Heads up soccer drill to improve dribbling skills

Coaching young soccer players to look up when they are dribbling the ball is not easy. However many times you tell them to do it, they will keep looking at the ball, so I use this soccer drill to make them look up.

This soccer drill is great for every age group, especially very young players who are learning how to control the ball when they are running with it.

Using this drill will encourage players to use their right and left foot, dribble at speed and stop the ball. You can add to these three skills, depending on the age of your players, so they have to turn with the ball or keep the ball in a tackling move.

Set up the drill

Use an area 30 yards by 20 yards. You need a ball for each player and you need coloured cues – red, yellow and green – traffic lights.

Red = Stop the ball (cars stop at a red light)

Yellow = Toe taps on top of the ball

Green = Use green after the other two colours so players know they can now start running with the ball again.

Soccer drill to get players keeping heads up while running with ball

How it works

  • Tell your players they are going to be driving a car on the road, which is the space inside the coned-off square, and they have to spot the traffic lights and do what the colours represent.
  • You can ask them what would happen if the car left the road – it would crash – and ask them what happens at a green light, yellow light and red light. Tell them what you want them to do when they see the colour of the light change – when you change the coloured marker.
  • Players must keep looking up to see when you change it to another colour, then react accordingly.
  • When playing the game you can encourage your young players to try out a few different ways to control the ball, such as using the inside and outside of their feet.

Once your players can do it, you can call the commands quicker so they have to adjust at match speed to your call.

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