Soccer Practice Drills

A basic component of any soccer practice is the soccer practice drill. A drill can be used multiple times by coaches, usually over a few practices to help athletes solidify their knowledge of a specific skill. Drills are designed to let athletes practice skills and develop competency before performing something in competition.

A soccer practice drill should take no more than 20 minutes to perform. Drills longer than 20 minutes for young athletes tend to lose their effectiveness because athletes cannot focus for long periods of time without breaks or interruption. Coaches should seek out drills that will move athletes through quickly, allowing everyone a chance to practice.

 

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Soccer Practice Drills

Juggling

A soccer practice drill that athletes can do on their own as well is juggling. Each athlete has a ball and starts by tossing the ball in the air. The athlete must catch the ball on one foot and bounce it lightly in the air again, catching it with the other foot. This routine goes on until the coach blows the whistle.

The juggling drill works an athlete’s balance, leg strength, and ball handling skills. Coaches should watch that athletes do not let the ball sit too long on one foot before bouncing it in the air again. It encourages precise footwork, soft ball handling, and patience as athletes get the hang of the drill. This drill can be repeated over several practice sessions, or coaches can assign it as homework.

Square Pass

In the square pass drill, four athletes stand in a wide square with a fifth player in the middle. The first player passes to the player in the middle of the square, who immediately passes back. The player then passes straight to another corner of the square. That player passes to the middle, receives from the middle, and passes to the next corner of the square.

This kids soccer drill continues until all four players in the square have passed to the player in the middle, received the ball from the middle, and passed to a player in the square. If a player misses the pass, such as having to break the square or the middle player leaving the middle, that player receives one point. Three points and the player becomes the middle player, allowing the middle player to join the square.

Coaches can make this practice drill more difficult by lengthening the distance between players or shortening the time between passes. With some tweaking, this drill can be used for players of many different ages and skill levels.

Conclusion

A soccer practice drill is meant to help athletes improve their technical skills and bond with teammates. The drills presented here work on specific skills several times over, allowing athletes to cement the feeling of a move in their head so they can perform well in competition. With the suggestions here, coaches can take these base soccer practice drills and make them relevant for many different ages.


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