Examples of Soccer Drills

by Henry Francis
Cones are a useful aid when conducting soccer drills.

Cones are a useful aid when conducting soccer drills.

Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images

Soccer drills are a fun and useful way of training different skills in soccer players. In particular, players can be grouped by their different playing positions, such as goalkeepers or midfielders, to carry out drills that develop the specific skills required for those positions. The key to soccer drills, especially when training youngsters, is to make them fun, varied and inclusive of every player in the training session.

Goalkeepers

Coach the goalkeepers in your training session about their feet positioning and how to close the angles on an attacker using this drill. Get a keeper to stand in a set of goalposts or set up a goal using two cones. Scatter between 10 and 20 balls around the penalty area and its perimeter and instruct one striker to run from ball to ball attempting shots on goal. Get your goalkeeper to envision an arc running as a semicircle from one post to the other protruding into the penalty area. As the striker moves from ball to ball, instruct your keeper to move along that arc to narrow the angle between the ball and the goal. The keeper must save the attacker's shots before springing back to his feet to save the next shot, so there is also an element of reflexes and training a stopper needs to get his feet set to save an attacker's shots quickly.

Defenders

Set up a 20-by-20-yard square of cones and designate half of your players as "shielders" and the other as "attackers." Give each of the shielders a soccer ball and instruct them that they must keep the ball within the confines of the square at all times. Instruct the attackers that they must try to remove the balls from the square by tackling the shielders. Coach the shielders about how they can use their strength, balance and skill to keep the ball under control and fend off attackers. The winner is the last shielder who has his ball in the square. After one game is complete, switch shielders and attackers around and get them to play the game from the other perspective.

Midfielders

Get your midfield players to complete a drill known by the Footy4kids website as "star wars." Establish a 10-by-20-yard corridor of cones and line up between five and 10 players at one end of the corridor. Randomly scatter 10 to 20 footballs around the outside of the corridor and instruct five players that their object is to strike the ball at the players inside the corridor below the waist. Instruct players in the corridor that they must attempt to run from one end of the corridor to the other without being struck by a ball. Blow your whistle to start the game and, if any players are struck by a ball below the waistline, they are removed from the corridor and must now stand outside and try to hit their teammates. The winner is the last player remaining within the corridor without being hit by a ball.

Attackers

One drill that most suits attacking players is the simple shooting drill. Get your attackers to line up behind a cone in the center of the field 30 yards from goal, each with a ball. Instruct a midfielder to stand level with the edge of the 6-yard box about 5 yards outside the 18-yard box and another to act as the goalkeeper. Attackers must play a one-two with the midfielder, passing them the ball before starting a run. The midfielder passes the ball back to the attacker, who can decide to shoot the ball on the first touch or to control the ball and then take a shot. Switch around the players doing the attacking, midfielding and goalkeeping to make sure every player gets an opportunity to shoot at goal.

About the Author

I have been involved in coaching and administration of youth soccer with the Herts FA for several years. I have many years experience with the technical side and equipment of soccer, cricket, rugby, snooker and poker. I studied the health and fitness and dietary side of competitive sport while at University. Currently, I am not ready for on-camera opportunities, but this could change with access to training and equipment.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images