While we're all at home during lockdown, it's the perfect time to learn a new skill, or brush up on an existing one. Football-mad boys and girls can make the beautiful game even more beautiful by learning from the experts online. From existing videos to live streaming coaching put in place especially for lockdown, everyone from YouTube celebs to young soccer stars and grassroots coaches is sharing the secrets of their dribbling, passing, defending and trickshot skills online for free. Watch these videos to help your future football stars bend it like Beckham and keep match fit until the season begins again.
Freestyling duo Jeremy Lynch and Billy Wingrove are probably the most famous football freestylers on the planet - with almost 10 million subscribers on YouTube, the pair's talents have made them immensely popular with young footie fans. The high-energy, professional videos will appeal to KS2 kids in particular. Do be aware that, like many popular YouTubers, they have also produced a number of videos that veer away from the core subject, into pranks and dares, so do monitor what videos are popping up. However, the good news is that the videos covering football match skills where you can learn moves such as the Megmerise and the Cuboid Flick (we have no idea either!) are all grouped together. Around two to four minutes each, the videos are aimed at KS2 players and older.
7 Minute Soccer Skills
Ideal for a quick exercise break from home school, 7 Minute Soccer Skills combines skills practice with strength training, to keep your young footie player on the ball until training starts up again. Each video shows clearly how to carry out the drill and times each exercise so you don't have to do that yourself. The exercises are short and perfect if your budding striker has low concentration levels! Designed for players aged four up to adult, users can also score points for viewing and completing each video. You can gain extra points for completing a video each day, so there is plenty of incentive for competitive youngsters. There's even a chance to compete against other players around the world - or just your own team - and getting on the leaderboard. Levels one and two of 7 Minute Soccer Skills are free to access. You will need to log in to the site and confirm your email address to access the videos.
Soccer Coaching UK
Watch out for your toilet rolls and tinned goods! The coach has the kids using these stockpiled items to create a training course in the garden. The five-minute video shows drills that will be familiar to any youngsters who train with a local team each week. Filmed in a smallish garden, it's realistic and ideal for a child to do on their own - which is perfect as you can't just knock for a training partner to come and help you out at the moment. The Week One video session, which lasts for around five minutes, went up during the first week of lockdown so expect more to follow as the weeks go by. The rest of the page has some nice ideas for training drills filmed during pre-lockdown coaching sessions. Nice inspiration for the slightly more serious player.
All around the world there are grassroots coaches who are missing their Saturday or Sunday morning matches and weekly football training sessions just as much as the kids they coach. Enter Footiecoach Georgiou, who is a dedicated dad putting together a weekly coaching session for his own under eight and nine teams, every week. Each video is around 11 minutes long, but budding Beckhams can take away what he shows them and practise each drill for as long as they want. Practise these each week and their ball skills are bound to improve. Footiecoach Georgiou will post each Wednesday on YouTube. He is also encouraging budding young footballers to share videos of them practising, or demonstrating new skills.
Little Kickers Taunton Lockdown LIVE Football Session
Little ones can also get their Saturday morning football fix thanks to Little Kickers, a football coaching franchise that introduces children from as young as 18 months to the joys of the beautiful game. The sessions focus on fun and games, while at the same time teaching the basics of the skills children need to play the sport. Aimed at children aged two to five years, although it should be suitable for younger and older kids too, the Taunton group at Little Kickers is streaming Imaginative Football Coaching for free on Facebook every Saturday morning at 10.30am. Pre-schoolers and KS1 kids will be able to exercise and play along with games both with and without a football.
Soccer has become phenomenally popular in the United States, particularly for girls, and the US Women's Soccer team is the most successful at International level. So it's no surprise that this fabulous-quality YouTube channel has come from the States. This is an amazing YouTube channel for slightly older kids - we'd say probably eight and above. The channel is full of video tutorials that break down and explain a vast number of skillsets in a series of professional-looking videos. Curve a ball for a great free kick, improve dribbling technique or control the ball in the air - whatever you want to improve on, there's a video to explain it. Want to learn how to volley, learn great defence moves or master the around the world trick? This is the place to learn. There's enough high-quality technical instruction here to take you through lockdown and out the other side.
Stay At Home Football Coaching
This will look familiar to lots of exasperated footie mums and dads - training sessions take place in the living room! Big brother Luke demonstrates the drills, helped by his little brother, while dad-of-four Robert explains the exercises. But don't worry, they won't be taking out the TV with a well-aimed shot, Robert has devised the drills to be safe for indoor play. They also use a clever technique to encourage youngsters to keep looking ahead, rather than at the ball, while carrying out the drills. Live Ball Mastery sessions stream on Facebook on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm. Fridays at 5.30pm is especially aimed at youngsters and beginners. It looks popular with young footballers aged seven and upwards, with 5,000 views on its first outing. Some football teams would be grateful for a crowd of that size!
Dave at SimplySoccer on YouTube offers daily training hints, drills and tips to help kids improve their games. The section aptly named Soccer Drills For Kids - Get Better At Soccer By Yourself, is aimed at young players who really want to get ahead of their team mates by practising all kinds of skills at home, every day. Ideal if you have a player who is already starting to take their sport quite seriously. Developing your touch, football juggling, dribbling, defending, skills drills and lots more are on offer for free from this US channel. Once you've exhausted the kid-specific videos, slightly older children might like to watch the content aimed at teens and adults, which promises to help you play like your idols - learn more about ball possession, discover how to dribble like Neymar or score more goals like Salah.
The Toilet Roll Keepie-Uppie Challenge
Yes, it's the loo rolls again! We know that you've all probably heard enough about toilet rolls recently, but please bear with us on this one! Everyone's missing football - especially some of the world's most famous soccer stars. Watch some of them - including Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos - as they demonstrate their keepie-uppie soccer skills with a roll of three-ply in the #stayathomechallenge. None of these multi-millionaires are likely to miss a few rolls of Andrex, but just be prepared to sacrifice some of this precious commodity so that your own footie star can get in some practice.
11-year-old Lorenzo Greer, also known as Tekkerz Kid, is living every football-mad boy's dream. Not only does he play for Birmingham City FC's youth team, but he is one of the top kid influencers on YouTube. He does have quite a few skills videos on his channel, but fans are more likely to tune in to watch him in recent videos, where he gets the chance to meet up with football legend Cristiano Ronaldo, and takes a trip to Man United's training ground to visit Bruno Fernandes. And if that wasn't enough he also scored a cameo role in CBBC football drama Jamie Johnson. Look out for Tekkerz Kid's training drills videos, where he sets up drills inspired by European football greats Ronaldo and Messi.