Some of the best soccer players in the world spend hours training. While players need talent, training is very crucial to perfect their skills. Professional soccer players spend more time in training than they do in matches.
In their free time, they perform various individual soccer drills to perfect their game. While soccer is a team game, individual brilliance is needed to win games. Are you a beginner in soccer or just want to become a pro?
This guide is aimed at educating you on the best soccer exercises to do by yourself. Nobody was born a star.
Even the greatest names in soccer like Messi and Ronaldo spend hours performing soccer drills. In the US, soccer is becoming prominent with big stars moving to end their careers there.
There is no better time than right now to start perfecting your soccer skills. Before we get started, let’s warm up with a few pieces of equipment you’ll need to start training.
Essential Equipment You Will Need
You’ll need an individual soccer training plan and a few pieces of equipment to get started. Let’s have a look at some important equipment to get.
- Soccer Goal: How else are you going to perfect your soccer shooting skills? You need a goal to train your finishing skills. Goals are easily available online and sold in pairs. A set of two goals are needed. For kids’ training at home, you can set up the goals in the backyard.
- Soccer Ball: Next, you need a soccer ball to start with. Make sure you have at least one soccer ball. If you have the funds, get different soccer ball sizes. Get balls with excellent air retention and a good warranty.
- Soccer Cones: Lastly, you’re going to need a few soccer cones for the drills. Soccer cones help mark the field and guide you on where to train.
14 Top Solo Soccer Drills
Below, I’ll discuss the top solo soccer drills that every soccer player must learn.
#1 – First Touch
The first touch soccer drill is an essential one for every player. You need to be in control of the ball as soon as you receive it. This requires a good first touch. It is a drill that involves getting the ball from teammates and passing it to another one.
You can receive the ball in the air, floor, and at various speeds and angles. You need to master controlling the first touch and quickly passing or shooting. A poor first touch can lead to loss of possession.
#2 – One-Touch Wall Pass
One-touch wall passes are essential for players to enhance their passing. They enable players to pass accurately and control balls coming at high speeds.
You need a soccer ball and a wall to perform the drill. The drill starts by slowly striking the ball into a ball. Pass the ball to the wall continuously using your foot instep without taking touches to control it.
Repeat the passes for the left and right foot, performing at least 10 sets on each foot. It is a great drill that requires you to stay on your toes. The drills enable players to react fast to fast-coming passes.
- Helps control the shape of the foot and how you hit the ball
- Improves ball control at pace
#3 – Two-Touch Wall Passes
Two-touch wall passes work similar to the one-touch wall pass, but with an additional touch to the ball. It is a drill that aims at working on your accuracy and better ball control.
With the ball and a wall, place two cones about half a meter apart. Strike the ball between the cones to the wall with your right foot. As the ball returns, trap it with the left foot and pass it to the striker zone using the right foot.
The drill helps you control balls coming at pace and distribute the same balls under pressure.
#4 – Soccer Ball Juggling
Soccer ball juggling is a straightforward and simple drill that helps improve ball control. It is one of the best self-soccer drills to perform at home. Juggling is ideal for beginners and can be done on hard or soft grass. Here’s a guide on how to soccer juggling for beginners.
The drill involves grabbing the ball and doing at least 10 ‘keep ups’ on the right and left leg. You need to keep the foot flat so that the ball can bounce smoothly. You can start with 10 juggles before increasing the number.
Once you master juggling, start mini-juggles where you move the ball between your right and left foot.
Benefits of juggling
- Helps players master ball control from high balls
- Improves the first touch
- Improves control of the ball on the pitch with quick passes and turns
#5 – High-Dropping Ball
Players hate controlling high balls coming from above. Imagine a top-speed ball falling nearly 30M from the sky at high speed. However, top players have mastered the technique of controlling such balls.
You need to throw the ball high in the sky and try controlling it using a deft touch on the instep of your foot. It aims at taking the sting out of the ball and reducing the bounce to at least a foot high.
Keep increasing the ball height as you get better with the skill. You can then incorporate the skill with a pass as you’ll be under pressure in actual matches.
Practicing the high ball drills improves your confidence in matches and when controlling high balls. It is a must-learn skill, especially for midfielders and defenders that deal with a lot of aerial balls.
#6 – Volley Wall Passes
Wall volley passes come in variations and involve taking the ball aerial as opposed to hitting along the floor. Players can employ different variations when chipping the ball into the air.
One such variation is bouncing the ball off the wall and volleying it back without taking a touch. It’s a drill that keeps you on your toes. You might need to use your instep to control the ball.
Once you master controlling and volleying the ball, try and incorporate touch into the drill. As the ball bounces, take a touch and juggle it into the air with your foot before volleying it to the wall. You need a first soft touch to control the ball.
The drills simulate a ball coming from at steep angles on the aerial and you must control it quickly. You get to master air control skills and aerial passes.
#7 – Soccer Figure of Eight
Soccer figure of eight is an individual soccer drill that all youth players must learn. It’s a drill that requires the players to run around cones with a ball. Set two cones 10 meters apart and run between them with the ball.
When you’re close to the first cone, dribble around it using the left foot, instep, or alternate. Increase your pace as you move from one cone to another.
As you dribble between the cones, you need to keep your head up. This is a great way to know where your teammates are during a game.
The drill helps players get better at running with the ball. It also helps players learn how to shield a ball around opposing players.
#8 – Tic-Tac-Toe Sprints
Tic-Tac-Toe is another exciting soccer drill that trains players to make smart decisions under pressure. It is a soccer drill that takes the classic tic-tac-toe game.
To set up and execute the play, set two cones 3 yards apart. Using more cones, create a tic-tac-toe box 10 yards from the first cone.
Teams can then be divided into two with players competing to drop pins in the grid. The two teams should have different color pinnies.
Once the first player in the team places a pinnie on the cone, he rams back and tags the next player to carry the second pin. Player two will then tap player 3 until a team gets 3 pinnies in a row.
If the game is not won, player three will run and tap player four who runs and picks a pinnie from the board and places it in the open space. The play goes on until the game is won.
#9 – Short Passing Gate Drills
Now that you know one-touch and two-touch passing, you need to learn the short passing gate drill. Here, you’ll need both feet to pass the ball through gates.
It’s a drill where you use the wall, two cones standing two meters apart, and a gate to pass the ball through. Set three gates against the wall and then practice one-touch and two-touch passes as you pass the ball through.
Make use of both feet and mix up the gates as you pass the ball. The technique passes the ball through one gate, then you collect the ball and play it through the other gates.
When practicing as a team, you need to know the positions of your teammates before passing a ball.
Overall, this is a great individual soccer drill that improves accuracy and your ability to think fast with the ball on your feet and under pressure.
#10 -Long Passing Gate Drills
Long passes in football can tear defenses and lead to goal-scoring opportunities. Practicing long gate drills requires a target zone. You’ll need to set a square five paces apart. The drill involves passing the ball to the target zone.
Your starting point will be something like 20 meters away from the square. Practice several passes to the target zone. You can make passes along the ground or in the air.
Practice the drill on both feet and at different distances. When making long passes, make sure you don’t lean back as you can lose control of the ball.
Overall, this is a drill that improves your accuracy over long distances. The drill also helps improve the player’s vision on the pitch.
#11 -Standing Shooting Drill
A standing shot soccer drill is more like a freekick. It requires placing the ball at a distance from a target zone or a goal and shooting. The drill focuses on accuracy and creating a good connection with the ball.
You’ll need your laces to get more power to the ball. When shooting, you need to follow through to add some spin and direction to your ball.
You can practice the drill in so many ways. One good example is where you put power and spin to the ball. This drill is beneficial doubling as a freekick practice. So far, this is the best drill to practice power and accuracy.
#12 – Dribbling Around the Cone
Dribbling is not just a skill for wingers and strikers. This is one of the best soccer endurance drills to get players to maintain possession.
Every player needs to know how to dribble if they are going to maintain possession. Some of the best dribbling clubs in the world keep the ball for the longest time.
You need to practice individual dribbling skills to help improve your ball control. It’s a drill that wingers must master as they need to dribble past defenders.
#13 – Diagonal Cone Dribbling/ Slaloms
Diagonal cone dribbling, also known as slaloms, are excellent drills that help improve footwork.
This is a drill that requires players to every side of their foot. You need to set up cones in a line and not more than a meter apart.
Go ahead and dribble as you weave through the cones. As you become better at weaving through the cones, reduce the distance from a meter.
This is a drill that ensures you keep the ball close to your feet. It also helps players change the play direction very fast.
#14 – Dribble, Turn & Shoot
Lastly, we have the dribble, turn and shoot where you need to master dribbling, turning, and taking a shot. To win games, you need to score goals. And this means shooting.
The drill requires dribbling through a line of cones, turning, and taking a shot toward the goal. It’s a drill that improves your finishing when running with the ball.
Soccer dribbling drills for one person are great but you need to turn and shoot towards goals. This is the only way to win games.
How Often Should I Be Training My Soccer Skills?
You should be practicing your soccer skills at least twice a week. This is away from the team practice. The more work you put into practice, the better you become.
What Is the Most Important Skill in Soccer?
The most important soccer skill is a good first touch. With a good first touch, you have better ball control and can learn other skills easier. Spend more time learning to control the ball and you’ll become better at other skills.
In some of the big leagues like the English Premier League, you will see top first touches.
What Soccer Drills Do You Do by Yourself?
You can perform various soccer drills yourself like the one-touch wall pass, two-touch wall pass, dribbling, stand shooting, and much more. Drills like ball juggling can be done by yourself.
How Can I Practice Soccer Drills at Home?
You can practice soccer drills at home by setting up your backyard with equipment.
Warm-up by stretching your muscles and jogging before starting to get a feel of the ball. Set up the cones, and goal and start practicing with the ball on the different drills.
What Are Some Good Soccer Drills?
Some good soccer drills include the first touch, short passing gate, long passing gate, stand shooting, dribbling around cones, slaloms, and shooting.
How Do You Train Individually for Soccer?
You can train individually for soccer by setting up the field and performing various soccer drills that don’t require teammates. Get different ball sizes, cones, and a goal to get started.
In summary, soccer is a sport that requires a lot of individual drills to become perfect. Apart from team practices, players need to practice on their own and perfect their skills.
There are various individual soccer drills that players must learn to become complete and all-around professionals.
Drills like a good first touch, dribbling, short passing, long passing, shooting, and receiving the ball high are a must in soccer. Get the necessary equipment and start your journey as a soccer player today.