12 soccer drills for beginners THAT NEED to be used

Whether you are completely new to soccer or a player looking to brush up on their skills these are 12 fantastic soccer drills for beginners that will quickly get your skills up to scratch! The soccer drills are a mix of individual drills and pair work that focuses on, dribbling, passing, ball control, and shooting. The equipment required for this is very minimal too!

If you are looking for more team soccer drills for beginners here are some other posts you will find helpful:

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Dribbling beginner soccer drills

Dribbling is essential in soccer and every player must feel comfortable with the ball at their feet. These dribbling soccer drills for beginners will help you practice dribbling in a variety of different scenarios.

Dribbling soccer slalom for beginners

There is a soccer player dribbling through 6 cones in a zigzag pattern to improve their dribbling skills
Slalom soccer drill for beginners

Purpose:

The purpose of the drill is to improve balance, speed, and coordination while dribbling a soccer ball

Set up:

  • 1 soccer ball
  • 6 cones

How the drill works:

Set up your cones one yard apart in a zig-zag pattern.

Start at one side of the cones and dribble through the cone slalom until you get to the end, once you get to the end sprint in a straight line back to the start.

You can vary this drill by:

  • Only using your left or right foot
  • Using certain parts of the foot (inside, outside, sole, or laces)
  • Making the angles of the slalom wider or narrower
  • Increase the distance between each of the cones

Coaching points:

  • Focus on taking small touches while going through the slalom
  • Accelerate once you have turned around a cone and heading towards the next cone
  • Take big touches out of your feet as your sprint back to the start line after you finish the slalom

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What type of touches should you be taking while dribbling through the slalom?
  • What should you do as you have dribbled around a cone in the slalom?
  • Which type of touches should you take while sprinting with the soccer ball in a straight line?

Don’t touch the cones! soccer dribbling drill for beginners

There is a soccer player dribbling through a channel of cones, trying to touch any. They then quickly dribble to the tall cone on the left or right and take a shot on goal
Soccer drill for beginners, don’t touch the cone

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to improve coordination, close ball control, and shooting

Set up:

  • Soccer ball
  • As many cones or obstacles as possible
  • 1 goal
  • 2 tall cones

How the drill works:

In a 2-yard by 6-yard area randomly place your cones or equipment to create a mini obstacle course.

At the end of the obstacle course place a tall cone 2 yards to the left and 2 yards to the right with the goal 8 yards in front.

Start with the ball and dribble through the obstacle course without touching any of the cones of equipment.

Once you have gone through the obstacle course you will then use a quick change of direction to get around the tall cone on the left or right and then take a shot on the goal

Coaching points:

  • Small touches to keep the ball under close control
  • Use a quick change of direction and acceleration to get past the tall cone
  • When taking your shot on goal use your instep (laces)

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What touches should you take to keep the ball close to you?
  • How should you get past the tall cone?
  • What part of the foot should you use to shoot the ball?

Basic soccer skill drill for beginners

There is one beginner soccer player dibbling between 2 cones, when he dribbles round a cone and gets to the mannequin they are performing a skill
Soccer Skill drill for beginners

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to get lots of repetition in practicing different skills against a defender

Set up:

  • 2 cones
  • 1 mannequin/ 1 tall cone
  • 1 soccer ball

How the drill works:

Place your 2 cones opposite each other 10 yards apart with the mannequin/ tall cone in the middle.

Start at one cone and dribble the ball towards the dummy and perform a soccer skill that takes you to the right of the dummy.

The player will then sprint towards the far cone and dribble around the cone so they are now facing the mannequin again.

Repeat this drill 10 times on each side, 10 to the left and 10 to the right.

Coaching points:

  • Take small quick touches as you approach the mannequin
  • Use a quick skill with a change of direction to go past the mannequin
  • Use a change of speed to accelerate away from the dummy.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What type of touches should you take as you approach the mannequin?
  • What should you combine your skill with to get past the mannequin?
  • How should you change your speed once you have used your skill?

Close control crosshair soccer drill for beginners

There are 5 cones in a cross pattern. The beginner soccer player is dribbling around all the cones on the outside but always going back to the middle in an anti-clockwise direction until het gets back to the middle
Crosshair soccer drill for beginners

Purpose:

The purpose of this is to improve a players close control dribbling skills

Set up:

  • 5 cones
  • 1 soccer ball

How the drill works:

Place 1 cone in the middle, from this cone place 1 cone, to the top, bottom left, and right of the cone 4 yards apart.

You can start with the soccer ball on any cone on the outside.

From that cone dribble to the center cone and then from the middle cone to the next cone in an anti-clockwise direction.

A full circuit is complete when you arrive back at the same cone you started from.

Make sure you complete the circuit in an anti-clockwise and clockwise direction as this works with different feet and different touches.

Coaching points:

  • Take small touches to keep control of the ball
  • Use the laces and outside of your foot to dribble the ball
  • If you are dribbling anti-clockwise use your right foot and use your left for dribbling clockwise

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Which type of touches should you take to control the ball?
  • What part of the foot should you use to dribble the soccer ball?
  • Which foot should you use depending on your direction?

Block the gates soccer drill

There are 5 gates on the soccer pitch with an attacker and a defender. The attacker is trying to dribble through the gates with the defender trying to block them
Gate game for beginner soccer players

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to encourage quick changes of direction with the ball at their feet

Set up:

  • 5 gates (2 cones per gate)
  • 2 players (1 attacker, 1 defender)
  • 1 soccer ball

How the drill works:

Set your gates roughly in a 10 x 10-yard area, 4 in the corners of the area, and 1 in the middle.

The attacker will start with the ball and they must try to dribble through as many gates as possible in 2 minutes.

However, the defender is trying to block them by standing in front of the gates.

The defender cannot steal the soccer ball

At the end of the 2 minutes, the players will swap roles.

The winner of the round will be the player who has dribbled through the most gates.

Coaching points:

  • Dribble with your head up so you are able to see which gates are open
  • Use small touches when changing direction but bigger touches when you want to accelerate to a gate
  • Use body feints and skills to disguise your changes of direction to trick the defender

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Where should your head be looking when dribbling?
  • What type of touches should you be taking if you want to change direction/ accelerate into space?
  • How can you trick the defender?

Figure 8 dribbling soccer drill

There is a beginner soccer player dribbling in a figure 8 pattern around 2 cones.
Figure 8 drill for beginners

Purpose:

To improve close control of the soccer ball in small areas

Set up:

  • 1 soccer ball
  • 2 cones (1-yard apart)

How the drill works:

Start at one cone with the soccer ball and dribble around the cones in a figure 8 pattern.

Practice using different parts of your foot with both feet you.

Repeat this 5 times in an anti-clockwise direction, then 5 times in a clockwise direction.

Here are some different variations:

  • Only use the inside/outside/sole of your foot
  • Try moving backward through the figure 8 pattern
  • Only use 1 foot
  • Try and time yourself to see how quickly you can go through the pattern

Coaching points:

  • Take small touches to keep control of the ball
  • Keep a lower center of gravity to help change directions
  • Dribble with your head to see where you are going

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What type of touches should you take to keep control of the ball?
  • How should your body position be to help you keep a lower center of gravity?
  • Where should your head be positioned?

Passing and ball control drills for beginners

These passing and ball control soccer drills for beginners will help you get a lot of repetition of passing and receiving in an open body position.

Receiving the ball in an open body position will help you make better passing decisions on the ball

Passing in a pair soccer drill

There are 2 soccer player beginners, the first player is passing the ball to the other player who is making their way around the triangle
Beginner soccer drill passing in a pair

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to improve your first touch and 1 touch passing

Set up:

  • 3 cones
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 2 players (feeder player, passing player)

How the drill works:

Place your 3 cones into a triangle shape with the feed player starting with the ball at the base of the triangle.

The passing player will start on the first cone and play 2 one touch passes on either side of the cone back to the feeder player.

The passing player will then shuffle back to the furthest cone and take a touch around the cone and pass the ball back.

Finally, they will play 2, 1 touch passes around the final cone of the triangle.

Coaching points:

  • Use the inside of your foot to pass the ball
  • The foot furthest away from the ball should be the foot you are controlling the ball with (the back foot)
  • Remain on your toes to quickly adjust your body to the passes

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Which part of your foot should you use to pass the ball with?
  • Which foot is your back foot?
  • How should you be ready to receive the pass?

Wall passing soccer drill

The soccer beginner is passing the soccer ball against the wall, receiving the ball on the back foot and passing the ball into the goal on the opposite side of the pitch
Beginner soccer wall passing drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this is to improve how a player can receive and pass the ball in an open body position

Set up:

  • 5 soccer balls
  • Wall
  • 1 cone
  • 1 pug goal

How the drill works:

All the soccer balls will start on the cone that is 6 yards away from the wall.

The player will start by passing the ball against the wall and open their body up to receive the ball on the back foot.

They will then pass the ball into the pug goal that is placed 6 yards away at a 45-degree angle to the opposite side of the wall.

The circuit will be complete when the 5 soccer balls have been passed toward the pug goal.

Make sure to practice using both feet.

If the wall is to your left and the pug goal to your right, you should be using your right foot to pass and control the ball.

If the wall is to your right and the pug goal to your left, you should be using your left foot to pass and control the ball.

Coaching points:

  • Use the inside of your foot to pass the ball
  • Scan the area before receiving the ball back off the wall
  • Stay on your toes to adjust to where the ball is going

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Which part of the foot should you use to pass the ball with?
  • What should you do before receiving the ball back off the wall?
  • How can you quickly adjust to the movements of the ball?

Quick feet and passing drill

There are 2 soccer beginners in this soccer drill. 1 player is passing the ball to the player that is sidestepping through the cones
Quick feet soccer beginner drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to work on a player’s footwork to play 1 touch passes

Set up:

  • 5 cones
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 2 players (1 passer, 1 feeder)

How the drill works:

Set up 4 cones in a line roughly half a yard apart from each other, with one cone directly opposite them 5 yards away.

The feeder will start with the ball on the cone 5 yards away and pass it to the passing player who will play a first-time pass back to the feeder.

The passing player will then shuffle through the cones (making sure both feet go between each game) to receive the ball on the other side.

Repeat this 10 times in total (5 times on each foot) then swap over.

Coaching points:

  • Use the inside of your foot to pass the ball
  • Communicate with your partner so you know when you want the ball to be played
  • Take quick, light steps through the cones

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Which part of your foot should you use when making 1 touch pass?
  • How will your partner know when to pass the ball?
  • What kind of steps should you take through the cones?

Shooting Soccer Drills for Beginners

Shooting is always a favorite drill in soccer! These shooting soccer drills for beginners will help you focus on your technique and where you should be aiming in the goal to score as many goals as possible.

Rebound shooting drill for beginners

The soccer beginners are taking turns shooting and going in goal. The 1st player is passing against a wall and receiving it to then take a shot on goal.
Pass, control, shoot. soccer drill for beginners

Purpose:

Practice a good first touch to allow you to shoot with your second touch

  • 1 goal
  • A bench/ rebound wall
  • 5 soccer balls
  • 5 cones
  • 1 goalkeeper

How the drill works:

Set up your rebound slightly to the left or right of the goalkeeper area.

Slightly to the left will mean passing and shooting with your right foot and slightly to the right will mean passing and shooting with your left foot.

Halfway along the rebound wall make an ‘L’ shape with each side being 1-yard in length.

The bottom of the ‘L’ should be pointing inwards towards the goal.

The player will start with the ball and play a pass off the rebound wall, receiving the ball on the back foot and taking their touch inside with the ball staying on the outside on the ‘L’.

The player will then take a shot with their second touch.

This will be repeated until all 5 soccer balls have been shot, remember to practice using both feet too!

Coaching points:

  • Use the inside of your foot when passing the ball
  • Make sure you are in an open body position when receiving the ball
  • Use the inside of your foot for placement shots and your laces (instep for power shots)

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Which part of the foot should you use for passing the ball?
  • What body position should you be in when receiving the ball?
  • Which part of the foot should you use for placement shots/ power shots?

Body feint shooting drill for beginners

There are 2 soccer beginners, 1 is an attacker and the other is a defender.  The attacker is trying to score 1 of the soccer ball in either of the goals while the defender is trying to block them
Soccer body feint drill for beginners

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to improve your skill to beat a defender with only body movements

Set up:

  • 2 soccer balls
  • 2 players (an attacker and a defender)
  • 5 cones
  • 2 pug goals’

How the drill works:

Line up your cones so they cover a total distance of 7 yards (you can make this longer or shorter) and place 2 soccer balls on either side of the cones.

Place the goals directly opposite and 5 yards back from the soccer ball.

The defender will be on the side with the 2 pug goals and the attacker on the other side.

The attacker must try and score in either of the 2 pug goals, with the defender trying to block the shot.

Alternate the defender and attacker every round with each player having 3 attempts to shoot each.

Coaching points:

  • Use body movements to try and disguise which soccer ball you are going to shoot
  • Take small sharp steps so you are able to change direction easier
  • keep a lower center of gravity to help keep your balance

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you disguise which shot you are taking?
  • What can you do to change direction easier?
  • How can you keep your balance while changing direction?

Combination finishing soccer drill

There are 3 soccer beginners in the soccer drill. An attacker, a goalie and a passer. The attacker is playing a combination pass with the passer and having a shot on goal.
Combination shooting drill for beginners

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to work on quick passing that can lead to a shot on goal

Set up:

  • 2 tall cones
  • 5 soccer balls
  • 3 players (1 feeder, 1 attacker, goalkeeper)
  • 1 goal

How the drill works:

Set up the 2 poles in the middle of the edge of the area roughly 2 yards apart, this is where the attacker will start.

The feeder will start with the ball 5 yards back and play a pass into the attacker, who will play it back to the feeder.

The feeder will then play a pass to the outside of the right pole for the attacker to run onto and take a shot on goal.

This will be repeated 10 times in total, 5 times on the attacker’s left foot and 5 times on their right foot.

If a goalkeeper is not available then create gates 1 yard in from the goalposts to encourage the attacker to score in the cones of the goal.

Coaching points:

  • Stay on your touches to adjust to the passes
  • Use the inside of your foot to pass the ball
  • Aim for the corners of the goal when taking your shot

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you quickly adjust to the passes?
  • Which part of the foot should you use to pass the ball with?
  • Where should you aim your shots when shooting on goal?

Final thoughts

These drills alone will not make you a better player.

You need to make sure that as a player or coach you are putting in the time to make sure that you succeed and be better than you were the day before.

Try to take at least 1 hour of your day playing soccer or performing skills and drills 5 to 6 days a week to stay on top of your game.

Here are some more soccer drills and ideas you can perform to take your game to the next level:

If you found these soccer drills for beginners useful or know are player or coach that would then please share with them using our social media buttons!

Thank you,

Toby

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