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10 Best U11 Soccer Drills

At this age, you need to know the best soccer drills and how you coach them with  U11s. Players will focus on developing to use skills at speed and individual defending. The technique should be stop-on performed under the pressure of an opponent, with restrictions of space and time.

Development Level of Your Players

At U11s players will focus on developing to use skills at speed and individual defending. The technique must be perfected and performed under the pressure of an opponent and with restrictions of time and space.

How Long Should a Training Session Be?

For this age group, you should be working for around 1 hour 30 minutes in a session including matches. Individual matches should be 30 minutes each way – individuals should only be playing one match on a given day. In a session, you need a warm-up, two drills, and a small-sided game. Also, make sure to create time for rest and water breaks. Make sure to warm up for at least 15 minutes, use the drills for about 40 min before a game at the end when you analyze your coaching points.

Recommended to play 9v. The goal size In the Uk is 16ft x 7ft and in the USA 18.5ft x 6.5ft. Ball size 4.

PRIORITY: Development of Individual Technique at Speed.



  1. Focus on quality of passing and receiving technique and ball mastery in-game situations – transferring the skills to the game


  1. Application of technique at speed in game situations
  2. Produce defenders who can defend 1v1 and can break out of defence
  3. Midfield players who can receive the ball under pressure and keep possession
  4. Front players who can beat defenders and win 1v1s

Game Craft

  1. Application of attacking and defending principles

Relevant to the Age Group

IMPORTANT Players should know the 3 main moments of the game:

  1.  We have the ball
  2. They have the ball
  3. Changing possession (losing the ball, winning the ball)

Soccer Techniques

Prior knowledge and abilities

At U11s-U12s players will focus on developing to use skills at speed and individual defending.

Acquired Knowledge and Abilities

By the end of the season players should be able to:


  1. Get success in 1v1 attacking and defending situations
  2. Begin to use body swerves and feints
  3. Juggle the ball with increasing success – set targets like 2 feet + 1 knee


  1. Use the relevant skills in attacking and defending principles
  2. Keep possession of the ball as an individual and as part of a team for a set time – 30 seconds
  3. Make decisions in 1v1 situations to use the right skill to get success

Game Craft

  1. Understand positional play – playing in different positions
  2. Take the position of another player during a game
  3. Looking beyond the ball to see what lies ahead


  1. Can I keep possession of the ball by passing and find a position where I can get it back
  2. Can I juggle the ball more times than I could last week
  3. Can I play in a different position to the one I played in last week

Coaching tips for Using Soccer Drills

Getting started with parents 

Parents are hugely influential in terms of a child's psychological and sociological development. Home life shapes a child's beliefs, values, perceptions, attitudes and goals. It has  a profound effect in later life. There is evidence to suggest that home life – support and interest in what the child is doing – is vital to getting the best development for that child. You as a coach add to that positive support.

Get parents onside

You need to explain your blueprint for the season ahead and the parents role in it. You need them for getting their child to training and matches on time and at this age group to be linesmen/women. So keep them onside! Explaining your coaching philosophy and how that helps their child goes a long way to doing that.

Should you Correct Mistakes?

We all rush to help your players making mistakes but we shouldn't always step in. Players will learn from making mistakes by themselves and from feedback by their team mates. However technical errors like not taking throw-ins properly should be tackled immediately, but decision-making errors are more difficult as there are often a number of options. In this case take players to one side so they are not in the spotlight with their team mates.

Player behaviour 

During play blow your whistle stop the game and point out behavioural issues. Verbal chat that is directed at players may need the intervention of your child protection officer.

Using Questions 

Use questions so that you get an idea of whether the players are understanding you and have a grasp of the coaching point. So we can ask:

Decisions: what is stopping you from  (for instance) dribbling (or passing or shooting or playing out from the back)?

Team work: What can you do to help the team?

How do you know where your team mates are?

How do you receive the ball when attacking?

How will the pass you receive help you?

Questions should be structured so the players cannot answer yes or no – “what did you enjoy about the coaching session today? “NOT “ Was that fun”.

The main attributes of using questions and the reason why we do are:

  1. Switches brains on
  2. Updates coach on what players already know
  3. Whole team feels involved
  4. Gets opinions from players helps team bonding

U12 Coaching Guide eBook

u12 soccer coaching book.jpg

A comprehensive training guide for coaching soccer to children aged 12 and below, focusing on age-appropriate training drills, skill development, team building exercises, game strategies, and fostering a love for the game in a fun and supportive environment.

Download Now

U11 Soccer Drills

At U11splayers need to be involved in collective practices with the ball to develop the technical intelligence of the player.

1. The Joker Game

The Joker Game

The jokers in this drill give overloads that should make it easier for the team in possession to score goals – that doesn't always happen in matches so this is a great way to get players to use the advantage and score.

2. Attacking Build up Play

Attacking build up Play

This is attacking waves where build up play and combination play can create goal scoring opportunities. Games are continuous so have plenty of balls and a server handy!

3. Overload Waves

Overload Waves

The overload in this game works on two defenders facing 4 attackers who must find a way to score a goal.

4. Score Close to Goal

Overload Waves

Players use 2v2 games to work out how to score a goal from in and around the penalty area of your pitch. Can they bring a third a player in to make 3v2?

5. Attack from Wide

Attack From Wide

Use the wide areas of the pitch forces opponents to spread out more in defending zones and leave holes for wingers to exploit.

6. Score in Either Goal

Score in Either Goal

1v1 decisions are key to winning battles all over the pitch. Here one player defends and one players tries to fool the defender and score a goal.

7. Recovering Defenders

Recovering Defenders

In moments of transition teams that were attacking must quickly switch on the the fact they are now under attack and recover to the best positions.

8. Shield and Protect

Shield and Protect

Overload players must move quickly into squares to help keep possession of the ball – much like in a match when players can join in to give an outlet for the player on the ball when options are at at minimum.

9. Keep Wingers Wide

Keep Wingers Wide

Defenders can move to press wingers and keep the ball out wide away from the danger zones on the pitch. Covering runs is key to keeping the ball wide.

10. 3v3 Scoring Under Pressure

3v3 Scoring Under Pressure

Players must see where the opportunities are to move and get into goal scoring positions that the player on the ball can see and set up goals.

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