I hope you can use a few of my favorite soccer activities for elementary-level physical education. Be sure to share some of YOUR favorites with the PE community!
Soccer Ball Tabata
Throughout the soccer unit, we like to incorporate some of the skills into our fitness. Soccer Ball Tabata is a perfect way to do just that. We use the Tabata Pro application on an iPad as our timer.
Single Cone Soccer
Once we cover many of the basic soccer ball-handling skills, we like to introduce single cone soccer. All you need is one cone and a couple of evenly matched students. You’ll find that many components of soccer are practiced in this simple game including defensive positioning, ball handling, strategy, and a ton of fitness!
2-Team Soccer Pin Knockdown (physedgames.com)
We like this game when we need to be inside. Each team sets up 5-7 pins on their baseline. The goal is for each team to knock over their opponent’s pins. Once a pin is knocked over, it is taken to the other side where it is set up on the opposite baseline. The goal is for each team to collect all of the pins, then set them up on their side of the field. I usually play with two balls per game.
4-Team Quadrant Pin Knockdown
Four teams battle it out for pin supremacy in this fast-paced soccer game. Each team sets up six pins on their corner of the field (3 on the baseline side and 3 on the sideline side). This game is played like 2-team pin knockdown however, each team can knock down any of the other three team’s pins. To begin the game, each corner gets a ball. Therefore, four balls are played at once.
Dribbling to La Raspa
Toe taps are an excellent way to improve ball control and stamina, balance, and lower body strength. Specifically, toe taps strengthen the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and core. Equally important, toe taps will increase student heart rate improving the cardiovascular system.
Now add all that to LA RASPA. Simply stated, students perform toe taps to the beat of the song. As the rhythm changes, they transfer from toe taps to dribbling demonstrating ball control while using all parts of their feet. Combing a soccer skill with rhythm? AWESOME! My students love it.
We use this as an agility, ball control, and fitness drill. Set up about 16 sets of color-coordinated cones (gates( throughout your space. Each gate is approximately three feet wide. Give your students a challenge to see how many gates they can dribble through in a given amount of time. Let them rest for 30 seconds, then do it again. The key to this drill is ball control. I tell my students to control the ball with all parts of their feet while changing speed and direction. For an added challenge I sometimes have five gatekeepers. Gatekeepers run from gate to gate, blocking them so students can not dribble through. The gatekeeper does not block the ball. His presence between the gate deters the student from dribbling through.
Deck Ring Soccer
I like to use this activity in the gym with my first through third-grade students. It’s a simple dribbling exploration game where students count how many deck rings they can place their ball in using only their feet. It helps the students discover the importance of using all parts of each foot.
The Lord of the Deck RIngs
Divide the play area in half. Set up 10-15 cones behind each team. Spread out an even number of deck rings on each side. Players move their ball across the midline, into their opponent’s territory, and attempt to place the ball onto a ring using only their feet. Once the ball is in the ring, the player then completes 3 jumping jacks or another predetermined exercise (Sometimes I have exercise options on the screen). The player then picks up the ball with his hands and sprints to the opponent’s cones. There, a cone is picked up, and the ball is placed onto the cone. Then the payer runs the ball back to his side where he drops off the cone. Which team can finish the round with more cones?
2 versus 2 – Single Cone Soccer
This version of single cone soccer incorporates a teammate and passing along with dribbling, defensive strategies and fitness. I’ll usually play this immediately following games of 1 versus 1 – single cone soccer.
Stop and Go Soccer
Usually used as a warm-up, stop-and-go soccer focuses on fast-break dribbling and stopping on a signal. Before the drill, we’ll discuss the differences between a fast break and dribbling through traffic. Students begin on one end of the field. On the signal, students begin to quickly move the ball up the field. On the whistle, students must immediately stop the ball. A player who continues to dribble after the whistle is blown must head to the back of the group. The same is done when a player is lacking ball control.
Passing Through Gates
Passing through gates is a great follow-up to the dribbling through gates drill. Students partner up and try to pass through as many gates as possible in a given amount of time. Once a partner passes through a gate, she then runs to position herself at a different gate. Meanwhile, the partner who received the pass quickly dribbles to the gate where her partner is waiting. Pass and go!
Small-Sided Soccer Games
Our goal in any of our units is to provide as many touches as possible throughout an activity. When we do play actual soccer games, we play on small fields with no more than five players on each team. In this setting, students have numerous opportunities to be a part of the action.
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