Under 9 Soccer Drills: Taking Skill Development to The Next Level

Under 9’s is where you start to really plan and introduce practices that develop individual technique.

As they approach their double-figure age group, the importance of their development goes up a level.

Your U9 soccer drills will need to focus on areas such as; 1v1 situations, winning and keeping possession, basic defending principles, more complex passing techniques and turning.

Please Note However…

With more of an emphasis on the importance of individual technique, it can be easy as their coach, to get too serious and in the process really damage the experience for your players.

Remember, you are still coaching very young children. While you are their coach you are also their role model and mentor amongst many other roles you’ll play in your coaching career.

What to Expect from Under 9’s

Managing U9’s is different from the younger age groups. At this age you might start to see certain issues with behaviour and minor squabbles between players. Managing these issues is key to keeping the moral of your players and therefore their soccer playing experience on the positive side of things.

With this age group however, you’ll find your players are far more independent and be more than capable of following out instructions.

In regards to their physical development, you might find your U9’s very persistent in reaching a particular goal or objective. While this is a great trait, be prepared for an emotional response when a child for whatever reason doesn’t reach the goal they wanted.

Your Priorities Coaching Under 9’s

Your priorities as a coach is to start to understand and develop you own coaching abilities. What worked at a younger age group might not necessarily work with your players when they reach U9’s. So while looking to continually update your technical knowledge is important, what’s equally important is improving your communication skills. 

Main Topics of Focus

With your U9 soccer drills you’ll want to progress previous topics you visited before while this time introducing other topics such as:

  • 1v1s
  • Possession
  • Receiving Priorities
  • Defending
  • Passing
  • Turning
  • Shooting
  • Teamwork
  • Small sided games (4v4 / 5v5)

U9 Soccer Drills, Games and Activities

Looking for more drills and games for your U9’s? Feel free to have a look at our U8’s Guide and U10’s Guide for more ideas.

[1v1] 1v1 Technical Quad
1v1 Technical Quad
Introduce and challenge your players in art and skill of 1v1 situations. The 1v1 Technical Quad is a great drill you can start or end your training sessions with. Explain the key focus areas for each quadrant and watch your players improve.
[Defending] 1v1 Split Pitch
Split Pitch
Introduce and develop your players defending technique with this split pitch setup that uses minimal equipment but deliver maximum effectiveness
3 Sided Goal Possession Drill
3 Sided Goal
A dynamic drill designed to support your players in keeping possession while giving them multiple opportunities to have a shot at goal

Shielding Game
Teach your players how to shield the ball and keep possession with this simple and easy to setup shielding game.

Obstacle
Obstacle
Work on your players close ball control, awareness and dribbling skills in this all-inclusive soccer setup
[SCD] Beat The Defender
Beat The Defender
Keep the intensity high in this one to ensure you really work on the conditioning of your players…
[1v1] 1v1 Mini Game
1v1 Mini Game
A simple 1v1 soccer drill for you under 8’s that can help them develop the skills and techniques needed to excel in real-game scenarios

[Defending] Pairs
Pairs
This is a really basic drill that is ideal for teaching your young players the fundamentals of defending without all the other distractions
[PassReceive] The Simple Circle
The Simple Circle
The truth is once you’ve got the key coaching points nailed ‘The Simple Circle’ is a great drill that can be used for multiple topics. It’s also a great drill if you’ve got a large group to coach.

Solo Dummy Practice
Solo Dummy Practice
Give your players as many touches on the ball as possible. Let them feel and understand the ball while allowing them to make mistakes and learn.
Ronnies Control
Ronnies Control
Develop your players inner Ronaldo with this soccer drill from our ‘Ball Control Drills Guide’
[Warm Up] Foot Bowling IMG
Foot Bowling
This drill works on your players; accuracy, power:weight ratio, awareness and reaction skills.
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