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Soccer Drills

soccer drills

In order to improve your soccer skills and techniques, you should be practicing different drills that develop different skills. This list contains drills to help you become a better passer, dribbler, shooter, defender, and overall player.


Passing Drills

  • Wall Pass: This is a great drill for players who are training on their own. Stand about 8 feet away from a flat wall, pick a spot on the wall to pass to each time, and kick the ball to that spot. Depending on how hard you hit the ball, it will come back off the wall at a fast pace. This is a great way to practice one- and two-touch passes.
  • Short, Short, Long: Set up two cones approximately 30 yards away from each other with two or more players at each cone. Players will alternate between kicking short and long passes in a pattern. This is a great drill to improve players' long passing and one-touch passing skills.
  • Keep Away: Create a circle of 5-8 players and 2 players on the inside of the circle. Players on the outside of the circle have to pass it to each other without the defenders in the middle touching the ball. This is a great way to work on finding the right pass to make in tough situations.
  • Grid Passing: Create two small grids with cones with one player inside of each grid. Players will pass the ball to the other player who has to receive the ball inside of their grid and pass it back to the other player in either one or two touches. This will improve players' passing accuracy and first touch techniques.
  • Meet the Ball: This is a quick-moving drill that can get tiring fast! Two players stand about 20 feet apart from each other with soccer balls. A player in the middle will run between the two players and return passes to them using only one-touch. Players should rotate between being the outside and inside passer every minute.

Dribbling Drills

  • Cone Weave: One of the most common drills, the cone weave is great for practicing dribbling. Set up a line of cones about one foot apart from each other and practice weaving through the cones utilizing the outside and inside of each foot. Don't just use your strong foot!
  • Zig-Zag Dribbling: Set up a zig-zag cone formation, with cones a few apart from each other. Players should dribble in and out of the cones, using all parts of their feet. Once they reach the end of the cones, they should spring back to the first cone with the ball and start again.
  • Confined Dribbling: Create a 5x5 foot box of cones that contains two players and one ball. One player should try dribbling around inside the cones while the other tries to steal it. Once the player steals the ball, they begin to try to dribble. This is a great way to practice dribbling in small, busy spaces!
  • Dribble Knockout: Players will dribble around inside of the 18-yard box, trying to knock other players' soccer balls outside of the box while keeping control of their own. If a player's ball goes outside of the box, they are out for that round. This is a fun way to practice dribbling and defense at the same time!
  • Dribbling Relay Race: Similar to the cone weave drill, set up two lines of about 6 or 7 cones, one foot apart from each other. Players should line up at either line of cones and will have to dribble through the cones as quickly as possible and return to the start before the next player can do the same. The first team to finish wins!

Shooting Drills

  • 1v1 Shooting: Between two players, one should be designated as an offensive player and one as a defender. Have the offensive player attempt to score on the goal and the defender try to stop them from scoring a goal. This is a great way to improve defending, shooting, and dribbling skills.
  • 2v1 Shooting: Two players will be on offense and trying to score against a single defender. The offensive players are looking to get a good shot off, while the defender wants to steal the ball or prevent a shot. This is another great drill that improves defending, shooting, and passing skills.
  • Pass, Pass, Shoot: This is one of the most popular shooting drills! A player will start at the edge of the midfield circle, pass the ball to a player at the top of the 18, run forward to receive a pass back, and shoot the ball. They can take one or two touches before shooting, but the shot should be taken before they get too close to the goal.
  • Cross and Finish: Have one player dribble the ball to the corner of the field while two players run toward the goal. Once the ball is crossed in toward the goal, those two players should try to one-time a shot into the goal.
  • Kicking the Keeper: Create an arc of players within the 18-yard box. Each player will take turns taking shots at the goalie. This is a great practice for the goalie, as well as a great way to learn to shoot from different angles.

Defensive Drills

  • No-Turn 1v1: This 1v1 drill puts more emphasis on the defender than the offensive player. The attacker will receive the ball at the top of the 18-yard box with their back facing toward the goal. The defender is right behind them and should work to prevent them from turning toward the goal and getting a shot off. The defender should try to steal the ball, force a bad shot, or kick the ball outside of the box.
  • Keep Ball: In a small area, have three players dribbling around with one defender trying to steal the ball from each of them. The defender should try to steal all three balls as quickly as possible, racing against other defenders who are trying to do the same in their own area. This is a great way to practice putting pressure on the ball.
  • First Pass 3v3: This is a good drill for getting a lot of players involved at once and practicing closing down on offensive players. Create a 25x25 yard grid with groups of three players standing on two separate sides of the grid. One player from either side will kick the ball in to the other team, who will then try to dribble over that team's endline. If the defensive team steals the ball, they can do the same to the other team's endline.
  • Run-Down: This is an exhausting drill, but great practice for a defender. Two players start at midfield, one with the ball and one without a ball. The player with the ball will start sprinting and dribbling toward the goal. When they get a few yards away, the defender has to run after them and stop the attacker from scoring or getting a good shot off.
  • 5v5 Scrimmage: Put two goals on one half of the field, apart from each other. Two teams of five will compete against each other trying to score goals and stop the other team from scoring. While this is also an attacking drill, it is a great way to force all players to play defense within a small area in a game-like situation.