20 Great Individual Soccer Drills
Training individually is vital for developing your skills throughout your playing career. You won’t always have access to coaches and training partners to play with. Therefore it’s important that you have a routine for when you want to train by yourself. In this article, we’ll cover 20 great individual soccer drills for improving your game.
Thankfully, you don’t need a lot of equipment to improve your skills while training alone. Below are the only tools that you need to get in a wide variety of drills.
- Cleats or Indoor Soccer Shoes
- Soccer Ball
- Cones for Dribbling
- Wall to Pass Against
- Goal to Shoot at
If you’re looking for even more training drills, pro player Matt Sheldon put together a video with 100 Individual Soccer Training Drills. Additionally, check out our articles on weight lifting and speed training for tips on how to improve your overall fitness.
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Juggling is one of the most popular drills to do individually. This is partially due to the fact that it’s so minimalistic. All you need is a soccer ball to get started.
If you’re new to juggling, start small by just trying to get at least 5 touches without the ball hitting the ground. As you improve, you can increase the difficulty by adding more variation. Juggling is a great way to improve your ball control and level up your first touch.
1. Knee Height Juggle
Knee height juggles are the simplest form of juggling. Focus on keeping the ball low and making small controlled touches. Be sure to use both feet with every juggling exercise to help strengthen your weaker side.
2. Waist Height Juggle
Incorporate waist height juggles into your routine to increase the difficulty of the drill. The ball will be slightly more challenging to control, making this a great progression to the exercise.
3. Head Height Juggle
Juggling the ball at head height and above is a very challenging drill. You will need to hit the ball with more power on the harder part of your foot. This will help the ball get enough elevation. This drill is great for improving your first touch when controlling long passes and stray balls. Focus on keeping the ball under control with direct kicks above your head.
4. Elevator Juggle
After you’ve become comfortable juggling the ball with your feet. Start incorporating your thighs, chest, and head into the mix. Start with juggling the ball at your feet and slowly work the ball up to your head before bringing it back down (up and down like an elevator).
5. Wall Juggle
If you have access to a wall near you, wall juggling is a great option. The wall can help replicate the experience of juggling with another player. Simply pass the ball in the air against the wall, and control it as it comes back to you. Start out by standing close to wall, and move farther away as you get more comfortable.
Just because you don’t have a friend to play with, doesn’t mean you cant work on your passing. All you need is to find a wall or another target to aim at. Below are some great drills to improve your passing skills.
6. One Touch Wall Pass
Start close to the wall and pass the ball with force and intention. Try to keep the ball and the ground and return it to the wall with one touch. Be sure to alternate using your left and right foot.
7. Two Touch Wall Pass
Two touch passing will help you work on your first touch as well as your passing. As the ball comes back to you, make sure your first touch is controlled and close to your body.
8. 90 Degree Wall Pass
This drill works best if you can find two walls that are right next to each other. Pass the ball against one wall, and open your body as it comes back to you. After taking a touch, play the ball to the other wall. This drill helps get you accustomed to changing the direction of play.
9. Curled Cross
For this drill, you can pass towards either a wall or a goal. Stand at least 20 yards away from your target. Take 2-3 steps away from the ball to prepare for your run up. As you approach the ball from an angle, focus on slicing through the side of the ball to give it a good curl.
10. Ping Long Ball
A perfect ping long ball can help you send deadly accurate passes across the field. For this technique, aim for spot that’s about 20 to 30 yards away. Approach the ball at a 45 degree angle, and strike the ball just below the middle with the hardest part of your foot. The ball should travel straight with a little bit of backspin.
11. Laced Ground Pass
The laced ground pass is a deceivingly difficult technique. The goal is to make a powerful driven pass in a straight line. Try to strike the ball with your laces in the center. Keep your body over the ball to ensure it stays close to the ground after being hit.
Dribbling is one of the best techniques to practice by yourself. All you need is a soccer ball and some cones. If you don’t have cones, be creative and use whatever you have at your disposal.
12. Cone Weave to Gate
Set up 10 cones about a foot apart. Then set up a gate of 2 cones about 10 yards farther away. Dribble the ball through the cones using the outside of your foot. Be sure to make tight controlled touches. When you get to the last cone, sprint with the ball at your feet to the gate.
13. Cone Figure-8
Set 4 cones up in a 10-by-10 yard square. Starting at the first cone, run diagonally to the opposite cone, then dribble to the adjacent cone. Run diagonally to the final cone before returning to the original cone. This should result in you forming a figure eight pattern around the cones.
14. Cone Zig Zag Weave
Set 5 cones up in a zig zag formation, with each cone about 5 yards apart. Start by dribbling towards the first cone, and then quickly change directions and dribble towards the next cone. This drill will help you improve your agility on the ball.
15. Sprint to Gate
Set up two cones at least 20 yards apart. Start at the first cone, and then sprint with the ball to the second cone. Focus on taking strong touches while maintaining control of the ball.
16. Shuttle Run Progression
Set up 4 cones 5 yards apart. This drill will help train your dribbling at a variety of speeds.
- Dribble from Cone 1 to Cone 2, taking as many close touches on the ball as possible. Return to Cone 1.
- Dribble from Cone 1 to Cone 3 with slightly heavier touches and more speed. Return to Cone 1.
- Dribble from Cone 1 to Cone 4 at full speed, then turn and sprint back to Cone 1.
To practice your shooting, find a goal or a wall that you can use for target practice. Take multiple balls with you if you can, as it will help you get in more repetitions.
17. Curled Shot
Start by placing the ball about 2o yards away from the goal. Roll the ball in front of you to help simulate a more realistic shot. Approach from a 45 degree angle and slice around the ball. Aim to curl the ball towards the far post of the goal. Be sure to practice every shooting drill with both feet.
18. Laced Shot
Roll the ball in front of you and approach it with a direct run up. Strike through the center of the ball with your laces to maximize the power of your shot. Keep your body over top of the ball and aim for the corners of the goal.
19. Dribble at Cone to Shot
Place a cone 20 yards from the goal. Dribble to the cone with pace, allowing it to represent a defender. Perform a step over or body faint to move around the cone, and take your shot. This drill is for improving your one-on-one shooting.
20. Back to Goal to Shot
Start with your back towards goal about 20 yards away. Take a few touches on the ball before sharply turning towards goal. Take one touch to set up your shot and then fire the ball towards goal. This drill is helpful for improving your speed and decision making when shooting.
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