This guide will provide you with a number of soccer training drills which will help you improve your soccer skills. Included are passing drills, shooting drills, defensive drills, goalie drills, and dribbling drills.
Soccer Passing Drills
Improve your ability to maintain possession
Passing is an essential skill that all soccer players need to practice and master. When
your team passes the ball efficiently, you control the game. This is often, though not
always, the key to victory. Here are some soccer passing drills for you to try.
With one player in the middle, have the players form a circle. You use the center
circle of a soccer field as a guide. An outside player must pass the ball to the player in
the middle who needs to trap the ball and pass it to another player in the circle. This
receiving player must likewise trap and pass back to the center player who then
repeats the move to a new player.
To step the drill up a gear, use a second ball. This ball should be passed to the middle
player as soon as he plays his pass out towards the circle.
As a variation, the drill could be used to practice one-touch passing instead of using
the trap and pass method.
Two Touch Matches
For the second of our six soccer passing drills, divide your squad into two opposing
teams. Each player is allowed only one or two touches on the ball before passing to a
team-mate. This soccer passing drill will improve ability to control the ball and to
make quick passes, improve awareness of the positioning of team-mates and
opponents, and encourage teamwork.
Set up a triangle of three players and simply pass the ball. Practice passing with both
feet, focus on firm and accurate passes, and randomly change your passing target.
Change the size of the triangle for variation.
Soccer Dribbling Drills
Improve your ability to keep close control
Dribbling is a valuable skill that all soccer players should practice and both
midfielders and strikers should master. If you can keep close control of the ball while
dribbling, you can retain possession and place yourself in good positions to shoot or
pass. Here are some soccer dribbling drills for you to try.
Attacker versus Defender
Position a defender on the penalty spot and an attacker a few yards outside the
The striker should make a dribbling run towards the penalty area, and try to pass the
defender before taking a shot at goal.
Have your strikers line up to take turns attacking. Your defenders should line up off to
one side to change places with the defender in the center. Players should rotate
between defensive and attacking roles.
Weave Through Cones
The simplest of the soccer dribbling drills begins with placing a series of five to ten
cones in a straight line a few yards apart. Dribble the ball between the cones, weaving
your way through. Use both feet if you have the ability. As your skill improves,
increase the speed of the drill and reduce the distance between the cones.
For the third of the soccer dribbling drills, create a square on the field. Determine the
size of the square based on the number of players available, and your plan for this
session. A smaller square will create more traffic during the drill, focusing the players
on closer control in a busy area. A larger square will allow faster dribbling and
running into open spaces.
To begin the drill, spread the players equally around the outside of the square. Each
player must have a ball at his feet and must be facing inward. The objective is for all
the players to dribble their way across the square at the same time.
Set a time limit on the drill and count how many completed runs each player
achieves, or continue the drill until each players completes a specified number of
Soccer Shooting Drills
Improve your ability to score those goals
Shooting is an essential skill that all soccer players should practice and attacking
players should master. If you can't shoot, you probably can't score. If you can't score,
you can't win the match. Here are some soccer shooting drills for you to try.
Position two players on the edge of the penalty area, one at each corner of the 'D'.
These two players will have the task of laying the ball on for the attacking player.
The rest of the players should form two lines behind these players, but a short
distance from them, leading away from the goal. A player from one line will pass to
the ball diagonally towards the 'lay-off' player in front of the other line and make a
run towards to the penalty area. The receiver will take a touch to set the shot up for
the attacker who will make his shot at goal and then take up the place of that receiver.
The receiver moves to the back of the line to join the shooters.
Now have an attacker from the second line make his pass-run-shot routine. Continue
until all players have had their turns, and then repeat the exercise with all players
switching lines. This will ensure that they practice shooting with both feet.
Weaker Foot Shooting
For the second of the soccer shooting drills, arrange your players in two lines, parallel
to the edge of the penalty but a yard or two outside. Have left-footed players in the
line on the left as you face the goals, and right-footed players on the right. One player
should make a run towards the midway point between the two lines while dribbling
the ball, and then take a shot at goal with his weaker foot. The shot should be taken
somewhere in the 'D' of the penalty area.
Defensive Soccer Drills
Improve your ability to regain possession
Defending is a valuable skill that all soccer players should practice and both
defenders and defensive midfielders should master. If you can defend, you can regain
possession and prevent goals from being scored against you. Here are some defensive
soccer drills for you to try.
Two versus Two
Your goalkeeper begins this drill by clearing the ball towards two players thirty yards
or more from the goal. These two players will begin a run to attack the goal. As soon
as the keeper clears the ball, two defenders will race out from inside the penalty area
to close the attackers down. The attackers try to score. The defenders try to win the
ball and clear it.
Three versus One
The second of the defensive soccer drills requires a square, about 10 by 10 yards, and
four players. Each player starts in a corner of the square. The defender begins by
passing to one of the attackers. The attackers then continue passing to each other. The
defender tries to win the ball.
For variation, adjust the size of the grid and restrict the number of touches each
attacker may have.
One on One
The third of the defensive soccer drills is a straight forward attacker against defender
scenario. The attacker will try to pass the defender by dribbling before shooting at
goal. The defender will try to prevent the attacker from scoring.
Soccer Goalie Drills
Improve your ability to make saves
Goalkeeping is a vital skill that should be mastered. A well timed save can make the
difference between winning and losing. Here are some soccer goalie drills for you to
Pick a Ball
Place a number of balls randomly within the penalty area, but at least 10 yards from
the goal. An attacker should move quickly around the penalty area, randomly
choosing a ball to shoot with. The goalkeeper must concentrate on keeping in
position to narrow down the angle of the shot before it is taken.
The goalkeeper begins this drill in the center of the goal, about five yards from the
goal line. a team-mate stands on the penalty spot with 10 or 20 balls. He must toss a
ball towards the goal. The goalkeeper must prevent the ball from crossing the goal
line, either by catching the ball, knocking it away, or tipping it over the bar. he must
then quickly move back to his starting position to prepare for the next ball.
Save the Cones
For the third of the soccer goalie drills, make a slightly curved line of six to ten
cones. Place the cones about one yard apart. The goalkeeper stands in front of the
cones. The attacker kicks the ball from about 10 yards away, trying to hit the cones.
The goalkeeper must protect the cones from being hit by the ball.
I hope these tips and drills will be useful to you.
For more soccer training drills, visit
World Soccer Drills
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