3 simple kick offs or restarts
in a youth soccer game?

Coaches, there are a number of ways a team can kick off or start a soccer game, but first we must learn how to start the game. In my opinion, as a coach you should not spend an inordinate amount of time on restarts, but on teaching the kids the skill to play the game.

So what is the rule when kicking off?

There are two players that will step up to take the kick off - generally the forwards or a forward and midfield player.

  • Player A who has the soccer ball, will pass the soccer ball forward (the ball must go one full rotation forward) to player B.
  • Player B can dribble or pass the ball back or forward to get the game going...

We now have the basic restart rule down so lets look at some basic ways to start the game.

Kick off number one

Player A passes the soccer ball to player B - Player B knocks the ball to the midfield and we begin to play. This is the most basic way to get the game started.

  The midfield player can make a choice on where to pass or dribble the soccer ball. The other option is the forward can dribble and look to play with the striker that kicked off instead of playing the ball back to the midfield player. The players will need to make a choice based on opponent .

Going long

Player A passes the ball to player B who passes the ball back to one of the midfield players.

  • The midfield player launches the soccer ball down the field.

  • The team steps up and chases their opponent into their end trying to win the soccer ball.

There have been some crazy goals scored in this manner - one good bounce could go over the goalkeepers head or the opponent makes a mistake and your team is now in on goal.

Playing the through ball

An easy way to set this one up is to have your wide players very wide so the pass back can be played into space.

  • Player A plays the soccer ball to player B who passes to the central midfield player behind them.
  • The central midfield player passes the soccer ball through to one of the wings making the run into space behind the defenders.
  • The wide player dribbles in and crosses or shoots.

This tactic can catch a team off guard if they are not ready to play, but will not really work against well organized teams. The restart becomes less of a weapon at the older ages because most teams are organized and ready if they have played any kind of soccer.

Return to Coaching Kids Soccer from Kick off

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