Soccer Drills

Over 50 Ideas For Coaches To Create Amazing Training Sessions

Using great soccer drills isn’t the only important thing when it comes to running effective training sessions…

But making use of engaging exercises and games is definitely helpful for players to make the most out of their time at practice!

Keep in mind, there’s a lot of things to consider if you want to conduct amazing practices. For example, really top notch coaches have excellent rapport with their players, deep knowledge of the game, and an ability to generate enthusiam from their team.

When you combine these elements of great coaching with excellent training activities, that’s when the true magic happens.

This collection of soccer drills is meant to inspire coaches to design fun and competitive training sessions. By implementing these exercises into your practices you’ll be able to stimulate, excite, and challenge players to take their game to the next level.

Warm-Up Drills

Having a proper warm-up is important to ensure players are prepared mentally, physically, and to prevent injuries. For the best results, a warm-up should include a range of dynamic motions to activate the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as increase players range of motion and body temperature. 

Some great dynamic motions include:

  • Jogging (forward, backward, side shuffles)
  • Skipping (forward, backward, sideways)
  • Jumping Jacks (forward, sideways)
  • Grapevine/Carioca
  • High Kicks
  • Inside Touches
  • High Knees
  • Butt Kickers
  • Two Foot Jumps
  • Single Leg Hops
  • Lunges

A great idea with younger players when designing warm-up activities is to incorporate the dynamic movements like these in fun and unique ways so that players the players stay engaged while moving and getting warm-up.

The following video goes over some of the key dynamic movements listed above and provides some fun and creative warm-up ideas.

More Fun Warm-Up Drills

Youth Soccer Drills

For kids in the U5 to U10 age range it’s nice for them to practice skills with fun and interactive games. The following drills should do just the trick. 

Sharks & Minnows

Sharks & Minnows

This is a great game for young players to work on dribbling, keeping control of the ball, and protecting it from defenders.

Hunters & Rabbits

Hunters & Rabbits

This fun game gets the kids moving and allows ‘the hunters’ to work on passing while the targets are moving.

Cone Hunt

Cone Hunt

Cone hunt is a fun game for players to practice basic passing skills by knocking over cones with their soccer balls.

Dribbling Drills

Dribbling is a fundamental skill that players at all levels should practice and master. Here are some ideas to improve dribbling. 

Individual Exercises For Ball Mastery

If you’re not working with a team and want some exercises to improve ball control for a single player, check out this video for 11 dribbling exercises players can do individually.

Passing Drills

Passing is another fundamental skill that players need to master so that their team can move the ball effectively. Here are some simple passing drill ideas for players to improve this important skill. 

Improve Your Team’s Passing With Rondo Drills

Rondo drills are keep away style drills that are excellent for players to improve their passing and communication skills. You can check out our entire article about rondos here, or check out the video below for some amazing rondo ideas.

Finishing Drills

No matter how many chances a team is able to create, without quality finishing they won’t score! Finishing is one of the most important skills in soccer, especially for players who’d like to become goal scorers. This skill encompasses shooting, heading, volleys, and creating space in the final third. 

1v1 Drills

Having the ability to take defenders on 1v1 and get past them is an invaluable skill for breaking down defenses. On the flip side, having defenders you can rely on to hold their ground and not get beat form the basis for a rock solid defense. 1v1 drills offer players a simple way to work on their individual attacking and defending skills so that they can help your team by winning more individual battles in games.

Here are 6 effective 1v1 variations:

Sharks & Minnows

Straight Up 1v1 To Goal

Perhaps this drill is 1v1 in it’s purest form. The defender plays the ball out to the attacker who tries to score on goal. Nothing fancy here, but it’s still a thing of beauty.

Hunters & Rabbits

1v1 Defender In The Square

To give attackers an added advantage, this drill limits where the defender can move. This is a great variation for offensive players to practice their favorite skill moves and try to speed past.

Cone Hunt

1v1 Defender Trailing

It’s a break away! The attacker is in behind and the defender is trying to chase them down to prevent a goal. Can the attacker stay cool under pressure and finish?

Sharks & Minnows

1v1 Battle For The Ball

In this variation there’s no attacker or defender at the start. The right to attack must be earned. Whoever wins the 50-50 ball can try to score on goal.

Hunters & Rabbits

Pressing 1v1

Closing down space quickly can help give defenders an advantage, especially when an attacker’s back is turned to goal. Here the defender is urged to press forward and not let the attacker turn.

Cone Hunt

1v1 Starting At The Posts

Here both players start with a hand on a post. The defender can’t leave their mark until the attacker moves first. This is a great variation for attackers to work on creating space and defenders to close down.

Possession Drills

Keeping control of the ball can help your team control the game. Having the ability to orchestrate an attack and move the ball into advantageous positions sets the stage for important goal scoring chances. In addition, possession drills are a great way for players to work on passing, offensive movement, avoiding turnovers, communication, and much more!

Small Sided Games

Small sided games are fun exercises that mimic aspects of a full 11v11 game but with smaller numbers of players. These allow players to get lots of touches on the ball in a shorter period of time verses a full sided game. Ensuring players get lots of time on the ball is optimal to help them develop and improve.

Standard 6v6

6v6 is a great size of a small sided game to work on tactical concepts and allow players to get more touches on the ball to improve overall. This variation consists of a goal keeper and 5 field players on each team. Use this drill to focus on fundamentals such as spreading out in possession and staying compact on defense.

Players love 6v6 as it can get quite competitive. You could even play with a round robin tournament with several teams at practice all competing for the first place prize of being crowned as the best team. 

More Fun & Competitive Small Sided Games

Sharks & Minnows

3v3 Flying Changes

Flying changes is a fast paced small sided game where players can gain an edge by starting their attack while the defenders are transitioning. It’s a player favorite with lots of back and forth action!

Hunters & Rabbits

4v4 With Neutrals Outside

Involving neutral ‘all-time offense’ players into a small sided game can help teams work on keeping possession of the ball through a numerical advantage. This game can be great to help players work on build up play and keeping possession.

Cone Hunt

Keep Away To Attack

Keep away to attack is a small sided game where two teams must complete a given number of passes before trying to score on goal. This is another great option to work on possession play and creating goal scoring chances by moving the ball.

A Final Note To Coaches

Like we mentioned earlier, using fun and engaging soccer drills is only one part of planning a great training session. Drills and exercises should be carefully selected to help your team acomplish it’s goals and improve in the areas that you deem are the most important as a coach. It’s also nice to have variation from training to training so that players can work with new exercises over the course of a season and constantly stay engaged.

With this in mind, 360Player has developed the perfect session planner tool to create beautiful training plans in minutes. With the 360Player session planner tool you can browse through hundreds of ready made drills and sessions by category, age, number of players and more. You can also save your own coaching content in personal, team, or club libraries so you can always find what you need, all in one place.

Here you can see a quick glimpse of the homepage from our training library. If you’d like to learn more about how the session planner works, click here.