Of all kids soccer drills, falling is usually
the most well-received because it allows athletes to be silly
and get dirty. To teach athletes how to fall appropriately,
coaches should work in stages. Most kids enjoy diving for
balls and will not mind taking a few falls, but it is important
to teach them the proper way to fall so they do not injure
Athletes should start sitting on the ground for these kids soccer drills. At the coach’s command, athletes should fall to the side, landing first with their hips and then with their shoulders, keeping the head steady and protecting it from hitting the ground. Players should practice this several times until they are not scared of the motion of falling. Practicing this several times will also help athletes realize that falling does not have to hurt if done properly.
When players have mastered falling from a sitting
position, move them to a kneeling position. This will make
the fall take longer and will challenge athletes to maintain
proper body position. The proper way to fall from a kneeling
position is to let the entire body go at once, with the body
immediately following the arms and shoulders.
Finally, athletes should fall from a standing
position. The difficulty here is keeping athletes from breaking
their position and using their hands to break the fall. Instead,
athletes should use the ball to break the fall in this youth
soccer drill. If they are diving for a ball, they can
push the ball against the ground and roll off it, diffusing
the impact and protecting the body.
For new athletes, coaches should consider using protective gear to reassure both athletes and parents. When athletes become comfortable with the movement and realize that all falls do not hurt, coaches can slowly remove the additional protective gear, leaving athletes only protected with the necessary, standard gear.
Soccer Sliding Drills