Soccer Passing Drills, Dribbling Drills, Shooting Drills & Mores

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Soccer Passing Drills, Dribbling Drills, Shooting Drills & Mores

Great soccer players need many different skills and traits (game intelligence, mental toughness, physical fitness, technique, etc.). Team practices are usually designed to develop all these skills and traits, but to be a successful soccer player, it’s important to practice developing these skills on your own. The drills listed below (soccer passing drills, dribbling drills, shooting drills, and ball control drills) are all drills you can practice on your own to improve your technique.

If you’re having problems with your first touch, passing accuracy, controlling the ball out of the air, etc., don’t wait for your coach to prepare a drill especially for you. Grab a friend, a set of cones, some cleats, and a ball, and start practicing the 2 person soccer drills listed below.

Summer camps as entrance trials for soccer academies - High performance academy in Barcelona

Note to coaches: These soccer passing drills and more are considered individual and 2 person soccer drills because they don’t require many players or much equipment. That being said, coaches can implement these drills as partner drills during practices and modify them according to age and skill level.

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Drill key

Drill key for soccer passing drills and more

Soccer passing drills

A good passing game is essential to being a successful soccer player. Teams who pass intelligently and accurately can move the ball around the field while conserving energy. Meanwhile, the opposing team wastes energy as they try to win the ball back. While good passing helps you control the speed of the game and helps you tire out your opponents, just one bad pass from anywhere on the field can be the difference between victory and defeat.

Passing is all about speed, technique, and accuracy – all of which can be improved with soccer passing drills. These soccer passing drills were designed to improve your passing skills in all different kinds of game situations.

1. Pass on both sides of the cones

1 - Passing soccer drills for 2 players

Recommended equipment: 2 cones, 1 ball

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Place two cones five meters apart.

Exercise: In these soccer passing drills, players pass the ball to each other on either side of two cones in a counter-clockwise direction or clockwise direction.

Purpose: Soccer passing drills like this one are designed to improve first touch; work on changing direction and creating space.

2. Check in, check out

Soccer passing drills number 2

Recommended equipment: 3 cones, 1 ball

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Place two cones 15-20 meters apart and a third cone 5-10 meters from the second cone to form a straight line of three cones.

Exercise: In these soccer passing drills, player 2 starts at the furthest cone from player 1. Player 2 runs to the center cone and asks for the ball. As player 2 approaches the center cone, player 1 passes them the ball. Player 2 one-touches or two-touches the ball back to player 1 and returns back to their original position to repeat the exercise. After a certain amount of time, switch places.

Purpose: Soccer passing drills like this one are designed to improve first touch, ability to create space, lose marks, and improve communication.

3. Short passing to longer passing

Soccer passing drills 3

Recommended equipment: 1 ball

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Players begin standing 5 meters apart.

Exercise: Players pass back and forth. Players (or coach) decide how they’d like to pass and receive the passes (one touch, two touches, right foot only, left foot only, etc.). Aim for clean passes and touches. Set a goal (10 without a mistake, 20 without a mistake, 100?) Each time you meet the goal, move back 10 meters.

Purpose: These soccer passing drills improve first touch, improve accuracy, and concentration.

4. Passing through gates

Soccer passing drills 4

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 14 or more cones

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Set up a 20m x 20m playing space (placing a cone at each corner if desired). Within the playing space, set up 5-8 gates with cones 1m apart evenly scattered throughout the 20m space.

Exercise: During these soccer passing drills, players practice dribbling around the 20m space passing through the gates.

Purpose: Practice passing at angles; improve first touch, accuracy and concentration

Soccer dribbling drills

Dribbling skills are extremely important for maintaining ball possession, especially in crowded areas on the pitch like in the center of the field, near your own goal, or near the opposing goal. A player with good dribbling skills can move the ball in different directions at different speeds with both feet. They can successfully maneuver through opponents without losing possession of the ball.

These soccer dribbling drills were designed to improve your dribbling skills in crowded areas, your dribbling speed for breakaways and less crowded areas, and your ability to change direction with the ball.

5. Cone drill

Soccer dribbling drills number 5

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 10 or more cones

Number of players required: 1 player

Set-up: Line up at least 10 cones 1.5 – 2 meters apart

Exercise: Players practice dribbling through the cones with the inside of both feet, outside of both feet; inside and outside of the right foot; inside and outside of the left foot; practice roll-overs, scissor kicks, etc.

Purpose: Practice ball control and touch

*Optional modification – Add a final cone 20 meters away from the other cones. When finished dribbling through the cones, sprint to the final cone with the ball at your feet for extra practice breaking away from defenders while maintaining control.

6. Suicide dribbling

6 soccer dribbling drills

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 5 or more cones   

Number of players required: 1 player

Set-up: Line up at least 5 cones 5 meters apart

Exercise: Starting at Cone 1, sprint with the ball to Cone 2. Turn and sprint back to Cone 1. Turn and sprint to Cone 3, back to Cone 1, and so on. Once you have reached all four cones and are back at Cone 1, take a 30 second rest before starting the next set.

Purpose: With this soccer dribbling drill, practice dribbling with speed and control; improve physical fitness; practice turns and changing direction.

7. 1v1 controlled scoring

Soccer dribbling drills 7

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 8 cones

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Set up a 30m by 20m pitch using cones to mark the corners. Make two 5m goals at each end line.

Exercise: Players start in the middle of the pitch. (Decide who starts with the ball). Players can only score by stopping the ball on the imaginary line between the goal cones. After a player scores, the other player starts with the ball from their own end line (where the other player scored).

Purpose: With this soccer dribbling drill, practice dribbling with speed and control; practice 1v1 offense and defense; improve physical fitness.

8. Test your dribble speed

Soccer dribbling drills #8

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 8 cones

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Set up a 30m by 20m pitch using cones to mark the corners. Make two 5m goals at each end line.

Exercise: Players start in the middle of the pitch. (Decide who starts with the ball). Players can only score by stopping the ball on the imaginary line between the goal cones. After a player scores, the other player starts with the ball from their own end line (where the other player scored).

Purpose: With this soccer dribbling drill, practice dribbling with speed and control; practice 1v1 offense and defense; improve physical fitness.

Soccer shooting drills

Even if your team has superb passing and dribbling skills, without the ability to score, the best you can do is tie. All players on the field should be able to shoot and score, even goalkeepers. When goalies or defenders take corner kicks or join the offense in the attack, defenders often leave the extra players unmarked.

Check out this collection of videos of goalkeeper goals from planet football. 

Players who have good shooting skills know how to shoot in stride at different speeds, can shoot the ball from the air or the growd and can shoot with both speed and accuracy. All of which requires a lot of practice.  Practice these soccer shooting drills with a friend once or twice a week and you’re sure to improve.

9. Pass and shoot

Soccer shooting drills #9

Recommended equipment: 1 ball (a bag of balls is preferable), 1 goal

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Player 2 stands just outside the penalty box. Player 1 stands 10m away from player one with the ball.

Exercise: Player 1 starts with the ball. Player 1 passes the ball to player 2. Player two lays the ball off to player one with a light tap with the inside of the foot. Player two runs to the ball and strikes it into the net (can be one touch or two touches).

Purpose: Practice shooting in stride with this soccer shooting drill.

10. Agility and shooting

Soccer shooting drills #10

Recommended equipment: 1 ball (a bag of balls is preferable), 1 goal, cones (no set number), 1 training ladder (optional

Number of players required: 1 player

Set-up: Set up your own agility course using cones and a training ladder (if available).

Exercise: Create your own rules. Here are some ideas: high knees, butt kicks, hopping on one foot, frog jumps, etc. through the ladder. Lunge to touch each cone with your hand. Then, shoot one ball into the net and repeat the agility course.

Purpose: Practice shooting with weak legs. Improve agility and foot speed. Improve physical fitness.

11. Turn and shoot

Soccer shooting drills #11

Recommended equipment: 1 ball (a bag of balls is preferable), 1 goal, cones (no set number), 1 training ladder (optional

Number of players required: 1 player

Set-up: Set up your own agility course using cones and a training ladder (if available).

Exercise: Create your own rules. Here are some ideas: high knees, butt kicks, hopping on one foot, frog jumps, etc. through the ladder. Lunge to touch each cone with your hand. Then, shoot one ball into the net and repeat the agility course.

Purpose: With this soccer shooting drill, practice shooting with weak legs. Improve agility and foot speed. Improve physical fitness.

12. Goalkeeper lob

Soccer shooting drills #12

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 1 goal 

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Player 2 stands in goal with the ball. Player one stands somewhere in the box.

Exercise: Player 2 (the goalkeeper) starts with the ball and throws it high into the air. Player 1 must either shoot with a single touch, or control the ball (with one or two touches) and then shoot.

Purpose: With this soccer shooting drill, practice shooting high and bouncing balls; improve one touch and two-touch shooting; improve timing.

Soccer ball control drills

Ball control refers to a player’s ability to collect the ball and gain control of it using all parts of the body including feet, legs, chest, and head. A player with good ball control is able to receive passes both on the ground and out of the air with clean first touches keeping the ball close to their body. Ball control is important both for winning and maintaining possession. These soccer ball control drills are designed not only to improve your ability to control the ball.

13. Keep it in the cones

Soccer ball control drill #13

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 8 cones

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Use the 8 cones to set up two boxes (2m x 2m) at a far distance. *Distance will depend on skill and strength of players. Players should be able to pass the ball to each other using about 60-70% of their strength.

Exercise: Players pass back and forth keeping the ball within their own square space. Practice with both feet.

Purpose: This soccer ball control drill helps improve accuracy, improve ball control, slight strength training, practice concentration.

14. Receiving throw-ins

Soccer ball control drill #13

Recommended equipment: 1 ball, 2 cones

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: set up two cones 10m apart. Receiving player starts at the cone farthest from the thrower.

Exercise: In this soccer ball control drill, players practice receiving light, controlled throw-ins from their partners. Receiving player passes back to the thrower with one touch or two touches. Receiving player must check to the closer cone in order to receive the ball. Thrower begins with ground balls to the right foot and then the left, then, throws so the receiver can volley back with the inside of each foot. The thrower continues to throw to his or her partner’s thighs, then chest, then head. Thrower should throw to each body part 5-10 times before switching.

Purpose: Improve ball control using various body parts.

15. Receiving corner kicks

Soccer ball control drills #16

Recommended equipment: 1 ball (a bag of balls is preferable), 1 goal

Number of players required: 2 players

Set-up: Player 2 stands at a corner with a ball (bag of balls). Player 1 stands at the top of the box. 

Exercise: Player 2 takes corner kicks. Player 1 runs various routes toward the net and attempts one-touch or two-touch shots. 

Purpose: Practice controlling balls in the air; practice shooting in stride; corner kick practice with this soccer ball control drill.

16. Juggle

Soccer ball control drills #16

Recommended equipment: 1 ball

Number of players required: 1 player

Set-up: none required

Exercise: Player attempts to keep the ball in the air using feet, legs, chest, and head.

Purpose: Improve general ball control. Beginner jugglers should first try with their thighs.

A note from Ertheo

These soccer passing drills and more are all basic drills that work on the fundamentals of technique in soccer. Even expert players can benefit from these basic drills to work on specific aspects of their game. Furthermore, coaches are often too busy worrying about team performance to spend time at practice working on fundamental skills. That means, it’s up to you to bring these drills to the field on your own and get practicing.

That being said, even with flawless technique, you can’t become a professional soccer player without game intelligence, mental toughness, and the proper mindset. Read more about what it takes to be a successful soccer player here

As always, to help you choose the right football camp or program, our team at Ertheo.com is available to answer all of your questions and offer expert advice.

Call us at (+44) 203 769 94 43 or (+34) 902 750 359.

For a complete list of all the football programs and camps we offer, click here.

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