Ball control drills, footwork drills

These drills will give your players “Mastery of the Ball”. It is your first duty as a coach to give your players the soccer skills to be effective players. Ball control is the key to that. It’s about being comfortable on the ball, instant control, able to change feet, and move the ball where you want.

  • Soccer coaching tips to get your players manipulating the ball - This soccer coaching session looks at core ball control skills. You only need six players to complete the drill, though it can easily be expanded to meet your needs. With lots more players you could have a number of grids working at the same time.


  • Soccer drill to coach the step across - With this soccer drill you are coaching one of the most basic but useful soccer moves. The player simply steps over the ball to put either one or both legs between the ball and an incoming opponent.


  • Soccer drill to coach the roll - We've already looked at soccer drill to coach the basic step across used to shield the ball from an oncoming opponent. This is where you coach your players to step over the ball to put either one, or both legs between the ball and their opponent. Next, we look at the follow-on move to show your players.


  • Soccer tips and drill for evasion and faking - Once your players have mastered basic dribbling skills, use these soccer coaching tips and drill to teach them to evade tackles and use fake moves to open up defences.


  • Soccer coaching tips for perfect ball control - Good soccer players can bring the ball under their control in an instant - no matter how it arrives to them. Here's how you coach ball control skills.


  • Coaching tips and drills for ball manipulation skills - No matter how young your players are, working on ball manipulation skills is a must. These skills give players the ability to push, move, drag or manipulate the ball and become its master. The following soccer coaching tips and drills are simple and effective to use.


  • Soccer drill to boost player concentration - The best soccer coaching sessions are when you can get your players to use their skills, technique, fitness and most of all their concentration from the word 'go.' Keep them moving and learning with this great soccer drill.


  • Simple ball control soccer drill - Using this simple soccer drill to coach ball control is an excellent way to teach young players of all ages how important and achievable such basic football skills are.


  • Soccer warm up drill for 1v1 skills - Often using basic soccer drills can be a very effective way of boosting your team's football skills and success. Try this 1v1 soccer warm-up drill where the players have to stay either side of a line and beat each other to a cone to work up match-day skills.


  • Soccer coaching tips for controlling the ball - Good players are comfortable on the ball - use the following soccer coaching tips to get your young players' ball control skills up to speed.


  • Continuous control soccer drill - Try this soccer control drill and watch your players step up a gear in matches as they eliminate missed opportunities caused by poor control.


  • Soccer drills for footwork skills - Quick feet are vital to making basic soccer skills work. Coach your players to use a simple side-drag move with the following training tips and drills.


  • Shielding the ball to buy time before passing - Coach your players using soccer drills to advance their skills in maintaining control and shielding the ball from an opponent.


  • Ball shielding skills put to the test - Games to put your players' ball shielding skills to the test.


  • Ball control drills to gain a good first touch - The aim of working on players' first-touch soccer skills is to give them more time to assess their next move. These coaching tips and soccer drills are aimed at improving the first touch of the ball.


  • Freeze command drill to improve first touch skills - Put your players' first-touch ball control skills to the test with this "freeze" command soccer drill, by Tony Carr, Academy Director, West Ham United, English Premier League.


  • Keep ball soccer drill to test ball control skills - Put your players' first-touch ball control skills to the test with a simple 4v1 keep-ball soccer drill.


  • Soccer drill to help strikers control dribble and shoot - Focusing on soccer drills to help young strikers' skills in controlling the ball, dribbling and shooting is a good way to ensure you get more shots on goal than before. These soccer drills are helping develop your players' soccer instincts in front of the goal.


  • Soccer drill to advance use of space - Controlling the ball quickly, away from defenders and into space, will give players more time to assess their options and execute their next move, whether that is a shot, pass or dribble. Use the following soccer drill to coach these skills.


  • Back heel passing drill - This soccer training drill is aimed at getting your players exchanging the ball with a back-heel switch.


  • Soccer drill for chesting the ball - Try this soccer coaching drill and 4v4 game to improve chest control skills on the ball.


  • Soccer drills to boost throw in technique - With these soccer training drills your players can increase the distance they throw by up to 30 per cent and never have a foul throw called against them. By David Clarke


  • Soccer drill tips for instant ball control - One of the most important soccer skills you can teach your players is ball control. Follow these soccer coaching drill tips to help them focus on the techniques involved in improving their abilities.


  • Soccer coaching tips to improve volley skills - One of the most effective skills for your players to work on in soccer training is the perfect volley, that is striking a ball which is still in the air.


  • Soccer drill to teach the Ronaldo chop - Help your players fool their opponents and open up space by teaching them the Ronaldo chop to the side.


  • Ball manipulation drill - Ball manipulation skills are vital for good soccer players. Your players need to be in control of the ball in all sorts of situations so they can create space to score.


  • Coaching tips for keepy ups - Keepy-up skills are all about juggling the ball in the air with any body part except the hands or arms. Use the following soccer drills to teach better ball and body control


  • Tennis drill to boost soccer skills - A soccer tennis drill is an excellent way of developing juggling skills and first-touch for your young players - and the big bonus is that it’s great fun to play as well.


  • Prevent players being pushed off the ball - A lot of soccer coaches complain their players get pushed off the ball too easily. It usually happens when the team in possession get into good positions on the pitch and an opposition defender comes over and takes the ball - not using skill, but with body weight. Use this 1v1 drill to help your players hold onto the ball.


  • Soccer drill to develop decision making skills - Playing soccer (football) is all about making split-second decisions in a team environment. Make the wrong decision and you put your team under pressure. Make the right decision and you can win the game. This soccer drill helps develop the decision-making skills of the player in possession.


  • Soccer juggling drills for better ball control - Juggling is a great way to improve mastery of the ball, which will help your players during matches and give their confidence a boost. Try the following fun soccer drills.


  • Soccer warm up drill for running and moving with the ball - This soccer drill is a warm-up exercise, but you can also try it to get your players used to running and moving with the ball. You want to see them getting the ball out of their feet and keeping their heads up.


  • First touch soccer training drill - If you want to improve the first touch of your players, this is a good soccer coaching drill to get them doing it properly. First touch is important so players can get the ball under control quickly, allowing them to make use of any space they have created.


  • Soccer coaching drill for 1v1 skills - If your young soccer players are always losing out in 1v1s it is probably because they don't work on these skills enough in your soccer coaching drill sessions. Use the following soccer coaching tips to get them back on the road to stardom.


  • Soccer coaching drill for controlling high balls - I’ve been getting my young players to use soccer drills that work on controlling high balls. It’s a soccer skill that players need to set themselves up for a shot at goal.


  • Cops and robbers drill to boost attack and defence basics - You can use this fun soccer drill to teach young players the basics of attacking and defending. Awareness of where players are and the ability to control, pass and stop the ball can all be coached with this drill.


  • Run, control, turn and shoot soccer training drill - Running onto a pass, controlling it, then running with the ball - these core soccer skills are essential in matches, so make sure your young players practise them frequently in their soccer coaching drill sessions.


  • Soccer drill to work on step over shielding skills - Coaching your players to use step-over shielding the ball skills is a good way to get them defending against bigger attackers. It doesn't matter how big the opponents are, if your players step across and put their shoulders in the way, the opponents are going to have to foul to get the ball. Use the following soccer drill to boost players' confidence and skills.


  • Simple soccer drills to work on dribbling and shooting - In these simple soccer drills you are stretching your young attacker's ball control and shooting skills. Use two goalkeepers for an attacker to face 1v2, then in the next soccer drills extend the work to force play wide and finally add a defender.


  • Stop and go soccer coaching drill - This is a great soccer coaching workout for players of all ages. Get your players running, stopping the ball and controlling it around a series of cones.


  • Shield the ball soccer drill - In this fun soccer coaching drill, the players with a ball must shield and defend for their life while the defender competes to win possession of the ball.


  • Soccer drill for aerial ball control - This soccer drill is about coaching your players to use the top of the foot to “cushion” control a ball to improve touch in tight situations such as a goal-kick dropping in to a crowded midfield.


  • Soccer drill for holding off opponents - This soccer coaching session will improve your player's technique when holding off an opponent and help to develop their strength and confidence to hold on to the ball.


  • Attack and defence skills soccer drill - The great thing about running 1v1 soccer (football) drills is that you can coach attacking and defending skills at the same time. In this soccer coaching session, the attacker must shield the ball and show a change of pace.


  • First touch soccer drill - Use this soccer (football) drill to coach your players how to control the ball with their first touch.


  • Drill to coach soccer ball control and passing skills - Coach your players to win, control and pass the ball with ease with the help of the following basic football skills and drills.


  • Zoo soccer game to improve first touch and ball control skills - This soccer (football) coaching game is all about accuracy and playing the correct weight of pass, good ball control and first touch, and anticipating and intercepting passes. When you play the game, ensure the players are rotated so they all have a turn as monkeys, zoo keepers and visitors.


  • Socks soccer drill for left and right footed skills - This is a good soccer training drill to use if your young soccer players find it difficult to switch between kicking with their left and right feet. The exercise is a simple but very effective way of getting them to practise these skills.


  • Space Invaders soccer coaching game for ball control skills - Use this fun soccer coaching game to help your players control the ball under pressure when they're running in a straight line.


  • Soccer drill to improve control and feel for the ball - This simple soccer (football) drill will increase your players' "feel" for the ball, making them more comfortable with passing and receiving.


  • Soccer coaching tips to improve thigh control for aerial balls - Use these soccer coaching tips to get players using their thighs to control the high balls, because anywhere lower on the leg makes it much harder to cushion the ball.


  • Soccer coaching session to practise ball control in the air - Try this soccer coaching session to help players practise controlling balls in the air, so they're not waiting for the ball to bounce, giving the opposition players time to close them down.


  • Soccer drill to get players fooling opponents with footwork skills - This clever trick is a superb way of making a defender think his opponent is going one way, when he's about to go the other way. Use these soccer coaching tips to improve your players' ball control skills.


  • Keeping possession of the ball in soccer games - It is hard work for any soccer team to win the ball back. So it is vital for soccer players to work just as hard to keep possession because that is key to scoring goals and winning the game.


  • Drills for receiving the ball - Here are five coaching drills that will help your players when receiving the ball on the soccer field.

    Click on the headings for in-depth instructions on how to implement these five drills for receiving the ball.



  • Soccer coaching game for passing, ball control and dribbling - Try this soccer drill, it is a great warm-up to get players ready for 1v1s in matches.


  • Controlling the high ball in soccer games - This session can be used to help players practise controlling balls in the air so they are not waiting for the ball to bounce, giving the opposition players time to close them down.


  • Soccer coaching session on receiving the ball under pressure - One of the things the modern greats like Xavi and Lionel Messi  have is the ability to receive a ball under the pressure of onrushing opponents – it seems to me they don't need any space at all to control the ball and keep it away from an opponent.


  • Soccer coaching session for ball control - We've had an unusually wet spring in England and this has made the pitches very soft with long grass and the ball will not roll very well. So the best way to link up play is through the air.


  • Soccer's next Jack Wilshere - Jack Wilshere joined the Arsenal Academy in October 2001 at the age of nine, after a short spell in the Luton Town youth programme. He rose through the ranks and at the age of 15 was named the captain of the U16s. From there it was a short step to becoming a shining light in Arsene Wenger's first team with his excellent close control and eye for making a deadly pass.


  • Soccer coaching session to encourage combinational play in matches - If you can get your players to use the movement in this overlap drill they should have no trouble pulling any opposition defence apart. Timing the overlap is vital to the success of the drill.


  • Soccer coaching warm-up for improving ball control - When you get to your matches this week, try this warm-up so your players can remember the ball control sessions you have been doing in training.


  • Soccer warm-up to improve technique and movement - You can use this warm-up when coaching running with the ball because it gets players passing, and moving to the pass, in preparation for the more advanced work explained in the session above. By Michael Beale.


  • Get your soccer players to work their goalkeeper - Never begrudge spending a whole practice session on goalkeeper skills. It's an area that many coaches overlook because they feel the rest of the team aren't involved. However, outfield players can still be active, as well as understanding better what it's like to be the man between the posts.


  • Ravel Morrison's unbelievable training ground goal - Ravel Morrison scored a stunning goal during training for the England under-21 team. Check out the video below.


  • Receiving the ball under pressure - This session is designed to improve your players' technique so they are confident to receive the ball under pressure. Individual practices will help develop a player's technique before putting them under pressure while in possession of the ball.


  • Back to basics - This simple set-up can help players improve their basic skills. Key to the session are the essentials of the game – control, movement with the ball, accurate shooting and beating an opponent.


  • Fast, furious and fun crossing game - Fast end-to-end matches can tire you out just watching, but boy, are they fun?! My players love games where they are constantly moving and having to think about what they are doing - and one mistake can mean a goal is given away.


  • Air traffic control - We had a wet spring in England and this made the pitches very soft with long grass and the ball did not roll very well. The best way to deal with this is to link up play through the air.


  • Continual heading - Like throw-ins, headers continually occur in matches and are a great way to score goals. If you go to the trouble of getting your wingers to cross the ball into the penalty area, then you want an end product.


  • Striking session - This session will put a stop to wasted chances up front. It allows your players to experiment with their technique and get used to hitting the target with a snap shot or when finishing off a move.


  • Cut out the pass - One of the things the modern greats like Xavi, Lionel Messi and Zinedine Zidane have is the ability to receive a ball under the pressure of onrushing opponents – it seems to me they don't need any space at all to control the ball and keep it away from an opponent.


  • Dribble on demand - This is a great game for getting your players to react to changing situations in a match.


  • Strike in pairs - Executed at speed, this is a dangerous attacking move that will help your players use a delicate first touch to beat defenders and set up goalscoring opportunities.




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