Wellness

5 Soccer Drills to Get Your Team Back in Shape

posted by Chris Valentine

Looking for a way to get your team ahead of all the others in its age class? Hoping to win your child’s soccer league this year with the incredible talent you have on the team? Interested in looking for a few more drills to run during practice sessions?

Even if your team is on a winning streak, you as a coach should always throw new drills at them to keep them on their toes. It’s an incredible way to teach them how to quickly adjust.

Here are several soccer drills that will help your team come together to battle through the adversity you throw at them.

1. 1v1 Wing Drill

Every player on your team must, must, must be able to beat their opponent down the field with the ball in their possession.

Dribbling skills are what makes players like Messi and Ronaldo so valuable. They’re just as dangerous against 3 defenders as they are against one.

How did they get to a point where they could break their opponents’ ankles? They practiced the 1v1 drill endlessly.

Granted, you’ll want to tame that down to soccer drills for ages 10 and under, but the principle still remains the same.

Start including 1v1 drills where the player with the ball is trying to beat their opponent down the wing to take a shot on goal. Have the drill end either after the defender gains possession of the ball, kicks it out of bounds, or the offensive player takes a shot.

2. Free Kick Drill

There are little moments within each match that can ultimately decide the outcome of the game.

One of those moments is the free-kick, which few teams practice enough. Don’t let your team add to that, have them prepared for any situation!

Use the free-kick drill and have all of your players practice on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

Have your offensive players focus on spacing out the defense and creating enough room to attack. There should be enough room for the cross to have a straight line to it’s intended target: either the goal or one of your players.

Challenge the defensive players to communicate and match up with each player. Stress the importance of staying compact, rather than spreading out to cover their man that’s trying to draw them out.

3. Dribble to the Goal (with Cones)

Every soccer player regardless of whether they’re a forward, midfielder, or defenseman should be looking to always improve their dribbling.

As a coach, it’s your job to stress that to them. Have them all participate in this drill that focuses on the transition to taking a shot.

Every quality shot in a soccer match is created by a move that provides just enough space and separation to get the best angle possible.

For this drill, set up a line of 4 to five cones pointing straight towards the goal. Feel free to have it as close or as far from the goal as you think is acceptable for the age you’re coaching.

The point of the drill is for every player to dribble through the cones, then create a separation move before taking a shot on the goal (with a goalie in it).

4. Star Passing Drill

Much like dribbling, passing is one of the most important details of the game. Without it, your team will struggle to reach their offensive zone.

For that reason, you need to prioritize practicing high-quality passes each and every practice.

One of the best drills for practice (and before the game) is the star passing drill. Be sure to utilize as much of the field as possible, so that your players can practice long-distance passes.

Set up five cones in the shape of a star, then have your players spread out evenly into five lines, one behind each cone, facing the center of the star.

The player starting the drill will pass to the player that is two cones to their right, then that player will do the same. It will look as if your players are drawing a star with their passing (hence the name of the drill).

If your players are crushing it, then be sure to add another ball into the mix and make them go in opposite directions to try and use both feet.

5. One-Touch Shooting Drill

Many times, a quality shot on goal will be created by one player and capitalized on by another.

If you’re looking for ways to advance your players beyond most players of their age, this is the way to do it. Having your players practice one-touch shooting will help the entire team be able to shoot with limited time and space.

This drill can be done with or without cones. If you have two goals available, then be sure to use them both so your players get more reps.

Form two lines: a passing line and a shooting line, one on each side of the goal. Have the passing line focus on setting up their teammate for a beautiful one-touch shot on the goal.

Have the shooting line focus on not only taking a shot but picking a spot that’s tough for the goalie to reach.

Remember, don’t ever become too serious when coaching your youth players. Keep the environment fun and encourage each player as they perform the drill.

Integrate These Soccer Drills Into Your Practices!

Now that you’ve seen several soccer drills to incorporate into your practice, be sure to mix things up.

Take some mental notes during their next soccer match to find areas of your team that need to be improved, then adjust your drills accordingly.

Be sure to browse our website for more helpful articles on coaching, as well as many other areas of expertise.

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