"How to coach soccer restarts
in a youth soccer game"


Soccer Restarts are all very interesting at the younger ages - U9 - U12 because players are still learning how to strike or throw the ball to get it back in play. The players will get better at restarts as they get older and their skills improve.

Kick off

Coaches, there are a number of ways a team can kick off to start a soccer game or after a goal is scored.

First we must learn how to kick off....

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.

The ref puts the soccer ball on the center spot - when the ref blows the whistle the players can start the game.

  • 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. 

There you have it  - lets look at the rest of the soccer restarts.

Goal kicks

The enemy when coaching young kids is the dreaded goal kick...

  • I get all my players to stand in front of their players so the other team does not win the soccer ball in case our goal kick does not go far.
  • I love the soccer kick that creeps to the edge of the box and no one can get it because it has not rolled out of the box - invariably a kid will go into the box and get it! There is always a chuckle on the coaches sideline.
  • When the other team has a goal kick I get my soccer players in front of their soccer players and try and win the soccer ball. If the players win the ball they are now attacking the goal.

Get more ideas on how to teach goal kicks to young soccer players.

If you as a coach do not care about the result then you can have your players go wide on soccer goal kicks.

  • Player "A" taking the goal kick will pass a ball out to the soccer player "B" that has gone wide between the eighteen yard line and the touch line.
  • Player "A" receiving the soccer ball can now dribble or pass the soccer ball up the field.

The players have now learned to play out of the back or defending area.

They will make mistakes when trying to pass out of the back by giving the soccer ball away or even giving up a goal, so the coach has to be patient.


Corners are tricky soccer restarts because younger players might not be able to serve the ball or head a ball that is zipping across the goal box at speed?

There is a huge chance that the 8 to 10 years old players won't attack a driven ball unless very, very advanced. The coach might think about teaching a short corner so the players can dribble in and shoot.

 The players will have a lot of fun with this once they have the corner down.

Here is how to set up a short corner kick in a soccer game...

  • Two players line up next to the corner flag.
  • Player "A" taking the corner taps the soccer ball into player "B" who dribbles toward goal.
  • Player "B" dribbling has two options either pass the soccer ball into the box on the ground or dribble in and shoot.

Get more info on soccer corners! They are a coaches friend at the younger ages and goal kicks are the enemy. :)

Throw ins

The throw in is a very simple soccer restart...

  • The player must start the throw with the ball behind the head, feet down - drag a toe.
  • The trick is that the ball has to go to a team mate so the team keeps the ball.
  • Most young players just throw it anywhere!!
  • The most difficult thing is getting the players to understand that a throw in is a possession.
  • The players on the field have to make themselves a target for the thrower.

I believe the throw in can be a good weapon once the players know how to use their skills.

How to lay the ball back to the thrower with a pass or a volley.

Kids from ages U6 - U9 must develop soccer skills like dribbling, passing and controlling the soccer ball.

When they can keep possession there is less worry about the ball going out of bounce as much - soccer restarts will not be counted on as method of attack.

Free kicks

A Free kick or penalty is awarded if a player is fouled or there is a hand ball.

I like to teach players quick soccer restarts on fouls...

  • Player "A" puts the ball down and plays a quick pass to an open player.
  • Player "B" can now dribble or pass.
  • When everyone is covered the player can strike the ball down the field.
  • When closer to goal the player can shoot.

Try to add this into your small sided games without breaking it down and doing this in a drill format - keep it fun for the kids!

Return to Coaching Kids Soccer from Soccer restarts

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