Football Passing Drills for 6 Year Olds

Passing is a critical skill in soccer, especially for young players just starting. Teaching 6-year-olds how to pass the ball effectively can set them up for success on the field. This article covers a variety of fun and engaging passing drills designed to help young players improve their technique and build good habits.

Key Takeaways

  • Passing is a fundamental soccer skill that young players need to learn early.
  • Drills should be fun and engaging to keep 6-year-olds interested.
  • Different drills focus on various aspects of passing, such as accuracy and technique.
  • Incorporating movement and agility exercises can enhance overall soccer skills.
  • Consistent practice of these drills can help build a strong foundation for future soccer success.

1. Back Foot Receiving

Back Foot Receiving is a great drill to help young players improve their ball control and passing accuracy. The main idea is to receive the ball with the back foot, which allows for a smoother transition and better positioning for the next move.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set up: Create a small grid using cones. Have one player act as the passer and another as the receiver.
  2. Receiving: The receiver should focus on using their back foot to control the ball. If the ball comes from the right, they should use their left foot, and vice versa.
  3. Passing: After receiving the ball, the player should make a quick, accurate pass back to the passer.
  4. Rotation: Rotate roles after a minute to ensure everyone can practice passing and receiving.

Tips for Success

  • Keep your body balanced and over the ball.
  • Use your arms for balance.
  • Look at the target before making the pass.
  • Keep an eye on the ball during contact.

Practicing Back Foot Receiving helps young players develop better control and quicker decision-making on the field.

2. Passing Fundamentals 1

Passing is a key skill in soccer, and it’s important to start young players off with the right techniques. This drill focuses on the basics of passing, helping kids understand how to pass accurately and receive the ball properly.

Triangle Passing

Set up three cones in a triangle shape. Have the players pass the ball around the triangle using both feet. This will help them become comfortable with passing and receiving from different angles.

Passing Gates

Create small gates using cones about a yard apart. Players must pass the ball through the gates to a partner. This drill improves accuracy and control.

Wall Passing or One-Two Passing Combination

Find a wall or use a partner. Players pass the ball against the wall or to their partner and then move to receive it back. This drill encourages quick thinking and movement.

Pro Tip: Keep the drills fun and engaging to maintain the kids’ interest. Use games and challenges to make the practice enjoyable.

These drills will help your child improve their passing technique in different scenarios and instill the habits of passing and moving that are critical to playing soccer.

3. Passing Fundamentals 2

Kids will focus on improving their passing accuracy and timing in this drill. Set up four cones in a square, about 10 yards apart. Place a single cone in the center. The player in the middle will receive the ball and pass it to a player on the outside, then quickly move to support another player. This drill helps kids learn to move without the ball and get into a good position to support their teammates.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Set up the cones as described.
  2. The central player receives the ball from an outside player.
  3. The central player then passes the ball to another outside player.
  4. The central player moves to support a different outside player.

This drill is great for teaching kids how to stay active and involved in the game, even when they don’t have the ball.

Remember, the key is to keep moving and always be ready to support your teammates.

4. Zig Zag Passing Against the Clock

This drill is all about speed and accuracy. Set up flat circles or discs about 10 to 15 yards apart, with a player standing on each one. The goal is to pass the ball down the line and back within a set time limit. Start with 30 seconds for 8-10 players and adjust as needed.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Players stand on their assigned spots.
  2. The first player passes the ball to the next player in line.
  3. Each player must control the ball and pass it quickly to the next.
  4. The ball must travel to the end of the line and back within the time limit.

This drill not only improves passing skills but also builds teamwork and quick thinking. It’s a fun way to get kids to focus on both speed and precision.

5. Long Passing Drill

The Long Passing Drill is a fantastic way to help young players improve their ability to make accurate long passes. This drill is not only about kicking the ball far but also about precision and control. Accurate long and short passes are key skills that players will develop through this exercise.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Mark out a large rectangular area on the field.
  2. Divide the players into pairs, with one ball per pair.
  3. Have the players stand at opposite ends of the rectangle.
  4. The goal is to pass the ball back and forth, aiming to keep the ball within the marked area.
  5. Encourage players to use both feet and different parts of their foot to pass the ball.

This drill encourages movement and your players’ ability to see free space and use it accurately. The game also combines accurate long and short passes.

By practicing this drill regularly, young players will gain confidence in their passing abilities and learn to control the ball better over longer distances. It’s a simple yet effective way to boost their Soccer Passing Drills skills.

6. First Pass 1v1

The first player with the ball passes to the first player on the opposite team when the coach signals. Once the ball is received, both players enter the grid for a 1v1 duel. The round ends when one player successfully tackles the other and dribbles across the opposite grid line. The coach can mix things up by having two or three players face each other in a 2v2 or 3v3 game.

The coach can add pressure by having an opposing team player stand with them to make it more challenging. After 2 or 3 seconds, the player sprints to close down the passer, making it harder to complete the pass. Another way to level up is to change the type of pass, like adding a bounce pass.

This drill is great for improving 1v1 defending skills and quick decision-making under pressure.

7. Inside-Outside 1

The Inside-Outside 1 drill is a fantastic way to teach young players how to maintain possession and improve their passing accuracy. Here’s how it works:

  1. Set up a grid with four players on the outside and one defender in the middle.
  2. The outside players aim to keep the ball away from the defender by passing it among themselves.
  3. Players on the outside can move along their line to support the player with the ball.
  4. If the defender intercepts the ball, they switch places with the player who lost possession.

This drill not only helps in improving passing skills but also encourages teamwork and communication among players.

You can add a time limit for the outside players to make a pass to make it more challenging. This will help them think and act quickly under pressure. It’s a fun and engaging way to boost their skills!

8. Dribbling in Space

Dribbling in space is about teaching kids how to move with the ball while controlling it. This drill helps young players learn to navigate open areas and avoid defenders. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Move to the open space: Encourage kids to find and move into open areas on the field.
  2. Use changes of direction: Teach them to change direction quickly to keep the ball away from opponents.
  3. Shielding and bursting: Show them how to shield the ball from defenders and then burst into open space.

This drill not only improves dribbling skills but also boosts confidence on the field. Kids learn to make quick decisions and maintain control under pressure.

A fun variation of this drill is called Knockout. Players dribble inside a grid, practicing techniques like pull-backs, scissors, and step-overs. When the coach yells “knockout,” players try to knock each other’s balls out of the grid while keeping theirs inside. If a player’s ball is knocked out, they must do 10 toe touches before rejoining the game.

9. Tight Corner Dribbling

Tight corner dribbling is a fantastic drill for young players to improve their ball control in confined spaces. This drill helps kids learn to maneuver the ball effectively under pressure. The main goal is to keep the ball close while making quick, sharp turns.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Create a small grid using cones, about 5×5 yards.
  2. Have each player dribble inside the grid, practicing techniques like pull-backs, scissors, and step-overs.
  3. When the coach yells “knockout,” players try to knock other players’ balls out of the grid while keeping theirs inside.
  4. If a player’s ball is knocked out, they must perform 10 toe touches before rejoining the game.

This drill is not only fun but also effective in teaching kids how to maintain control and make quick decisions in tight spaces.

Remember, the key is to move to the open space, use direction changes to keep the ball, and work on shielding and bursting into space.

10. Ladder Drill 1

Ladder drills are fantastic for improving footwork and agility. For 6-year-olds, it’s essential to keep things fun and engaging. Here’s how you can set up and run the Ladder Drill 1:

  1. Set up the ladder: Lay a flat ladder on the ground. If you don’t have a ladder, use cones or draw one with chalk.
  2. Basic movement: Have the kids step in and out of each rung, focusing on quick and light steps.
  3. Add variations: Once they get the hang of it, introduce different movements like hopping on one foot or side-stepping.
  4. Time challenge: Make it a game by timing each child and encouraging them to beat their previous time.

This drill not only boosts their footwork but also helps in building coordination and balance. Keeping the drill competitive and fun will ensure the kids stay interested and motivated.


Teaching 6-year-olds how to pass the ball in soccer can be fun. These drills can help them improve their skills while keeping them engaged and excited about the game. Remember, making the drills enjoyable and not too complicated is key. When kids have fun, they learn better and faster. So, grab some cones and a ball, and get ready to see your little soccer stars shine on the field!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to teach 6-year-olds to pass a soccer ball?

Start with simple drills like Back Foot Receiving and Passing Fundamentals. Keep the exercises fun and short to maintain their interest.

How often should 6-year-olds practice passing drills?

Practicing 2-3 times a week for about 20-30 minutes each session is a good balance. Please make sure the drills are fun to keep them engaged.

Can these drills be done at home?

Many of these drills, like Dribbling in Space and Tight Corner Dribbling, can be done in your backyard or any open space.

What equipment is needed for these drills?

You will need cones, a soccer ball, and flat circles or discs. These are easy to set up and help keep the drills organized.

How do I keep my child motivated during practice?

Mix up the drills to keep them exciting, and always encourage your child. Celebrate their progress, no matter how small.

Are these drills safe for 6-year-olds?

Yes, these drills are designed to be safe and suitable for young kids. Always supervise them to ensure they are doing the exercises correctly.



As a soccer coach and graduate in Physical Education, I bring a wealth of expertise to the field. My coaching philosophy combines technical precision with a passion for player well-being. With a commitment to fostering both skill and sportsmanship, I aim to empower athletes, nurturing their growth not only as players but as individuals on the journey to success.


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