10 Insane Soccer Fitness and Conditioning Drills

Soccer is an incredibly demanding sport that involves sprinting, jogging, and walking, as a soccer player you’re never standing still. This means that on average a professional soccer player will run 7 miles a game, with some players averaging 10 miles! For players to reach their peak fitness levels they must go through intense soccer fitness and conditioning drills to ensure they can consistently perform at their best. Here are 10 soccer fitness and conditioning drills you can try to help you and your players reach their soccer fitness goals!

If you like these soccer fitness and conditioning drills download them as a free PDF at the bottom of the page

2v2 fitness and conditioning possession soccer square

2v2 fitness and conditioning possession soccer square

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer is to improve a player’s fitness through their movement off the ball. As there is not a lot of space and being marked 1-on-1 the attacker has to work really hard to create space for themselves by constantly moving.

Set up:

  • 10 x 10-yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 4 players (2 teams of 2)

How the drill works:

Set up your area and divide the players into 2 teams of 2.

The goal of this drill is to combine as many passes as you can in your team.

Each successful pass a team makes will be 1 point.

If a team loses possession of the ball and gains it back again they can continue on from where they left off.

The winning team will be the team that accumulates the most passes.

This drill runs for 5 minutes with a minute break in between.

Group overtaking fitness soccer drill with a ball

Group overtaking fitness soccer drill with a ball

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to work on a player’s aerobic endurance and recovery.

Set up:

  • 30 x 40-yard area
  • 2 equal groups of players
  • 1 bib per player

How the drill works:

Set up your area and divide your player into 2 groups.

The players will start jogging in 1 larger group, however, 1 group will be in front of the other group.

The group in front will be group 1 and the group behind group 2.

Group 2 will then have to sprint past and lap group 1 while group 1 is still jogging.

Once all of group 2 have passed group 1, group 1 will then have to sprint past and lap group 2 so they are back in front.

Perform this 3 times per group.

In this soccer fitness and conditioning drill, players can dribble with a ball too.

Zig zag sprints for soccer fitness and conditioning

Zig zag sprints for soccer fitness and conditioning

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is for players to get a lot of repetitions of sprinting and changing directions which is similar to that of a soccer game

Set up:

  • 6 cones

How the drill works:

Create your zig-zag pattern with 7 yards between each cone and each at a 45-degree angle from the previous cone.

Follow the zig-zag pattern, making sure to turn around the outside of the cones.

Repeat this process until you get to the end where you will take a 30-second recovery jog back to the start where you repeat the process 5 more times.

To vary the drill you can:

  • Shuffle backward,
  • Change the angle of the cones
  • Place the cones nearer or further away from each other
  • Perform this soccer drill with a soccer ball

Recovery soccer fitness drill runs

Zig zag sprints for soccer fitness and conditioning

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to replicate a player sprinting back after losing possession of the ball.

Set up:

  • 7 players ( 3 defenders, 3 attackers, 1 goalkeeper)
  • 1 goal
  • 3 pug goals
  • 20 x 20-yard area
  • 3 cones

How the drill works:

Set up your area and place the large goal in the middle of the 20-yard line, with the 3 pug goals on the opposite 20-yard line.

Attackers will start in the area in line with the pug goals.

The defenders will start 5 yards back behind the pug goals

The first attacker will play a combination pass with their teammate that will put them through on goal.

As soon as the first pass is played the defender can begin their recovery run.

If the attacker scores the attacking team will get 3 points.

If the defending team is able to prevent the attacking team from scoring they will get 1 point, however, if they are able to stop the attacking team from scoring and score in a pug goal themselves they will get 2 points.

Rotate around so everyone has had a chance to be an attacker and defender.

The winning team will be the team with the most points.

Alternate hops/ leg bounds soccer conditioning drill

Alternate hops/ leg bounds soccer conditioning drill

Purpose:

To help build power and stability in your legs

Equipment:

  • 18 cones
  • 1 tall cone

How the drill works:

To set up this drill place 3 cones in a row half a yard in front of each other.

Set the next 3 cones up 1 and a half yards to the right and then the next 3 cones back to the left with the same 1 and a half yard gap in between.

Repeat this process when you have 3 groups of 3 cones on each side.

Finally, place the 2 tall cones 10 yards in the distance that run parallel to the cones

You will start this drill using your left foot and take 3 quick hops over and between the cones.

Once you have gone through the first 3 cones you will hop laterally to the right and land on your right foot.

You now go through the cones using your right foot to hop over them.

Once you get to the end you will hop laterally back over to the left, landing on your left foot.

You will repeat this process until you get through the cones, then to complete the drill you will sprint 10 yards to the tall cones. This will take you back to the start.

Repeat this 4 times with a 30-second rest in between sets.

ladder/poles, quick feet, soccer slalom

ladder/poles, quick feet,  soccer slalom

Purpose:

The purpose of this fitness soccer drill is to improve the players’ quick feet as well as sharp changes of direction.

Equipment:

  • 6 tall poles
  • 1 soccer ladder
  • 7 cones
  • 1 soccer ball

How the drill works:

The player starts at the first cone and goes through the pole slalom. They will then go through the soccer ladder making sure both feet go into each section of the ladder before moving on to the next section.

The player will now dribble the soccer ball through cones, making sure the ball and the player go through every gap in the cones. (the cone dribble will run parallel with the ladder, with the player facing the direction in which they started).

Once they have completed the cone dribble, they will jockey backward through the cones till they get to the end.

The player will then finish by sprinting past the cone that they started on.

Have a 30-second rest then repeat 5 times.

Soccer fitness shooting drill

Soccer fitness shooting drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help a player improve their change of direction, speed, and acceleration while also having to focus on their shooting technique.

Equipment:

  • 6 soccer balls
  • 1 goal
  • 5 cones
  • 4 players (2 players crossing the ball, 1 player shooting, 1 goalkeeper)

How the drill works:

The player will take multiple shots on goal from different positions combined with a series of shuttle run sprints.

You can include a goalkeeper or if a goalkeeper is not available you can place cones 1 yard inside of the goal posts.

If players scores a goal with the goalkeeper in they will get 1 point, however, if there are no goalkeepers and a player scores in the corners they will get 3 points and 1 point for other goals.

Place 2 soccer balls 5 yards back from the edge of the box marked with a cone.

2 players will start with a soccer ball each in the corners, with the last soccer balls placed in line with the 6-yard box on either side.

After each shot, the player will perform a sprint back to the main cone on the edge of the area before taking their next shot.

The order is as follows:

  • Start at the main cone and dribble the ball and take 1v1 with the goalkeeper
  • Take the second ball from the edge of the area and shoot from outside the area
  • Attack the cross that comes from the left
  • Attack the cross from the right
  • Perform a header from the left
  • Perform a header from the right

The player with the most points at the end is the winner

Forwards/backward crosshair soccer conditioning drill

Forwards/backward crosshair soccer conditioning drill

Purpose: The purpose of this fitness soccer drill is to help players accelerate and de-accelerate while changing direction.

Set up:

  • 4 cones
  • 1 tall cone

How the drill works:

Place a cone in the middle and then place a cone 5 yards to the north, south, east, and west of the middle cone.

For this drill, you can start on any cone on the outside (mark this with the tall cone so it is easy to distinguish).

Start by sprinting to the cone in the middle. once you have reached the cone in the middle turn 90 degrees to the left and then sprint back to the cone on the right (anti-clockwise).

Repeat this process until you get to the cone you started at.

Have 30 seconds rest then complete 6 repetitions, alternating between anti-clockwise and clockwise

Os and Xs soccer sprinting fitness and conditioning game

Os and Xs soccer sprinting fitness and conditioning game

Purpose: The purpose of this soccer fitness and conditioning drill is to help improve the speed of your players with a fun and competitive game

Set up:

  • 12 cones
  • 2 sets of 5 different colored pinnies
  • 2 tall cones
  • two teams (max 3 per team)

How the drill works:

With your flat cones create a 3x3 yard grid split into 9 squares, this will be your Os and Xs board. 10 yards back place your tall cone this is where each of the teams will start.

The first player from each team will run with a pinnie in hand and place the pinnie in their desired square.

They will run back and tag the next person on their team who will repeat the process.

The team that completes 3 of the same colored pinnie in a row will be the winners.

1v1 soccer fitness and conditioning drill

Os and Xs soccer sprinting fitness and conditioning game

Purpose: The purpose of this drill is to create an intense game-like scenario.

Set up:

  • 5 x 10-yard area
  • 2 pug goals
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 4 players (2 in the middle, 2 on the outside)

How the drill works:

Set up your area with the 2 pug goals opposite each other on the 5-yard lines. The 2 players on the outside will position themselves on the 10-yard lines.

The players on the outside with fulfilling the role of bounce players and will be neutral players (they will be on the team of the player who has possession of the ball)

The bounce players cannot be tackled.

The two players in the middle will play a 1v1 attempting to score the pug goals.

After 5 minutes the player with the most goals will be the winner.

Swap the players on the outside with the players on the inside.

Soccer fitness and conditioning drills conclusion

Improving your fitness in soccer is something that any player can do regardless of their skill level.

When conditioning yourself for soccer it is important that you get a good mix of fitness drills with the ball at your feet and without a ball.

As your fitness in soccer increases, you will notice how every area of your performance will pick up, maintaining that same intensity for the full 90 minutes.

I tried to get a combination of fun fitness games with and without a ball, If you found these soccer fitness and conditioning drills helpful or know a coach that would then please share it with them using the social media buttons.

Let me know in the comment if you have any useful soccer fitness and conditioning drills that I could add to this post.

Thank you,

Toby

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Soccer fitness and conditioning drills PDF

Tactics Manager is the software that I used to easily create, share and organize these soccer drills for you to download.

Click here to view the Tactics Manager Software on SoccerTutor

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