Soccer is known as perhaps the ultimate team sport, but that does not mean that a player can’t work on individual skills on their own time. In fact, a lot of soccer drills are easy to do completely alone, allowing a player to take the game to the next level when others might be resting.
Whether it is a way to sneak in a quick workout at home or two focus on a specific type of skill, these are the best drills to try alone. Keep in mind that practicing alone usually falls into one of two categories: with a field, and without. That is why some of these drills do require a field and goal, while others are available to do anywhere.
Drills To Practice On The Pitch
Having access to a pitch is always ideal, as there is ample space to do any of the drills on this list. However, if there is just a limited amount of time, the focus should be on shooting drills as much as possible. Having the pitch, as well as a goal, allows for instant feedback on shots that can’t be replicated at home.
1. Side Shooting
Shooting from the side of the goal is one of the more complicated shots in soccer. Even professional players will have trouble at times, and they are continually working on ways to improve their consistency.
This is an excellent shot to practice alone, because it is more about placement than actually beating a goalie. As long as it goes in the right areas, it is likely going to go in regardless of what the goalie can do.
Make sure to practice from both sides of the goal, and varying lengths as well. It helps players hone their skills as far as putting curve on the ball and how to judge how the ball reacts.
2. One-Touch Shooting
The faster a soccer match moves, the more important it is to be somewhat consistent on one-touch shooting. It is a tough skill to master, but it is something people can practice alone to a certain degree.
If a person has access to a field and something that will allow a ball to bounce off of it, practicing one-touch shooting as possible. Anything that is movable to the pitch and has a little bit of weight to it will provide enough rebound to mimic a pass. Once the pass is made, strike the ball and work on shot control. Try going to different parts of the net to have confidence with certain angles.
3. Penalty Kicks
Who has not practiced penalty kicks at least once in their life by themselves, putting themselves in the scenario of winning the match at the end for their team? It is a very controlled shot in soccer, which means that practicing solo is pretty easy to do.
Just like with side shooting, penalties are more about putting the ball in certain locations that make it nearly impossible for goalies to stop. The only way they will be able to make the stop is if they guessed correctly.
Having the confidence to go for the corners without showing intention is something that takes time. Players should feel very confident when they step up there, and those who practice on their youth teams will be the ones who get the opportunity when it arises.
4. 25’s Dribbling
This does not necessarily require a field in all cases, but considerable space must be found. 25’s dribbling is going to help with conditioning and technical dribbling, which makes it a very well-rounded option to try out.
Cones or markers are needed about one every 5 yards. The goal is to weave through the cones using the inside of the feet in one round, and the outside on the next. Do it for time, and do multiple reps of each. There there is no such thing as practicing too much dribbling, so feel free to vary up the drill as well.
Drills To Practice Anywhere
Not everyone is going to have access to a field, but the good news is soccer practicing is relatively easy to do without one. No shot practice is possible, but working on ball control, passing, dribbling, and anything else is fine.
The important thing is to always have an open mind on new and creative drills. Some people come up with their own drills that help in a way, which is fun and exciting.
5. Kicking Against a Wall
Maybe the most straightforward work out a person can find in soccer is kicking a ball against the wall. Any wall that is pretty solid, or even a fence for that matter, can work to a certain extent. People can work on their passing and receiving skills, which come in handy throughout any match.
It takes some creativity to picture certain scenarios, but it is always worth kicking at a wall if it is available. Just make sure to use a ball that might not be particularly great, because certain walls can tear apart a ball meant for the grass or turf.
6. Triangle Drill
To excel in soccer, a player needs to have solid dribbling skills. One way to work on dribbling and cutting at the right time is the triangle drill.
To get things set up, the only thing that is needed besides a soccer ball is three different markers. Some people use cones, while others will simply find whatever they can. The goal is to cut out those markers, changing direction and trying to move along.
Even though it is called a triangle drill, there are certainly opportunities to add more than just three markers. Some people will up operate with a lot of different markers for a more extended practice. There is also the opportunity to repeat over and over again.
Some of these drills end up being similar to 25’s, but the triangle drill is for tighter spaces. That is why it is ideal in a backyard, or any small local park.
7. Header Drills
Headers might be banned in some youth leagues, but the higher the level, the more important proper header technique is. Quite a few goals are scored with a well-placed header, but it is one of the most unpracticed shots in the game.
Nothing is going to be mimicking a high-speed cross into the box, but there are header drills worth spending time on. From simply juggling to going against a wall, header drills make a lot of sense. Just finding the best spots to pull a header off can greatly improve a player’s confidence. Some people will actually stay away from headers because they do not want to deal with any pain from poor form.
8. Agility & Quickness Drills
The final drill to make this list might not necessarily only for soccer, but it helps all types of players. Defenders, in particular, need to have great movement without the ball, and coming up with a bit of an obstacle course to work on footwork makes a lot of sense.
People can use cones, ladders, balls, or anything to act as markers. Whenever a person comes face-to-face to those markers, they have to make a quick movement or cut in a different direction. The focus should be on doing this with a lot of intensity that mimics an actual match. Make sure to dig deep and bend the knees so that every cut is very pronounced.
Why Soccer Practices Alone Are Important
There is no substitute for team soccer practice, but individual skills can put a player ahead of someone else ever so slightly. It is a chance to practice the little things that can give extra confidence when playing the sport.
It is always going to be harder when an actual defender is around, but a lot of play comes down to confidence. Those who put in the extra work will have the courage for moves in the game, and they do not have to run the risk of doubting their skills when it matters most. Even professional players will do small drills at home to practice the basics and stay sharp.