Under-6 Skill Priorities
- Dribble with all sides of both feet
- Dribble out of trouble
- Dribble past someone
- Soft 1st touch
U-6 Juggling Benchmarks
By the end of their 1st year,
All players should be able to:
- Drop a ball from their hands to their right thigh and catch ball with hands.
- Drop a ball from their hands to their left thigh and catch ball with hands.
- This should be accomplished both standing and moving forward.
- Throw a ball lightly against their chest down to either thigh and catch ball with hands.
Some players should be able to:
- Drop ball from their hands off touching ball with their right thigh twice before catching it and repeat with left thigh.
- Drop ball from their hands touching ball with both thigh’s before catching it.
- Drop ball from their hands to either foot and catch the ball with their hands.
By the end of their 1st year, players should be able to comfortably perform the following:
Mexican Hat Dance: Players with the sole of one foot GENTLY on their ball and the other foot on the ground; while singing and clapping to the Mexican Hat Dance tune (optional), change from one foot to other simultaneously. Get into a rhythm and increase speed. Variation: As player changes from one foot to the other, player rotates around the stationary ball. In pairs, players can hold hands and rotate together while individually alternating foot touches on the ball. (Both with the right, both with the left, while rotating counter / clockwise.
Touch Step/Touch Step: All players stand next to ball with ball on their right with their feet together. Lift closest foot to ball above ball, tap ball, step over to the right of the ball; as right foot touches the ground, simultaneously lift left foot above ball, tap ball, and step over. Now both feet are on opposite side of the ball. Players need to leave room for second foot when placing first foot on other side. Repeat same to the left. Get into rhythm/dance. Variations: Move from front to back or back to front; beginnings of 'step over' dribbling technique.
‘Tick-Tock’ or fundamental / speed touches: Players touch the ball alternating with the inside of one foot then the other. KNEES MUST BE BENT! Each time the player’s foot steps down, it should touch the ball. Players should be able to do this moving forward and backward. (Coaches, hold up a number of fingers and ask the players to call out the number as you change the number. This will result in them looking up and away from the ball.)
Pull Back & Turn: Players with their ball in front of them reach forward and with the sole of one foot GENTLY on their ball pull it back and turn to the side with which they pulled back. (Pull back with right foot, turn to the right. If players struggle turning, have them hold out their right hand as they pull back with the right foot.)
Spin-in: Players with their ball in front of them reach forward and with the inside of their right foot (heal down, toe pointed up and knees bent), touch the ball as they spin to the left. Every time their right foot steps down, it should contact the ball. Repeat the same in the opposite direction with the left foot. (Not too long of time, they get dizzy.)
Spin-out: Players with their ball in front of them reach forward and with their PINKIE TOE, of their right foot, (heal down, toe pointed up and knees bent), touch the ball as they spin to their right. Every time their right foot steps down, it should contact the ball. Repeat the same in the opposite direction with the left foot. (Not too long of time, they get dizzy.)