Under-8 Skill Priorities

  • Dribble IN ALL DIRECTIONS with all sides of both feet
  • Dribble out of trouble
  • Dribble past someone
  • Soft 1st touch
  • Introduce proper striking technique (with laces) {not a focus}
  • Introduce passing with inside of foot {not a focus}

U-8 Juggling Benchmarks

By the end of a player’s third year,

All players should be able to:

  1. Accomplish U6 juggling benchmarks

Some players should be able to:

  1. Drop ball from their hands to and juggle the ball with 4+ touches using at least 2 surfaces before the ball hits the ground


By the end of their third year, all players should be able to comfortably perform the following:

  1. Control the ball from dribbling out of play
  2. Properly shield the ball
  3. Execute a Pull Back & Turn
  4. Execute a Spin in and Spin Out
  5. Execute a Cruijff (Cruyff) move: (pull ball laterally behind your back or other foot)
  6. Understand how to push pass with inside of foot (heel down, toe up, knees bent)
  7. Execute a fake1/2 step sideways with one foot and push the ball forward with the other
  8. Occasionally dribble with proper technique with outside of foot (pushing with pinkie toe). It’s the technique used for dribbling in a natural stride.
  9. Occasionally strike ball properly with laces*

Players should be able to understand the following:

  • The U-7 & U-8 dribble or pass modification with a 3+ step yielding distance
  • How to restart play after a goal (Ball is restarted at mid-field with all players on their own half of the field. Play starts with the U-7 & U-8 dribble or pass modification.)
  • That the last player that the ball touches prior to leaving play determines which team restarts
  • The ball is NOT out of play UNTIL the ball COMPLETELY crosses the line. That is, if ANY part of the ball is ABOVE the line, the ball is in play even if the ball is touching outside the line
  • The conditions that determine a corner restart (Ball last touches a players who is defending the goal on the endline the ball went over) (Restart with the U-7 & U-8 dribble or pass modification from the corner)
  • The conditions that determine the modified goal kick restart (the defending team must yield a 10+ step distance rather than the usual 3+ when the attacking team restarts with a dribble or pass from the endline with the goal they are defending)