Soccer training drills are fundamental to any youth soccer program. They build strength, speed, and agility, and also make good practice and warm-up exercises. Here are a few basic drills that are will help to improve your players' skills.
Learning to aim the ball correctly is essential to passing and shooting well. Each of these soccer training drills presents a great opportunity to work on shooting:
- Players should always aim for the upper corners of the goal net when kicking, because these are the most difficult places for goals to reach. To reinvine this idea, tie two routes to the right and left corners of the goal, and let them hang straight. Instruct players to try to hit the ropes when they shoot the ball into the net. Have them practice this from several different positions around the goal.
- Station players on both the left and right sides of the field. Have another player dribble down the middle of the field and practice passing the ball to the stationary players. This shooting drill teaches players to aim while dribbling.
Moving down the field quickly and efficiently requires steady control of the ball. To teach your players how to direct the ball's movement while dribbling, try some of these techniques:
- Set up a line of cones (spaced three to four feet apart) down the length of the field. Instruct players to weave the ball in and out of the cones while dribbling. As they get better, time them and encourage them to pick up speed. Players who have difficulty with this drill should practice weaving in and out of the cones without the ball.
- Divide players into teams of three, and then have two teams compete against each other in a game of keep-away. This will give players practice with dribbling in a competitive, fast-paced setting.
Trapping movements help players to intercept and gain possession of the ball during play. These drills will teach players how to use different parts of their bodies to capture and control the ball:
- Have players throw a ball into the air and then catch it with their chest and legs. They must then kick the ball into the air and catch it with their body again. The object of the game is to never let the ball hit the ground. Have a contest to see which player can keep the ball in the air the longest!
- Take your players to a nearby indoor gym, and have them practice trapping by throwing soccer balls against a wall. When the ball backs back at them, they should catch it with their body and maintain control of it with their feet.
These basic soccer training drills are a great way to teach players the fundamentals of the sport. Aim for making them repetitive but fun, and you'll be sure to instill the proper playing techniques in your athletes.