Best Soccer Drills (Soccer Blade’s Favorites)

This is a collection of the best soccer drills. After playing hundreds of drills, considering the fun, game-play, and team involvement we have selected this list of drills that you’re sure to love.

The first set of drills are fun warm-up drills and then there are friendly competitive drills for the whole team to enjoy – they are a great way to bond as a team.

Players Kicking Soccer Balls In A Drill
Players Kicking Soccer Balls In A Drill ○ Soccer Blade

Best Soccer Drills

Hungry Hippos: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-6
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: up to 20
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling at speed, keeping head up
  • Equipment: a lot of soccer balls, pinnies, and small goals are optional 
  • Description: Two teams compete to see who can bring the most balls back to their area. 

Drill Set-up: 

  • Split the kids into two even teams. 
  • Give each team pinnies to distinguish. 
  • Create a large rectangle with a small zone on each end. 
  • Place all of the balls in the center of the space. 
Hungry Hippos Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Hungry Hippos Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com ○ Soccer Blade

Drill Instructions:

  1. Place each team at either end of the rectangle. 
  2. Each team can send one player at a time to go retrieve a ball and dribble it back. 
  3. Optional: add a mini goal. The player must shoot the ball into the small goal to earn it for their team. 
  4. If a player goes out of bounds, they must put the ball back in the middle and go back to their team for a new player to go.
  5. Perform as a race until all the balls are gone. 

Passing Rondo: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Passing rondo
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 6 to 18
  • Skills learned: Quick passing, first touch, quick feet, interceptions
  • Equipment: 1 ball (per group)

Drill Setup

  • This drill requires just 1 ball. 
  • Divide the team into groups of 6.
  • Assign 1 player per group to begin as the defender. 
  • The other players form a circle approximately 3 to 5 yards wide around the defender.
  • P1 begins the drill with the ball at their feet.
  • If you have more than 6 but less than 12 players, scale the drill to accommodate the number of players you have.
Passing Rondo
Passing Rondo

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by passing the ball to a teammate. 
  2. The attacking players then try to keep possession through quick passing. 
  3. Instruct attacking players to hold their general positions to maintain the circle size.
  4. D1 attempts to intercept the passes and gain possession. D1 can also press and tackle. 
  5. When D1 wins the ball, the attacking payer responsible for losing possession switches with D1.
  6. If an attacking player plays a bad pass that strays outside the circle, they must switch with D1.
  7. The process is repeated for several minutes. 

Drill Variations

  • Expand the circle size and use 2 defenders. 
  • Limit the number of touches attacking players can take. 
  • Set pass completion targets and instruct players to count consecutive passes.

Soccer Tennis: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Soccer Tennis
  • Session Length: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 2 to 16
  • Skills learned: Heading, ball control, first touch
  • Equipment: 1 ball, 1 net, 4 cones per match 

Drill Setup

  • Soccer tennis can be played 1 v 1, 2 v 2, or 3 v 3.
  • Each court is 15 yards long and 10 yards wide. The net is 1 to 1.5 yards high.
  • Depending on the number of players, you can set up multiple courts. 
  • Decide on the type of match-ups to run and divide the players into teams if necessary.
Soccer Tennis
Soccer Tennis

Drill Instructions

  1. A match starts with a serve from behind the baseline, outside of the court. Players serve by kicking, heading, or striking the ball with any body part other than the arms or hands. 
  2. For a serve to be legal, the ball must pass over the net and touch the opponent’s half of the court or an opposition player.
  3. Like tennis, the objective is to score points by bouncing an unreturnable shot into your opponent’s half. 
  4. The team that scores always takes the next serve.
  5. The ball may skim the net on the way over. 
  6. If a player touches the net, a point is awarded to the other team.
  7. Each team has a maximum of 5 touches to return the pass. Each player can take a maximum of 2 consecutive touches. 
  8. The ball can bounce once per play.
  9. A set is won when a team reaches 11 points. However, a team must win by 2 clear points.
  10. If a team reaches 15 points, they win the set, regardless of the points difference.

Drill Variations

  • Create a tournament. Consider doing 1 v 1, 2 v 2, and 3 v 3 tournaments. 
  • Reduce the number of touches per team. 
  • Limit individual touches to 1.
  • Shorten the court and play head tennis only. 
  • Play the best of 3 sets to determine the winner.
  • Create a rule where all players on a team must touch the ball before it can be returned.

2 v 2 Possession Squares: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Ages: 12 to 18+
  • Drill Name: 2 v 2 Possession Squares
  • Session Length: 5 to 8 minutes
  • Number of players: minimum of 4 players, broken into groups of 2
  • Skills learned: Agility, first touch, quick passing, tackling, and pressing
  • Equipment: 4 cones, 1 ball per pair

Drill Setup

  • Position 4 cones 10 to 15 yards apart to form a square. 
  • Divide the team into pairs. 
  • 2 teams take their place in the square while the other pairs wait outside. 
2 V 2 Possession Squares
2 V 2 Possession Squares

Drill Instructions

  1. The coach selects one team to start with the ball and one team to defend. 
  2. The game goes live once the first pass is played. 
  3. The team in possession tries to keep the ball by passing and dribbling. 
  4. The defending team attempts to win back possession through tackling or intercepting. 
  5. If the defending team wins the ball back, they attempt to keep possession from their opponents. 
  6. The first team to make 5 consecutive passes wins. 
  7. The winning team begins the next round in possession. A new pair replaces the losing team, beginning the round as the defenders. 
  8. If neither team wins after 60 seconds, the round is over and 2 fresh teams enter the square. 

Drill Variations

  • The number of players per team can be extended up to 11. The square should be made larger to accommodate additional players. 
  • If players are struggling to retain possession, consider changing the dynamic to a 3 v 2 or 4 v 2. The team of 3 starts in possession. As soon as they lose the ball, the round is over and a new 3 v 2 matchup is made.

Channel Possession: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Channel Possession
  • Session Length: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Age Group: 12+
  • Number of players: 10 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: Passing, movement, positioning, counter attacking 
  • Equipment: 10 cones, 1 ball, 2 goals 

Drill Setup

  • Use approximately half the length and the full width of the field for this drill. 
  • Extend the penalty box lines by placing cones all the way from the edge of the penalty box to the halfway line (or end of the playing field). This creates 3 separate sections (1 left, 1 center, and 1 right).
  • Set up 2 goals. If you have goalkeepers, use full-size goals. If not, small goals are fine.
  • Divide the team into groups of 5 outfield players. 
  • 5 attackers and 5 defenders occupy either end of the field. 
  • If you have goalkeepers, assign 1 goalkeeper to each team.
Channel Possession
Channel Possession

Drill Instructions

  1. The objective of this drill is to score against the opposition. However, the attacking team can only score if they have at least 1 player in every section. This encourages players to create space and use the entire width of the field. 
  2. The defending team must stay in the center section. 
  3. Encourage attacking players to switch the play where possible, creating space on the wings. Attackers can rotate positions freely. 
  4. If the defenders win possession, they are now the attacking team. They should counterattack quickly to score while the opposition is out of position. However, they must adopt the same rules, meaning they must have at least 1 player in every section to score. 
  5. The first team to score 3 goals wins. 

Drill Variations

  • Scale this drill up or down depending on the number of available players. 
  • Set time limits to score when teams are in possession. 
  • Set a minimum number of consecutive passes before a team can score. 

2 v 2 Inside The Box: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 2 v 2 Inside The Box
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 8 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: Marking, tackling, and blocking
  • Equipment: 1 ball, 1 goal

Drill Setup

  • This drill takes place in the penalty box. 
  • If you have a goalkeeper, set up a full-size goal. If not, create a small 5-yard goal using cones.
  • Split the team into pairs. 
  • 1 pair is designated as the defensive team (D1 + D2) and another as the attacking team (P1 + P”). 
  • D1 + D2 and P1 + P2 begin the drill inside the penalty box. 
  • The attackers start with their back to goal. 
  • The defenders mark them appropriately. 
  • At least 3 players from the remaining groups line up outside the penalty box, one of them starting with the ball. 
2 V 2 Inside The Box
2 V 2 Inside The Box

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, the game goes live. 
  2. P1 and P2 attempt to get free to receive the ball from the player outside the box. 
  3. D1 and D2 mark the attackers closely, trying to stop them from receiving the outside pass. 
  4. The attackers and defenders must stay inside the box. 
  5. When the attackers receive the ball, they work together and try to score. 
  6. The defenders attempt to stop them. 
  7. The attackers can pass to the players outside the penalty box to recycle possession. 
  8. The players outside the penalty box cannot shoot or score. 
  9. The round is over if the attackers score, shoot the ball wide or over the crossbar, or if the defenders win possession.
  10. The pair that wins the round continues as the defensive team.

Drill Variations

  • Create a time limit for each round. 
  • Limit the number of times the attackers can recycle possession with the outside group.
  • Add a third attacker to make things difficult for the defense.

Piggy In The Middle: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Piggy In The Middle
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Number of players: 9 to 18
  • Skills learned: Passing, movement, positioning, blocking 
  • Equipment: 8 cones, 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • Create a 10-yard, 4-cone square grid. 
  • Split the grid into 3 even sections using the remainder of the cones. 
  • Divide the team into groups of 3. 
  • 3 groups participate at a time. 
  • 2 groups are designated as attackers, occupying the sections on either end of the grid. 
  • 1 group is designated as the defender and occupies the middle section. 
  • The attackers begin with the ball. 
Piggy In The Middle
Piggy In The Middle

Drill Instructions

  1. The objective of this drill is for the attackers to successfully pass the ball from one side of the grid to the other. However, all players must stay inside the section they are assigned to.
  2. Each trio of attackers can play a maximum of 3 consecutive passes inside their section before they must attempt to switch play to the opposite side. 
  3. If the defensive group wins possession, they switch with the group at fault. 
  4. If an attacking player misplaces a pass outside of the grid, their team must switch with the defensive group. 
  5. The team that successfully switches the play on 5 consecutive occasions is the winner. 

Drill Variations

  • Create a competition to see which group can win 3 separate games. 
  • Limit the number of touches per player. 
  • Set a time limit for players to keep the ball inside their section. 
  • Allow 1 defender to enter either attacking grid while that group is in possession.

4v4 to Mini-Goals (no GK): Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-10
  • Length of Session: 3 min games, up to 15 mins
  • Number of Players: 6,8,10
  • Skills to Learn: game decisions, passing vs. dribbling, 1v1 situations
  • Equipment: regular cones, mini-goals/pug goals or large cones, pinnies, or different colored shirts

Description: Allow kids to compete in 4v4 small-sided games up to 3 mins long. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Set up the field based on the age of players. For younger players, 4-6, make a field about 15x 20 meters. For older groups, make the field a bit larger. 
  • Set up multiple fields if you have a large group. 
  • Use cones to create the outline of the field. 
  • Set up either mini-goals, pugg goals, or large cones as the goals. 
  • Split the players into even teams of 4, and give each team a color. 
4V4 Mini Goals Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
4V4 Mini Goals Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com

Drill Instructions:

  1. Play 3 min games to the mini-goals. 
  2. Define how players earn points. You can create unique rules to shift the focus and practice different things. For example, you could make a 1-touch finish worth 2 points for older kids. 
  3. Keep the simple focus for kids 4-6, emphasizing taking the ball from the other team but not your team. Also, guide them to stay spread out and communicate. 
  4. For older kids, emphasize decision-making between passing and dribbling. 
  5. You can also use larger goals and add a GK for older kids, ages 9-10.

3 v 3 Quick Rotations: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 3 v 3 Quick Rotations
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Number of players: 9 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: Transitional defending, quick attacking, passing, movement
  • Equipment: 6 cones, 2 mini goals, 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • Create a 20-yard long, 10-yard wide, cone grid as your playing field. 
  • Set up 2 mini goals, with one on either end of the field. 
  • Divide the team into groups of 3. 
  • 2 groups compete against each other at a time. 
  • The other groups wait in line outside the playing grid.
  • Designate 1 team as the attackers and 1 as the defenders. 
3 V 3 Quick Rotations
3 V 3 Quick Rotations

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, the attacking team tries to score on their opponents, using quick passing, movement, and dribbling. 
  2. The defenders try to stop them from scoring and attempt to win possession. 
  3. As soon as the ball is turned over, the defenders become the attackers. 
  4. The next group in line quickly enters the playing field to defend against the attack.
  5. The previous attackers leave the field and wait for their turn to play again. 
  6. All players on the sideline must pay attention to the live game, ensuring they get into their defensive positions as quickly as possible. 
  7. The drill recycles naturally, round after round. 
  8. Coaches should stop playing occasionally to offer players instructions or advice.  

Drill Variations

  • Set a scoring time limit for the team in possession
  • Limit individual touches to 2 or 3 per possession. 
  • Mark a small area next to each goal. Players can only score from inside this zone. 
  • Set scoring targets for attackers. 

4 Goal, 3 V 3: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 4 Goal, 3 V 3 
  • Session Length: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Age Group: 12+
  • Number of players: 6 to 18
  • Skills learned: Range of passing, movement, first touch, and interceptions 
  • Equipment: 4 goals, 1 ball 

Drill Setup

  • Use a quarter of the training field for this drill.
  • Set up 2 small goals on one end of the field and 2 small goals on the other.
  • Position the goals next to the sidelines.
  • The goals should be approximately 5 yards wide. 
  • Divide the team into groups of 3.
4 Goal 3 V 3
4 Goal 3 V 3

Drill Instructions

  1. This drill is essentially a 3 v 3 game but each team can score 2 different goals.
  2. The focus of the drill is on different ranges of passing, teamwork, movement, and positioning. 
  3. When in possession, a player has a maximum of 3 touches (including a pass).
  4. The defending team may not tackle. They can intercept or block passes to gain possession.
  5. As the goals are small, players are encouraged to get as close to the goal as possible before shooting. 
  6. The first team to score 3 goals wins. 
  7. The winning team stays on to compete against the next group.

Drill Variations

  • Limit the number of touches to 2 or 1. If the players struggle, increase the number of permitted touches until they start to improve. 
  • Increase the number of players per team. 
  • Allow tackling. 
  • Introduce a minimum number of passes before a team is allowed to score.

4 v 4 End Line Playmaking: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 4 v 4 End Line Playmaking
  • Session Length: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 8 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: Positioning, give-and-go passing, movement, finishing
  • Equipment: 6 cones, 1 ball, 4 mini goals

Drill Setup

  • Create a 20-yard long, 15-yard wide, cone grid as your playing field. 
  • Place 2 goals near the corner flags on either end of the field. 
  • Divide the team into groups of 4. 
  • 2 groups compete against each other at a time. 
  • Each group must elect 1 player to stand between the opposition’s goal posts along the end line. The rest of the players are free to move around as they please. 
  • The coach chooses a team to start in possession.
4 V 4 End Line Playmaker
4 V 4 End Line Playmaker

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, the game goes live and the teams compete in a regular 4 v 4 game.
  2. The goal of the drill is to outscore the opposition. 
  3. The players standing between the posts can move along the end-line but may not move onto the field or past the goalposts. They are not allowed to score.
  4. A team may only score if they play 2 passes through their end-line player in a single possession. The passes don’t have to be consecutive. 
  5. Encourage players to make give-and-go passes and create patient buildup play, simulating real game scenarios. 
  6. The first team to score 5 goals is the winner. 
  7. Mix up teams after each game. 
  8. If you have enough players, create multiple teams and rotate them between games. 

Drill Variations

  • Create a tournament if you have enough players.
  • Set a minimum pass to rule before teams can score. 
  • Limit individual touches to 2 per possession. 
  • Consider increasing the mandatory number of passes to the end-line players before a team can score. 

4 v 4 Penalty box Drill: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 4 v 4 Penalty box Drill
  • Session Length: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Age Group: 12+
  • Number of players: 8 (minimum), 1 goalkeeper (optional)
  • Skills learned: Short passing, playing in tight spaces, teamwork, finishing
  • Equipment: 4 cones, multiple balls, 4 mini goals, 1 goal

Drill Setup

  • The penalty box is a perfect space to run this drill. 
  • This is a 4 v 4 drill but works even better with an additional goalkeeper. 
  • This drill is played predominantly across the penalty box. 
  • Set up 4 mini goals, placing 2 on each side of the penalty box. 
  • If you have a goalkeeper, set up 1 regular goal on the end line. If not, use another mini goal for the end line. 
  • Divide the team into groups of 4. 
  • 2 groups compete against each other at a time. 
  • The coach begins with the ball.
4 V 4 Penalty Box
4 V 4 Penalty Box

Drill Instructions

  • The coach starts the drill by kicking the ball onto the field. They can choose to play the ball into space, between 2 players, or in the air. 
  • The P team attempts to score in G1 and G2. The D team attempts to score in G3 and G4. 
  • Once a team scores in a particular goal, it becomes inactive and they must now try to score in the other one. 
  • When a team scores in both of the mini goals, they must then score in the end-line goal to win the game. 
  • When the ball goes out of play or the team scores, the coach restarts the game by kicking another ball onto the field. 
  • Mix up teams after each game. 
  • If you have enough players, create multiple teams and rotate them between games. 

Drill Variations

  • Limit individual touches to 2 per possession. 
  • Create a tournament if you have enough players.
  • Increase the number of goals each team has to score to win. 
  • Create a rule where each time a team scores, the scorer must leave the game. This creates mismatches, increasing the emphasis on positioning and teamwork.

Soccer Blade has more than 100 drills – for more go to our soccer drills page. If you need equipment for your soccer drills, check out our soccer equipment page.

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