|Soccer relay races are an ideal way to working on improving your touch and dribbling skills. Relay races are similar to soccer sequences and patterns of play. Through repetition relay races can get players to master certain soccer skills you’r trying to instill as a soccer coach.
Field size: half field or one third of the field. Enough space to setup a series of steps the players have to go through in the race.
Number of players: Two groups of six to eight players
Age range: 8-10
Description: Try to make the teams even or fair, as far as ability and skill level. Setup a series of challenges for the players to go through. For example, have the players weave through a set of cones, speed dribble through an area without going through cones, and then pass the ball through a set of cones or into a small goal. Maybe have a part of the race where they have to juggle the ball for a section of the race, give players one or two bounces or force them to use just their feet. Come up with ways to test the skills of your players.
First have players play with their strong foot and then just their weaker foot. Players might even have to do a set of pushups or sit-ups or headers or juggle the ball a certain number of times at a section some point along the way. Players take their turn and after their finish they sit down in a straight line. First team to have all their players sitting down in a straight line wins.
Split the team up into four for five groups of three or four players so the drill moves along at a good pace and nobody is standing around waiting to for their turn.
Use a variety of different exercises in the relay race and make them a bit more intense towards the end. This is a good preseason drill, where you can work on fitness and skills in a fun way. Ask your players to help you create the relay race, what types of skills they want to work on and what events or skills they’d like to include in the relay race. Just giving them a little bit of a say in terms of what’s included in the drill will help boost the overall morale and enthusiasm for the race.
Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.
Video of relay drill: Players have to dribble in and out of the cones in teams and compete against each other.
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