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Soccer drills are important for players of all levels, from beginners to advanced. They teach basic skills such as dribbling and passing, they also help players get into shape and improve their ball control.
Soccer drills are an essential part of any soccer player’s training routine. Learning a few soccer drills to do by yourself will help you practice your skills without the pressure of a game, which can be helpful when you’re learning new moves or building up your confidence on the field.
- Soccer Drills to Do By Yourself
- Soccer Drills To Practice At Home
- Drills vs. Game Time
- Related Questions
Soccer Drills to Do By Yourself
If you want to get ahead of the competition, you need to be prepared for the games by yourself. You can combine these soccer drills with other ways to keep you at the top of your game.
Watch tutorials online, and motivate yourself by watching inspiring soccer movies. If you’re really dedicated, consider video recording yourself playing soccer and doing drills, any of these cameras can work for your needs. You can go back and watch your progress, along with pick up on things you’re doing wrong.
Easily enough, all you need for this drill is a wall—preferably not one that communicates with a high-tempered neighbor—and a ball. You can easily do this drill on your own or with a partner if you wish.
While this drill works on your first touch, you can also use it to develop different skills based on your training goals. You can do one-touch or two-touch passes. You can use various parts of your feet. You can even play the ball in the air and work on your first touch in the air.
To perform this drill:
- Stand facing the wall with your ball at your feet. You can adjust the distance to the wall based on the skill you’re working on. For one-touch passes, you should only be about 5 feet away or closer. For practice with longer passes, you can extend that distance to 10-15 feet.
- Pass the ball to the wall, and practice kicking the ball back and forth up against the wall on your first touch
While doing this drill, make sure to keep your body relaxed. Use and train both sides of your body and both feet. Use all parts of your feet (inside, out, top, even the occasional toe poke)
All you need for this drill is yourself and a ball. This is a great drill to train with if you’re a beginner. However, even the most veteran players can benefit from it.
There are so many different variations, styles, and skills you can work on while performing this drill. While it may look simple, it requires a lot of coordination and even better footwork.
For the most basic of toe-touches, just follow these directions:
- Place the ball directly in front of your feet
- Start with your dominant foot on the ball (toes and upper part of foot)
- Next, take your dominant foot off the ball and place another foot on it. Do so repeatedly and gain a rhythm. The ball should not be moving in between touches.
For other variations as you progress, you can add in different types of toe-touch exercises to make this drill more difficult for yourself.
You might be questioning the value of this type of drill, as the soccer ball isn’t even moving. However, the idea is to develop control of your body as it relates to the ball.
Another footwork drill you can train on your own is inside touches. By doing this drill, you’re improving your footwork skills while also increasing your stamina and raising your endurance. It also works on your speed since you are constantly engaging your calf muscles.
The inside touch is the most popular way of kicking or passing the soccer ball. You use this drill for both dribbling and the majority of your passes. The more you improve your inside foot touch, the better your entire game will be.
To perform this exercise, all you need is a good soccer ball. There are variations you can add in as you improve. However, the most basic drill goes like this:
- Place the ball between your feet.
- Use the inside part of your right foot to slightly tap the left foot.
- The ball should stay on the same lateral plane.
- From the left foot, play the ball back to the right foot.
- Get a rhythm and try and keep your legs hip-width apart.
- Once you improve, try keeping your head up and doing the drill without looking at the ball.
This drill can seem almost impossible when you first start, and it isn’t uncommon to only complete one or two kicks back and forth before the ball goes skirting away.
Keep practicing. This drill can make a huge difference in your performance if you stick to it. That improvement can be a fantastic motivation to continue working by yourself on various drills to improve your soccer game.
Juggling is one of the top exercises that everyone can work on—beginner or “expert.” You’ve most likely seen video clips of professional footballers juggling the ball, so you are probably familiar with this drill.
You could be first starting at soccer and need to let the ball bounce. Or, you might be an expert and want to work on using various body parts. No matter at what level you’re, there is always a new juggling challenge to tackle.
Juggling helps target and improve your basic soccer skills: ball skills and first touch. You can use various parts of your body when practicing. You can focus on only using your head, your thighs, or your feet.
It’s important, especially when you’re starting, to be patient and adjust the drill according to your skill level. Perhaps you need to let the ball bounce in between touches or only use your dominant foot. Either way, keep working on it!
To juggle, you can either start by flicking the ball up with your feet or using your hands. Once you get the ball up in the air, try to follow these tips while juggling:
- Always keep the ball spinning back towards you. This will keep the ball in the same area as your body.
- Let the ball bounce on the ground in between touches.
- Use different parts of your body, different parts of your feet, and both feet.
- Keep track of your record—the number of juggles you can get before it hits the ground. Beating your record will always keep things interesting.
Remember that you won’t be “juggling” in a real soccer game. This drill, like so many others, is a great one to do by yourself because it mimics skills you’ll need in a live game.
Ball control is needed no matter what position you play, and juggling helps to develop this technique.
Soccer Drills To Practice At Home
For many of these drills, you don’t need to go to a soccer field. You can do them right at home, which is great for after-school evenings or a weekend afternoon. Let’s take a look at our favorite soccer drills you can practice in your house.
Cone Dribbling Work
Dribbling is an often overlooked area of soccer practices, mainly because it isn’t necessarily conducive for group exercises. It’s much easier to work on passing and shooting in a large group setting.
However, good dribbling skills are vital to success on the soccer pitch, and you can really stand out if you are a good dribbler.
For this drill, you’ll just need cones—or whatever you have on-hand (shoes, barbie dolls, cups.) and a ball.
- Set your “cones” on the ground, wide enough that you can fit a ball through. Depending on your skill level, the distance might vary. You can set the cones in a line or different formations.
- Dribble the ball through the cones, winding your way in and out of them. While dribbling around the cones, use different parts of your feet and different feet.
- As you improve, increase speed and decrease time. Move the cones closer together, or adjust their angles of them. There are a variety of ways to adjust this as you get better.
Trapping the Ball
All you need for this drill is a ball and some space. Throwing the ball up in the air, work on bringing it down to the ground.
Let the ball bounce first and then try and control it. Use different parts of your feet. You can also use this drill to practice trapping the ball with other body parts.
Your goal is to “stop” the ball or trap it as close to your feet and body as possible. You’ll notice that professional soccer players can bring any ball down and get it under control immediately. This comes from good trapping skills.
You can also combine this drill with the first one I mentioned: Wall Kicks. Rather than continuously kicking the ball back against the wall, which works on your one-touch skills, trap the ball. If you have a good soccer ball rebounder, it would work for this drill too.
With this variation, kick the ball at various heights and speeds to work on trapping different balls.
Target Practice for Shooting and Practicing
Whether you’re practicing passing or shooting, you can easily set up target practice and work on your accuracy. Whether you draw with chalk on the wall or hang up a t-shirt on a fence, you can always work on your accuracy on your own.
This will come in handy for both shooting and passing, as I mentioned. It works on your precision, which will always serve you well. Here are a few variations to add when you’re ready:
- Use both feet rather than just your dominant foot
- Kick the ball on the run rather than from a standing point.
- Start by facing the opposite direction of the target and one-touch the ball as your first touch. Follow that up by kicking your target.
Pros and Cons of Training at Home
|Comfortable and practical
|You can do it anytime
|Lack of coach
Drills vs. Game Time
Soccer drills are great for working on your skills as a soccer player. Each soccer team is a collection of individual talents coming together to play in harmony.
As such, make sure you keep this in mind as you work on your drills. The drills you are doing by yourself are intended to make you a strong soccer player for your team, not the other way around.
No one likes a ball hog or a selfish individual, and the team doesn’t benefit from that. Pay attention to these as you work on your soccer skills individually:
- Becoming a good dribbler is great for escaping pressure and moving the ball up the field, though it is not permitted to hold on to it too long. Passing is the quickest and most effective way to move the ball up field – keep this in mind as you become a better dribbler.
- Accurate shooting is an incredible asset for your team, especially if you play as the team’s forward. However, too many haphazard shots from a distance only turn the ball over and hurt your team. When you have a good chance, take it and use your shooting practice to create goals for your team. Don’t take too many low percentage chances that only end up hurting your team’s possession.
- Fancy juggling skills are rarely needed in the game. While these drills work on ball control and possession, they don’t directly translate to the game. Don’t be a showboat and start juggling the ball during a live game situation.
Here are some frequently asked questions about soccer drills.
How Do You Train Yourself as a Defender?
Although defending needs you to stop another player, you can practice it alone. You can begin by learning your defensive stance, which will give you stability.
Additionally, you can analyze professional games and learn their techniques.
How Do You Train Yourself as a Midfielder?
When training as a midfielder on your own, you can concentrate on passing techniques and accuracy. Midfielders are usually responsible for passing the ball to their teammates. Therefore, passing accuracy is essential.
On top of that, you can also watch professional players and analyze their actions.
How Do You Train Yourself as a Forward?
To train as a forward by yourself, you can focus on shooting precision and dribbling. This will allow you to improve ball control and accuracy when facing the goal.
Performing these drills shouldn’t feel like a chore—they should be fun and give you alone time with the ball. These drills work on your footwork on your stamina and help build your soccer-playing foundation.