres wide. Participants are divided into three groups, each occupying one of the marked areas. The groups occupying the outside areas are shooting the ball and trying to hit one of the players in the middle. They in turn run away from the ball or save themselves by catching the ball. Should they manage to catch the ball, they can attempt a shot at the players from the outside teams and the roles are exchanged.
The aim of the game is hitting a target. Two groups play against each other. Every successful hit gains a point. This game can be organised in different ways, e.g.:
- Try to hit a marked area,
- Aim at the left or right corner, both up and down
- Aim at a ball in the goal
- Aim at a ball on a vaulting buck, on a bench, or behind it
- Aiming at the goal across an obstacle that has been put in front of it
- Aiming at a ball in movement, or cones.
Two groups participate, but players compete individually. Cones are set as bowling pins. Each player takes a shot at them, first with the right and then with the left foot. After the cones that have been knocked down are counted, they have to be reset for another player to take a shot. The number of knocked down cones is summed up and the group with the most cones wins the game.
Two teams play this game. The playground is divided into three parts – the two on the outside are narrower and the one in the middle is somewhat wider. Team A occupies the two narrow areas, and team B is placed in the middle. Team B is in possession of a ball (one or two). The aim of this game is for players from group A to run from one of their fields to the other while the players from team B shoot the ball in an attempt to hit one of them. Team A wins a point if they manage to get across without being hit. Team B scores a point if they manage to hit a player from the opposing team. Players from team A can save themselves if they catch the ball or kick it away. The running players must not be stopped with the hands or pushed. The teams have to exchange positions having played for five minutes. The group with the most points is the winner.
Shooting after call-out
- Two goals with goalkeepers facing each other.
- Between the goals a quadrangle is marked.
- Two teams with the same number of players.
- Each team shoots at their own goal.
- Each player within a group has his/her own number.
- At the beginning, all players with balls are inside the quadrangle.
- The coach calls out a number, e.g. 3.
- After that, a player from each team marked with that number gets out of the quadrangle and shoots at his/her goal.
- The coach calls out a new number and the exercise continues.
Which team has scored the most goals?
- If there aren’t two goalkeepers, participants are in a single group and shoot at just one goal.
Shooting at the goal straight away
- Player A plays a ground pass to his/her coach who forwards the pass to player B straight away.
- As player B returns the pass to the coach, player A runs around a cone and takes an immediate shot at the goal having been passed the ball by the coach.
- Having shot at the goal, player A takes the place of player B, whereas player B goes to the back of the column.
Shooting at the goal performing different tasks
- Cones and hurdles should be arranged as in the picture. (the number will depend on the size of the playground!).
- Players are close to the sideline.
A goalkeeper is on the goal.
- The first player slaloms the ball around the cones.
- Then he/she plays the ball through the hurdle, jumps over it, gets the ball again, and dribbles it for a while before he/she plays it through the next hurdle.
- At the end, the player slaloms the ball around the cones and finishes off with a shot on goal after turning at the last cone.
- As soon as the first player gets across the first hurdle, the next player can start.
Should the player touch a cone or a hurdle, after he/she has taken a shot at the goal, he/she is given an additional task to fulfil (e.g. five squats).
A Cone Maze
- Make a quadrangle as in the picture above.
- Cones are arranged randomly inside the quadrangle.
- All the players are at the half-way line with their balls.
- One goalkeeper is on the goal,
- The first player starts from the half-way line and dribbles the ball through the maze without touching the cones.
- Having dribbled the ball through the maze, he/she takes a shot at the goal.