25 Team Building Activities for Soccer

children soccer team celebrating victory togetherCommunication and teamwork are essential for a winning soccer season. Have fun while prepping your team for success on and off the field with these team building activities.

Get Movin’

Start your practice off with a team building exercise to practice game-day skills.

  1. The Numbers Game - Make sure your players’ listening skills are game-ready with this activity. Players dribble around the field with a soccer ball and you randomly call out a number. Players must work together to get into groups of that amount and if they don’t, they go to the sidelines and wait for the next round.
  2. Team Stand-Up - Have all players sit in a circle and link arms while facing towards the middle. Everyone must collaborate and support each other to stand up as a team. Technique can make all the difference!
  3. The Great Race - Divide players into groups and set up an obstacle course on the field with stations for teams to work through before crossing the finish line. Stations can include tasks like dribbling through cones or juggling the soccer ball five times. Teams will have to cheer each other on while competing against other players to cross the finish line first.
  4. No Contact Dribbling - Add some movement to warm ups by playing the opposite of tag. Players will run while dribbling a soccer ball around a marked box and try to avoid contact with teammates. Make the grid smaller after a certain amount of time until two people win by being the last players moving without running into anyone.
  5. Egg Race - Try out this egg-citing game to test your athletes’ ability to handle pressure. Separate players into teams while giving each group an egg and spoons. Have each athlete run around a cone and back to their team to pass off the egg. If the egg drops, the team must go back to the beginning and restart. Make this activity more challenging by having the players dribble a soccer ball while carrying the egg.
  6. Three-Legged Race - Pair up players, tie their legs together and have them dribble a soccer ball as fast as they can past the finish line. This may sound easy, but participants must effectively communicate in order to stay upright and move with three legs.

Coordinate soccer team snacks with a sign up. SAMPLE

  1. Soccer Putt-Putt - Line up soccer bags, cones and mini goals to create your own putt-putt course. Divide athletes into teams and have each player act as a different “club.” Players must find ways to use everybody’s strengths to end with the best score.
  2. Stick Together Tag - Begin practice with this warm up activity. Start by dividing the team into two and instruct one team to stick together by linking arms and try to tag players from the opposing team. If the link breaks, the other team’s players return to the game, so athletes must find a way to communicate and stick together.
  3. Pipe Race - Gather players in teams of four and provide them each with three PVC pipes cut in half lengthwise and a soccer ball. The teams must transfer the soccer ball across the finish line only by rolling the ball across the pipes. First team to finish wins!
  4. Build It - In this Simon Says spin off, the coach can say any shape or number and the players, who are split into teams, have to build it with their bodies. For example, if the coach says build a pyramid, the fastest team to arrange themselves in a pyramid formation wins.
  5. The Field is Lava - Create two teams and give them “fireproof” sheets of paper to help them cross a section of the field, which is now lava. Players must put the paper on the ground and step on it to get across, and if anybody steps off the paper the team must start over. Teammates will rely on one another for balance and must communicate to help save their team from falling into the lava.
  6. Tic-Tac-Toe - Set up a tic-tac-toe grid with cones and have two teams dribble and place soccer balls as the x’s and o’s to get three in a row. Teammates can help each other by using effective communication to direct players where to place their ball.
  7. Human Knot - Start by having the team form a circle with one person putting their hand in the middle. After that, each person grabs the hand of someone across from them. Once everybody is hand in hand, players must communicate to try and untangle the knot without releasing anybody’s hand.

Getting to Know You

Not every team bonding activity has to be with a soccer ball. Try these exercises to help players get to know each other off the field resulting in better comradery on the field.

  1. Page of Compliments - Each player needs tape, a pen and a piece of paper for this activity. After taping a sheet of paper to their back, players will go around writing positive notes on the backs of their teammates. Encourage players to write down what they value about each teammate. This exercise is perfect for showing players that each person contributes to the team!
  2. Pre- or Post-Game Meal - Whether the meal is at a teammate’s house or a local restaurant, a bowl of pasta or a slice of pizza can go a long way to help players strengthen their relationships. Genius Tip: Check out this list of easy team meal ideas to get cooking.
  3. Team Web - Arrange players to sit in a circle and have a player start with a ball of string. That player will pass the ball to a teammate while holding onto one end and talk about their value to the team. The players will keep going until a web encompasses the whole team.
  4. Teammate Speed Dating - Incorporate this timed activity for a speedy way for players to get to know more about the people they share the field with. Try these 100 funny icebreaker questions to get players started on which questions to ask.
  5. Two Truths and a Lie - This classic game features players trying their best to think of two things about them that are truthful and one that is a lie. The goal is to make the lie sound like a truth, so only teammates who know the most about players on their team will win!

Organize a team potluck with a sign up. SAMPLE

  1. Team Trivia - Have players pick their favorite soccer team or league and host a team trivia night. The difficulty of questions can differ by level and teams can win points just like Jeopardy. Encourage creativity for team names.
  2. The Buddy System - Before a game, hand each player a slip of paper with the name of one of their teammates on it. During the game, players are responsible for encouraging that teammate and giving them positive feedback. Bringing positivity to the field is more likely to lead to favorable outcomes!
  3. Destination Bonding - Sometimes all your team needs is a fun night away. Teambuilding activities like ropes courses, karaoke challenges and escape room experiences often lead to greater comradery and success on the field.
  4. Memory Poster - Start the season by bringing an empty poster board, pens and post-it notes to each practice. If players think of a reason they enjoy their team they can write it on a note and stick it to the board. At the end of the season, teammates can look back at the fun they had and the memories they share.
  5. Community Service Event - Inspire cooperation among teammates by volunteering at a community event. Opportunities include landscaping parks, working at a 5K or serving meals at shelters.
  6. Design a Team Story - Have one person begin writing a team story on a sheet of paper. Then, every player after can add a sentence to the story. Direct the players to write about the goals they have for the season and where they see their team going during the season, or leave it up to the players and see where the story goes!
  7. Move It! - Surround one player in the middle of a circle to start this name game. The person in the middle closes their eyes and points to a random player on the outside of the circle and says “left” or “right.” If they cannot correctly name the person to their left or right, they go to the middle of the circle. When it is time to switch up the order of the circle, the coach yells “move it!” and players scramble to stand next to different people.
A little bit of team building and a lot of fun can go a long way to help your team strengthen their relationships. Players will be bonding in no time after trying these activities!

Celine Ives is a college student who enjoys playing field hockey, cuddling with her dog and cheering on her Carolina Tar Heels.