Football training ideas for six-year-olds

Football training ideas for six-year-olds

Fri 07 June 2019


At the age of six, children begin to understand football a little bit more. That makes the job of the coach easier as you can begin to introduce more complicated practices into training which will help the players’ development and challenge them in new ways.

Of course, the emphasis at this age should still be on fun, but you can begin to move away from the simple drills which focus on the very basics needed in football to focus on games that contain two or three different skills in one.

Here are some training ideas to use on six-year-olds.

Stuck in the Mud

Stuck in the mud is a game that takes place in a confined area and works on dribbling, ball manipulation, awareness and speed. It is also a lot of fun and can be played in most environments with friends or other teammates.

Set up a space large enough to allow the children to dribble around it freely with a ball but have one or two children play the role of the ‘mud monster’. This player does not have a ball but is instead tasked with tackling the other children.

The child who has been tackled, must then stop still and hold their ball in the air – they are now ‘stuck in the mud’. The job of the rest of the children dribbling around the pitch is to reach the child who is stuck by passing the ball through their legs to release them.

This game not only works on dribbling, but it also teaches players the importance of protecting their ball from defenders – or in this case, the mud monster – and awareness. They’ll need to be looking up at all times to see which of their teammates have been caught and then working out the best and quickest way to get across the pitch to free them.

This game can be progressed by giving all players a ball and the “mud monsters” a bib, this time they will have to tackle others whilst also looking after their own football.

Pirates and Sharks

Pirates and Sharks is a game in which the coach or parent can join in and have some fun! Get all the players to line up on one side of the area with a ball. They are the Pirates and their objective is simple – make it to the other side (or across the “sea”) without being hit by the Sharks.

You are the Shark, which means you are trying to hit the children below the knee with the ball by passing it into them. Once they’ve been hit, they will come and join you on the side line as a Shark and be part of the quest to convert more Sharks to your team.

Children will love the fact that they are trying to avoid the adult in the group, adding a bigger sense of achievement than they’d get from attempting to escape the passes of a teammate. Obviously, you don’t want to start picking them off one-by-one though. Let them have a few successful runs across the grid first.

Players will be able to practice both components of the game, passing and dribbling. It is often more engaging for children to practice these through a game format and the switching of skillset will also improve their engagement levels.


Split the group into four/two teams (depending on the number of players) with each team having a clearly marked ‘home’ corner of a large area. Each team will start in their own corner with all the footballs placed in the middle of the grid. The aim of Flintstones is simple – the balls are rocks, the children are the Flintstones and they need to get as many rocks as possible into their corners in order to build their home.

In the first version of the game, they will need to build their house by dribbling the ball back to their base and getting as many balls as possible. The progression to this game is bringing the balls back to their base and tackling other teams to steal rocks from them. The only rule is that they cannot take balls from another group’s corner once they have been successfully left there.

This game teaches speed, close control, ball manipulation, teamwork and awareness as well as introducing the concept of tackling. It’s also fantastic fun and offers an element of “organised chaos” which children love!


These football training ideas for six year olds are a fantastic step forward in the development of the player, usually, by attending football classes from a young age they will have mastered the fundamentals allowing them to progress in their football journey. We Make Footballers focus on developing the football fundamentals in children starting from the age of four, to help your child grow in confidence and become a more skilled player, book a free trial with us today.

Share this article