7 Reasons Why Your Kid Should Practice Alone In Your Backyard
February 12, 2020

7 Reasons Why Your Kid Should Practice Alone In Your Backyard

How many hours a week does your child play soccer?

At the younger ages, most kids will only spend around 1-2 hrs training and playing soccer each week. In some cases it is just the match and even then the actual playing time is unlikely to be the whole game. To improve at anything you need to practice but how can you do it without a teacher, a coach or other support? If the child enjoys playing soccer and wants to improve then this article is for you with some elite soccer drills for kids that can be practiced at home without the need for teammates.

The benefits of individual soccer practice for kids

Don’t just practice soccer for the sake of practice as that will not be effective. It is important to understand the outcomes of any training and ensure they are game relevant. Time is limited so aim to achieve as many outcomes as possible. Much of individual soccer training is about touches on the ball and building a relationship with the ball on both feet so that you are comfortable in any position or scenario on the pitch. Repetition is a big part but the soccer drills need to be varied to keep kids interested and having fun. The aim is to build that muscle memory and master the techniques thus raising your game.

Top 7 benefits of solo training in the backyard

  1. Ball Mastery – Be able to manipulate and control the ball. Being comfortable with all surfaces of your feet (inside, outside, sole and laces) as well as your thighs, chest and head which are the other common areas where ball control and manipulation takes place.
  2. First Touch – Being in control as soon as the ball arrives is vital to keep the ball and make the best decision for your team. You must learn to control that first touch as the ball comes to you on the floor, in the air, at various speeds and angles.
  3. Turning – The ability to turn your body with and without the football. Football is not about running in straight lines so it’s vital that you learn how to turn with the ball at your feet whilst being in control the whole time
  4. Dribbling – Using both feet to move the ball closely at your feet in different directions and speeds.
  5. Running with the ball – take bigger touches whilst running with the ball under control. This is often straight line work focusing on accelerating and decelerating with the ball and reaching top speed with the ball at your feet.
  6. Ball Striking – A football can be kicked in a number of different ways. Striking with power or creating a curl on the ball using different surfaces of your feet to gain the desired outcome. The key here is the part of the football that is struck along with body position and follow through. Timing is also vital when striking a moving ball or one that is in the air like a volley
  7. Quick Feet – The pace at which your feet move can be the decisive factor to beat an opponent. Developing quick reflex action with anticipation to make the ball do what you want at speed. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are masters of this.

Top 8 examples of solo training in the backyard

Below are 8 varied soccer drills for kids that will focus on the following soccer outcomes which are vital for all kids to master. These soccer practices are all developed by Saul Isaksson-Hurst, an expert technical coach who has worked at Premier League academies and created a unique philosophy that has been proven on hundreds of players.

    This is all about being able to control the ball and build that relationship so you are comfortable with the ball.

    This is all about being able to control the ball and build that relationship so you are comfortable with the ball.

    Working in a pair, focus on aerial ball control and mastering your touches when the ball is coming at you from a height.

    Develop your quick feet and turns with explosive movements and a final shot at the end. A fun exercise for all kids.

    One of the trickier areas are skill combinations. Be able to move in various directions using multiple surfaces and turning with explosive and dynamic movements

    Move the ball from one side to the other in various ways before firing a shot at goal. This soccer practice works on body balance, turning and ball striking.

    A fun exercise working on all facets of 1v1 domination which is a must-have attribute for any top football player.

    A 5 stage shooting challenge covering most kids favorite part of football training. Focuses on ball striking.


    The soccer training drills for kids shown above are very small examples but will hopefully guide you on the type of training that will work. Kids can have lots of free time outside of team training and they want to learn. Create an environment where this is possible and make the soccer practice purposeful & effective. At young ages kids are like sponges and will absorb a great deal of information and this type of training really does improve a player’s ability. 

    Individual practice is not to be regimented. It’s a way to learn, experiment and refine. Set targets as most kids will rise to the challenge to achieve them. Praise and reward them too if they reach the targets but above all, give lots of support and encouragement as this has to be fun to really be effective.

    PS 1. Check out our cool self-training soccer products here.

    PS 2. If you want to skip the headaches, try our self-training video course for kids here.