Best Ways to Improve Your Soccer Skills

Best Ways to Improve Your Soccer Skills

If you play soccer at any level, you need to master three primary skills – dribbling, trapping, and striking. Of course, juggling the ball can draw a crowd, but would you rather show off on the sidelines or dribble past an opponent on your way to scoring a goal? We will show you some of the best soccer drills to improve the soccer skills you need to succeed on the soccer field.  

Practice Soccer Drills Every Day

Soccer is a sport you can practice on your own with minimal soccer practice equipment. A soccer ball and some basic household items is all you really need to set up soccer training drills that you can do every day. Try these two drills to improve your dribbling and trapping skills.

Triangle Drill: Keeping the ball close and in control is key to dribbling well. This drill teaches you ball control in a tight space.

  • Place three sports cones or plastic bottles in a triangle about 2 feet apart.
  • Dribble the ball between and around the cones.
  • Use all the surfaces of your feet, including the bottom of your foot.

Inside / Outside Cone Drill: This drill improves your basic soccer skills for both trapping and dribbling.

  • Place 8 – 10 cones or plastic bottles 2 yards apart in a straight line.
  • With the inside of your right foot kick the ball to the left.
  • Then use the outside of your left foot to keep the ball going in the same direction.
  • Then, kick the ball to the right with the inside of your left foot and keep it going using the outside of your right foot. Get it?

Weave in and out of the cones. This move can be a little tricky, but once you master it, you’re dribbling will be top notch and you’ll be able to trap the ball with the inside or outside of each foot.

Use Top Soccer Training Exercises

Soccer skills training is important to improve your basic skills. It’s also important to stay in top physical condition. These two basic soccer drills will have you winded but feeling more fit every time you do them.

25’s: This drill improves your aerobic fitness, acceleration/deceleration ability, as well as your speed while dribbling.

  • Place 5 cones 5 yards apart for 20 yards.
  • Sprint from cone 1 to cone 2 and back.
  • Sprint to cone 3 and back and so forth until you’ve sprinted back and forth to all 4 cones.
  • Rest for one minute and repeat. Do this 10 times.
  • Now, do the same drill but do it while dribbling the ball.
  • Do this 5 times with your right foot and 5 times with your left foot.

Plank Climber: A strong core is key to running faster, striking harder, and longer endurance. This simple exercise works your entire core safely and effectively. No ball needed.

  • Start in plank position.
  • Slowly bring your right knee up to your chest and back down.
  • Repeat with your left foot.
  • Keep it slow and keep your back flat and straight.
  • Do this for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat 5 times.

Use a Mix of High- & Low-Impact Techniques

Strength training is key to explosiveness, agility, speed, and endurance. A combination of plyometrics and isometrics can elevate your strength training and improve your technical and tactical soccer skills.

The Speed Skater (plyometrics): This exercise mimics the movements of a speed skater and increases your ability to move side to side.

  • Start with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Raise your right knee up toward your left shoulder.
  • Lower your left knee and push hard to the right.
  • Land on your right foot and lower yourself down to the right.
  • Push back to the left foot.

Kind of feels like you’re speed skating, right? Try and hold the lowered position on each side for a few seconds before pushing off to the other side. You can do this as an agility ladder soccer drill by launching yourself down the soccer ladder if you have this soccer practice equipment.

Squat and Hold (isometrics):  One of the “mother” exercises, the squat works your entire body in one exercise. This version includes isometric holds, making it even more effective (and hard!).

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Slowly lower your body by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.
  • About halfway down, stop and extend your arms out parallel to the floor.
  • Hold it here for 10 seconds, then continue lowering yourself as low as you can go.
  • Raise back up to standing position and repeat 10 times.

Remember to keep your stomach muscles flexed to increase the intensity of this squat in your core.

Soccer Drills: Practice Makes Perfect

Practice can be tedious, but daily soccer drills will make you better.  And as with any sport, you can spend a fortune on soccer skills training equipment. Resist the urge. Maybe get some soccer cones, but you can make your own soccer training center out of things you have at home.

To help you get stronger faster, we recommend the Activ5 portable training device and coaching app. Activ5 has over 100 gym-based exercises that can improve your endurance, balance, and power. Activ5 makes workouts fun, tracks your progress on a sophisticated smartphone app, and functions as a game controller. Even the Pittsburgh Steelers are using it!

Remember to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise routine.

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