Football training ideas for five-year-olds

Football training ideas for five-year-olds

Sat 11 May 2019

Football Training Tips

Coaching and introducing five-year-olds to football is a fun but challenging experience. They’re only in their early years and beginning of their footballing journey. Kids of this age may not have the necessary football or physical skills to do anything too complex. If the coach, game or exercise doesn’t engage them, then it’s possible to lose the player’s attention as they will become easily distracted.

So, specifically, how can you football train your five-year-old whilst keeping them engaged and enjoying playing football? The key is to make things fun and set targets, which can often be done through theming and games.

We’ve put together three training ideas which can take advantage of children’s fascination with aliens, the universe and their imagination to get them developing their football skills.

Space Game for passing, ball control and dribbling

The idea of going to an arcade to play Space Invaders would be an alien concept to most young players these days, let alone five-year-olds! You can teach them a little bit about the original computer game though, by turning it into a training exercise which works on dribbling and passing.

Set up a wide channel with cones and divide your group into two teams – one team will be the lasers and the other invaders. Position the lasers down either side of the channel with a ball each and line up the invaders at one end without a ball to start with.

The objective for the invaders is to travel from one end to the other each time the coach says ‘go’– without being hit by the lasers. The lasers will be passing the ball across the channel at knee height, to try and hit the other team.

Once this has been played a few times and everyone has been a laser and an invader, repeat the exercise but this time, every player will have a football. The invaders must dribble their ball from one end to the other without being hit by the lasers.

Those on the invading team will need to show close control and speed to get from one end to the other in one piece, while the lasers have to have passing accuracy in order to hit those running through the channel. A top coaching point is to remind the players to look up to avoid lasers or look up to hit their targets. Another coaching tip is to encourage small touches when dribbling the ball.


You can also play a variation of this game at home if it’s just a parent and child training. This version will see the player dribbling towards the parent/coach at the top of the channel. The parent/coach must pass in footballs towards the player for them to avoid.

If the player reaches the top of the channel with the ball under control and tags the parent/coach, then they win a point! Remember to switch the roles around to make the game more fun and engaging.

Rangers vs Monsters Game for dribbling and tackling

Continuing with the theme is Rangers .vs. Monsters. This is a tag-based, classic but fun game. The drill works on close control and dribbling but adds an element of tackling too.

Mark out an area large enough for the number of players involved in the form of a square, this is the galaxy.

The first round should happen with no footballs. Start with 1 or 2 Monsters who must touch the Rangers–if a Ranger gets tagged then they become a Monster. On the coach’s whistle, they all head into space and tag each other.

On the next round, footballs should be introduced to the Rangers and they must dribble away from the Monsters–if they get tackled, they swap roles. A good coaching point is to encourage players to use their skills to keep their ball safe.

Playing at home

This can be played with the parent/coach and player too. Start with a simple game of “tag” or “it”, then give the child the football, they are now the Ranger and must avoid being tackled by the Monster at all costs!

The next stage is to give both players a football and take it in turns to be the Monster, who must tackle the Ranger whilst keeping their own football under control! The different variations and swapping the roles keeps the child engaged in the game whilst having fun.

Aliens in the Galaxy Game

Aliens in the Galaxy is a great game for five-year-old children as it’s fast paced with lots going on. It focuses on the players changing direction, skills, dribbling the ball with control and passing with accuracy.

Get all the players into an area but give only one or two of them a ball. Those with balls are aliens, the rest without are humans desperately trying to avoid being turned into extra-terrestrials themselves.

The way in which the aliens can add more people to their team is by hitting the humans below knee height with their ball. When a human is hit, they become an alien by collecting a ball from the side of the pitch and joining the hunt to create more aliens.

For those without balls, this is a good drill for developing skills such as finding space off the ball, changing direction, as well as improving fitness levels – stand still for a minute and you won’t be a human for long! In the game, for those with the ball it improves dribbling skills as well as accuracy when it comes to trying to get the humans.

Playing at home

This game can also be played at home with an adult and child, with the child starting as the human avoiding the footballs being passed at them by the Alien (additional footballs should be used). By swapping the roles regularly and keeping the child engaged, this game guarantees enjoyment.

Beginning football training

These suggested training ideas are in the format of ball games, as this is often the best way to have fun whilst developing a young player’s footballing ability. It’s a good idea to use themes in football for five-year-olds as it can help bring the games to life and get the player actively involved by using their own imagination.

The most important thing is to create a fun environment to engage the player and hopefully make them want to play football more frequently and for many years to come.

We Make Footballers offer weekly training, including games like the ones above. We provide a safe, fun and friendly environment and our energetic coaches ensure that each session is brought to life and that each player is always developing.

Book a free session to experience our football training in your local area.

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