I tried out 2 new games at soccer practice yesterday, and they worked pretty well. One was for the Kindergarten team and the other was for the 1st grade team.
1) Hospital Tag: I played this with the Kindergarten team. It's basically a game where one or more players are It and chase the remaining players around, trying to tag them. But when you get tagged, you're not out yet. The first time you get tagged, you have to run around with one hand on the spot where you were tagged. The second time you get tagged, you have to put your other hand on the spot where you were just tagged. It's pretty funny to see kids who have been tagged twice running around with their arms all tied up like a pretzel. The third time you get tagged, you have to go to the Hospital (since you have no more hands). You go over to a designated spot and perform an action (in our case, it was spin around 5 times) and then get back in the game.
We played our first game with no soccer balls, so that the kids could get used to the rules. For the second game, the players had to run around with their soccer balls. And if their ball went out of bounds, either by them kicking it out or someone else kicking it out, it was the same as being tagged on the foot. Now you have not seen funny until you've seen a group of Kindergarteners 'running' around trying to kick a soccer ball while holding their foot. There was a lot of laughing involved by both kids and adults (well, there was the one dad who saw his son holding his foot and ran to check on him because he thought he'd been injured...). Anyhow, it was a very good game to start off a Kindergarten soccer practice.
2) Zombies! : I played this with LilKat1's 1st grade team. We're trying to work on our passing this year and getting open. So I came up with the Zombies! game. In this game, the kids get into pairs (although groups of 3 work well too). Each group has one soccer ball. The coaches are the Zombies! who try to eat the soccer balls. Now Zombies! can only walk, not run. So normally it would be easy to get away from them. But in the Zombies! game, the person with the ball can not run or dribble. The only thing they can do is pass. This forces the other players on the team to get open in a spot with a clear passing lane. It worked pretty well. The kids were starting to get the hang of finding good spots to run to when they didn't have the ball. I think this is the only game we've done so far that has really achieved this goal. Plus, I think they had fun with the Zombies!