Learning how to play soccer can mean a lifetime of good fitness, healthy competition and team skills. These seven essential soccer drills will help you to learn, or teach others, the game.
1. Running Drills
Because soccer involves long bouts of running up and down the field, it’s important to have the stamina and strength to run for long periods of time. Butt kicks engage the hamstrings, which are essential for keeping a steady gait. While staying in the same spot, kick the legs backward toward the butt 15 times per leg. High knees help to strengthen the knees, glutes and help the hamstrings to power the legs properly. Bring the knees high toward the chest 15 times per leg. Strengthening the legs with these drills will help when running long distances.
2. Passing Drills
Learning how to properly pass is one of the best ways to get a ball down the field. Players learn how to anticipate a pass and when to pass to other teammates during drills. While running up the field, pass the ball back-and-forth between players using the feet, knees or head.
3. Ball Handling Drills
Handling the ball with speed and accuracy around the pitch with your feet is essential in keeping opposing players from getting the ball. Players should practice keeping the ball between their legs while running up the field. Changing directions while handling the ball will help players learn to quickly move around opposing players who are moving toward the ball.
4. Marking Drills
Marking, or playing defense, will help players to keep the opposing team from getting the ball. In man-to-man marking drills, players are assigned a specific player on the opposing team to mark. Zonal marking drills assign players a certain part of the field to mark. As playing a good defense is just as important as a strong offense, marking drills will help to strengthen the team and prevent the other team from making goals.
5. Shooting Drills
Scoring goals by shooting the soccer ball is the way to score points and win the game. Players should line up and practice shooting the ball into the goal from various angles. As they shoot the ball, the goalie can practice blocking the ball from the goal.
6. Kicking Drills
Beginner players soon learn that kicks shouldn’t be done with their toe but rather the part of the foot that is covered with laces. Teach beginners how to properly kick by having them remove their socks and shoes. Holding the ball straight in front of their body with their hands, the player should point their toe and kick the ball upward. This drill will help players to get into the proper habit of using their feet to kick.
7. Goalie Drills
Teaching goalies to properly block the ball can be scary for beginners. Children may be afraid of being hurt by the ball. Running through various drills that help players learn to block, catch and shoot the ball back down the field can help goalies gain confidence in their position.
Improve your performance and help your team to succeed with these seven essential soccer drills. Learning the basics as a beginner will help you as you advance in soccer.