U11 Soccer Drills: 16 Practice Drills for Under 11’s

When coaching U11’s, your soccer drills need to focus on everything you’ve done at under 10’s but at an improved:

  • Velocity: Performing skills and techniques at speed with a direction or purpose as opposed to performing the skill just because they can.  

e.g: Doing a set of step overs when no opposition player is near VS performing two step overs to side step an on-coming player

  • Efficiency: Performing skills and techniques in the best possible way within the least amount of time and effort

e.g: Passing for the sake of just passing the ball VS passing to penetrate the defensive line

  • Effectiveness: Learning to select the right skills and techniques for the right moments.

e.g: Dribbling and beating a defender VS playing a one-two with a teammate to get round the defender

You’ll focus on improving these areas while also introducing and developing their ability to:

  • Play counter attacking soccer
  • Develop sound defensive responsibilities in small groups
  • And, SSG’s to reinforce important defensive and attacking principles

At U11’s you’ll really start to notice the players who will continue playing football for the next few years as opposed to those who have chosen another sporting path (or none at all…PS4 anyone?).

What to Expect from Under 11’s

U11’s will be really starting to hit their puberty years so there might be awkwardness in certain physical activities while they grow into their new bodies. So with that in mind, while focusing on the specific soccer techniques, always remember to incorporate some fundamental development work as well e.g: Jumping, hopping, balance, hand-eye coordination and bodyweight strength exercises.

It’s also important to understand, that at this age group their social awareness will start to change. The idea of ‘group-identity’ will start to take shape and this may, or may not have some effect on your training practices.

Your Priorities Coaching Under 11’s

  • Your priorities coaching U11’s will focus on taking individual technique and refining it so your players can perform certain skills and techniques and perform them at an improved; velocity, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • You’ll also start to introduce other team-based topics such as defending in groups and counter attacking.
  • Finally, you’ll want to start working your group in bigger, small-sided-games, progressing from 7v7 up to 9v9. These SSG’s will help you develop both their defending and attacking play

Main Topics of Focus

U11’s soccer drills should focus around the following topics:

  • 1v1s
  • Ball Control
  • Dribbling
  • Possession
  • Positional Awareness
  • Receiving Priorities
  • Defending
  • Passing
  • Turning
  • Shooting
  • Heading (Defensive vs Attacking)
  • Pressing
  • Tackling
  • Support Play
  • Attacking
  • SAQ
  • Counter Attacking
  • Compact Defending
  • Recovery
  • Small sided games (7v7 / 9v9)

U11 Soccer Drills, Games and Activities

Remember to have browse through our; U9, U10, U12 drill guides for more soccer drills, games and ideas for your under 11’s group. Just because a drill is listed in a lower or higher age group doesn’t mean you can’t still use them for inspiration and adapt them to suit the needs of your players.

[PassReceive] Switching Play 2
Switching Play
You’ll need a few additional pieces of equipment for this drill such as mannequins but once you have them in place you’ll be all set to go with the basics; markers, balls and vests. This drill works on your players ability to pass and receive in tight spaces while learning to switch play. Set two of these up side by side and you could really increase the challenge for your players…
[PassReceive] The Diamond
The Diamond
The Diamond is a passing and receiving drill that focuses on developing your players shape on the pitch their communication skills and working together as a unit.
[1v1] 1v1 Breakout
Can your attacker ‘break out’? If they can, then their only half way to succeeding because on the other side of the breakout box is another defender and goalkeeper to beat – can they do it?
4 Man Magic Possession Drill
4 Man Magic
How good is your team ability to link-up? In this drill we focus on playing a conditioned possession game that places 4 ‘Magic’ players in the corners of the pitch – they must be used before your attacking team can score…
[Defending] 1v1 Split Pitch
Split Pitch
Do your players know how to defend properly? It’s part art, part science and part instinct – but the only way you’re going to develop all those is through full on experience. Use this setup to help your players develop their defensive game.
[Defending] Defensive Support
Defensive Support
Defending is all about positional awareness, patience and teamwork. In this drill your players are encouraged to work together as team to shut the space down, take up the correct positions and successfully win the ball
[Finishing] 2 Player Link Up Finishing Soccer Drill
2 Player Link Up
Looking to add that ‘chemistry’ that’s so often talked about in soccer? Use this drill to get your attacking players playing on the same wave length
[Finishing] 5 Way Finish
5 Way Finish
The only way to ensure your forwards score more goals is to give them more shooting practice. 5 Way Finish takes advantage of 5 common areas forwards should expect the ball to arrive from
The Hourglass
It takes it’s name from the shape of the setup. The Hourglass works on improving your players passing and receiving skills while encouraging them to make the best decision on where to control the ball on their first touch.

[1v1] Gladiator
Fun soccer drill that takes the highly popular tv show and brings it straight to your training practice. Can your players get past each phase without losing the ball?
[1v1] Transition
Ultimate Transition
Okay so your team lose possession – what next? Do they know what to do? Ultimate transition works on developing your teams ability to transition from attack into defense and visa-versa.
6v4 Possession SSG
6v4 Possession SSG
An overload drill that focuses on attacking in numbers. However, it;s great drill to coach your young players their defensive shape when defending in an outnumbered scenario.

[Defending] 6 Second Rule
6 Second Rule
It’s what the great Barcelona teams have used to win the ball back after they have lost possession and in this drill you can bring the same ideas and coaching to your under 11’s group.

[Defending] Keep Ball
Keep Ball
A simple warm up activity that can be used at the beginning of your next defending training practice. It’s also a good drill to use before matches.

[Finishing] 2 v 1 Conditioned Game
2v1 Conditioned Game
Take advantage and be more effective in the final third of the pitch with this 2v1 Conditioned game

[Finishing] Box Play
Box Play
Keeping possession and moving the ball effectively and efficiently around the oppositions box is no easy feat. Box Play helps develop your teams confidence and skill around the edge of the box so they can get shot on target

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