One effective way of helping U8 soccer players learn how to dribble the soccer ball is by giving them the opportunity to dribble the ball at or through a series of cones. In the example below we provide three unique sets of cones to provide perspective and concepts of what you want the players on your soccer team to work through. Primarily we want to look at cones as opportunities for U8 players to practice dribbling the soccer ball with pace and either changing direction or executing a fake.
The reason dribbling at cones is an effective tool is because cones are static. The fact that they do not move allows your soccer players to attack the cone and practice either a simple change of direction to more dynamic ‘fakes.’ We would encourage three specific drills first.
1. Dribble at a cone as quickly as possible and go around that cone to goal. It is important that your players understand to stay as close to the cone as possible.
2. Dribble at the cone and take a step fake in one direct and move in the other with either the inside or outside of your foot.
3. Dribble diagonally at the cone and move quickly in a change of direction.
Each of these U8 soccer drills should be used in soccer practice that is dominated with small sided games. The drills are simply an opportunity for all players on your team to get touches on the ball and practice ball control.