Now that the winter season is in full swing, all the athletes are indoors and doing their best to not only keep their performance levels up, but also grow and improve. Here are a few fun games to play at Sofive that will keep them on their toes and sharpen some technical abilities.
Snowman Tag Soccer
This is a variation of a the schoolyard game, freeze tag. Most of us remember the game from our youth where the tagged person is frozen in place until an unfrozen player comes to release them. You probably never thought to play it with soccer balls, though.
To play this one, a single player is designated as “it” and the rest of the team take their soccer balls and try to keep them away from “it.” If the chaser touches a player’s ball, that player is then frozen. He or she must stand legs apart, holding their ball above their head. They can only be unfrozen if another player is able to dribble their own ball through the frozen player’s legs. Continue until all players are frozen.
Another variation on a tag-type game, avalanche begins with two players (without soccer balls) holding hands. They are “the avalanche” and must chase down all the other players who will each be dribbling their own ball. Should the avalanche kick away a player’s ball, that player must link hands with the avalanche. As the avalanche grows, it becomes more difficult to move, but it’s also harder for players to avoid it!
Keep growing the avalanche until only one player remains. That player wins that round, but he or she becomes the avalanche for the next round. Keep playing until everyone is falling over themselves laughing.
This soccer game has all players dribble around within a marked square. Perfect for an indoor soccer field, where space might be limited.
The aim is to control your ball while trying to kick out everyone else’s. If you manage to kick a ball out of the holiday square, you get a point and the other player needs to chase after their ball.
The player then needs to perform a skill before being able to re-enter the square. This could be juggling the ball “keep-up” style for so many touches, or dancing on the ball for 10 “Mississipi's.” The player with the most points wins!
This is a fun game for kids to get some revenge on the grown-ups! Start by giving each kid a ball and marking off a grid. You can make the grid bigger or smaller depending on how many kids there are and the ages and skill levels.
The coach or "Santa" then goes into the middle of the grid and starts to run around. The kids must dribble their soccer balls around the grid and try to hit the coach with the ball. When a ball hits the coach, the coach should yell “Naughty List!” for extra fun. While this game is good fun for the kids, it also teaches dribbling and helps kids keep their heads up as they look for the coach in the grid.
Round Up the Reindeer!
Another fun game that instills fundamentals in the young soccer player, reindeer and elves. Each player gets a soccer ball except two “elves”. The elves must try and kick the reindeer's balls out of the grid as the reindeer dribble the balls away from the elves. If a reindeer's ball is kicked out, the reindeer must run one lap of the grid before being allowed back in. Each reindeer gets two chances before being out for good. The last two reindeer that haven’t been eliminated take the place of the elves for the next round.
This is a great way to have fun while practicing listening skills and learning body awareness. Each player gets a ball to dribble and must listen for instructions from “Santa”. In this case, the coach will be Santa. Examples of things you can say can range. Popular choices include:
- Change direction
- Stop the ball
- Put your foot on the ball
- And more!
It’s also fun to add some random tricks and commands such as skipping, jumping, clapping or kicking the ball as far as they can. This will greatly improve listening skills and promote body awareness in kids.
Red Light, Green Light
This is a soccer spin on a classic schoolyard game. In this version, have the kids line up at a start line and have the coach or adult stand 15-20 yards away with their backs facing the kids. The coach will then yell, “green light!” and the kids will begin to dribble towards the coach. Once the coach yells, “red light” the kids must stop in their tracks. The coach will wait a moment; turn around and anyone still moving must go back to the beginning. This game is fun and will teach control and the importance of keeping the ball close.
Clean Your Room
This game is a variation of Sharks and Minnows. In this version, a grid is laid out, and each player inside is given a ball. One player is without a ball and is determined to be the “room cleaner”. It’s the room cleaner’s job to get all the balls out of the grid at the same time. When they kick the ball out of the grid, the regular players can go and retrieve their ball until all the balls have been kicked out at the same time.