Middle School Soccer Drills (11, 12, 13 Years Old)

Great soccer drills for players aged 11 to 13 years old in middle school. We have a combination of drills to improve your skills and a lot of fun drills.

Practice these drills with your players at school and you can do many of them at home in your yard.

Middle School Soccer Players Training
Middle school soccer players training ○ Soccer Blade
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Middle School Soccer Drills (11, 12, 13 Years Old)

Musical Balls: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-6
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: any
  • Skills to Learn: awareness, speed, coordination 
  • Equipment: balls and cones 
  • Description: The number of balls decreases by one each round

Drill Set-up:

  • Create a large square based on the number of players you have. 
  • Give each player a ball.
  • Optional: set up a small side activity for kids to do once they are out of musical balls. 
Musical Balls Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Musical Balls Soccer Drill SoccerBlade.com

Drill Instructions:

  1. Give each player a ball at first. 
  2. Instruct players to dribble around the area using different techniques. 
  3. When you stop playing music or blow your whistle, each kid must leave their ball and find a new one. 
  4. Take away one ball. 
  5. Repeat the steps, this time one player won’t have a ball in the end. 
  6. The player without a ball must perform a simple action, like 5 jumping jacks, or they are out. 
  7. You can repeat the activity this way or take away one more ball each time the same way you would with musical chairs. 

Pass Around the Square: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 8-10+
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: 5-6 players per square 
  • Skills to Learn: passing, receiving, movement off the ball 
  • Equipment: 4 cones and 1 ball per square. 

Description: Kids must pass the ball around the square, following their passes. You can add increasingly complex versions. 

Pass Around The Square Soccer Drill
Pass Around The Square Soccer Drill

Drill Set-up:

  • Create a square using 4 cones. 
  • The square can be anywhere from 5×5 meters to 10×10 meters depending on the age and skill level of the kids. 
  • Position one kid at each cone. 
  • Place an additional player behind the player with the ball. 
  • Optional: place an additional player behind another child at a different cone. 

Drill Instructions:

  1. Child A starts with the ball. 
  2. Pass the ball to child B, who will receive the ball, and play to child C. 
  3. Each player follows their pass and waits at that cone.
  4. Instruct players to “show” for the ball by popping off the cone. 
  5. Focus on body position, opening up to receive, and play in 2 touches. 
  6. Complete the drill in both directions (clockwise and counterclockwise). 
  7. Progress to more advanced patterns. For example, add a wall pass at each corner, or have the play change to up, back, and through. 

Pass, Move, and Shuffle: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Pass, Move, and Shuffle
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Number of players: minimum of 2 as players work in pairs
  • Skills learned: first touch, passing, and quick feet
  • Equipment: 2 cones, 1 ball per pair

Drill Setup

  • Each pair of players needs 2 cones. 
  • Place 2 cones approximately 5 yards apart to create the passing lane. 
  • Create separate passing lanes parallel to these cones for each pair of players. 
  • Each pair requires 1 ball.
Pass Move And Shuffle
Pass Move and Shuffle

Drill Instructions

  • P1 stands 1 yard to the right and behind the cone, with the ball at their feet.
  • P2 stands in a mirrored position, 1 yard to the left and behind the cone, waiting to receive a pass.
  • P1 plays a firm, right-footed pass along the ground to P2. 
  • P1 then shuffles to the left side of the cone and waits for the return pass.
  • P2 takes one touch to shift the ball from the left to the right side of the cone, before playing return pass to P1.
  • P2 then shuffles back to the left side of the cone. 
  • P1  takes one touch to shift the ball from the left to the right side of the cone, before passing it to P2 
  • In the first and second rounds, allow 3 touches. In the third and fourth rounds, allow only 2.

Drill Variations

  • Switch starting positions to focus on opposite foot passing.
  • Increase the distance between players to improve passing accuracy, control, and range. For this drill, the maximum distance between players should be 15 yards.

Short Pass, Long Pass: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Short Pass, Long Pass
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Number of players: 4 to 16
  • Skills learned: first-time passing, ball control, long-distance passing, 
  • Equipment: 1 ball (per group), 4 cones (per group)
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Drill Setup

  • Create a 4 cone passing grid that spans the width of the training field. 
  • Place 2 cones 5 yards apart along the left wing sideline.
  • Place 2 parallel cones 5 yards apart along the right wing sideline.
  • Assign 4 players to the grid, with 1 player lining up next to each cone. 
  • Create as many passing grids as you need to include all players.
  • If you don’t have enough space for multiple grids, rotate groups every minute.
Short Pass Long Pass
Short Pass, Long Pass

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts by playing a quick one-two return pass with P2. 
  2. After receiving the return, P1 opens their body, taking their first touch toward P3 on the opposite wing. 
  3. P1 then plays a long pass to P3. 
  4. P1 and P2 switch positions.
  5. P3 takes the necessary amount of touches to control the pass (as few as possible).
  6. P3 plays a quick one-two return pass with P4. 
  7. After receiving the return, P3 opens their body, taking their first touch toward P2 on the opposite wing. 
  8. P3 then plays a long pass to P2. 
  9. P3 and P4 switch positions. 
  10. Repeat the drill, focusing on accurate, controlled passing, and good first touches. 

Drill Variations

  • Get players to switch sides. 
  • Focus on weak foot passing for several rounds. 
  • Get groups to compete against each other by counting how many complete passes they make within the time frame.

Pass, Layoff, and Shoot: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Pass, layoff, and shoot
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Number of players: 2 to 18
  • Skills learned: Passing, layoffs, first-time shooting
  • Equipment: 2 cones, 1 ball (minimum), 1 goal

Drill Setup

  • Use the penalty box for this drill. 
  • Set up a full-size goal. Even if there is no goalkeeper, it’s important to practice shooting in a regulation goal.
  • Place 1 cone on the edge of the penalty box near the middle. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards outside of the penalty box toward center field. 
  • P2 stands next to the cone at the edge of the box. P2 is the passer. 
  • The rest of the team line up behind P1 at the cone outside the penalty box.
  • P1 starts with the ball. 
Pass, Layoff, And Shoot
Pass, Layoff, and Shoot

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by passing the ball to P2. 
  2. P1 then sprints toward the box and calls for a return pass. 
  3. P2 plays a first-time layoff pass in front of P1. 
  4. P1 takes a touch to control the ball, before shooting on goal. 
  5. This is also a useful drill for goalkeepers. 
  6. The next player in the attacking line continues the drill after the first shot is taken. 
  7. Rotate the passer occasionally. 

Drill Variations

  • Change the starting position to practice different shooting angles. 
  • Adjust the shooting distance. 
  • Focus on first-time shooting only. 
  • Instruct the passer to chip the ball slightly, forcing the shooter to take a half volley. 

Speed Dribbling: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Speed dribbling
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 1 to 18
  • Skills learned: Dribbling quickly, dribbling over long distances, turning with the ball, fitness & conditioning
  • Equipment: 3 balls (minimum) per player, 3 cones

Drill Setup

  • The area between the edge of the penalty box and the halfway line is the perfect space for this drill. Alternatively, create a 35-yard grid. 
  • Place 1 cone on the corner of the penalty box, 1 on the other corner, and 1 on the center circle
  • Place multiple balls next to the cones positioned along the edge of the penalty box.
  • If there are enough players, divide teams into 2 groups. 
  • P1 and P2 start the drill at the penalty box cones. 
  • The rest of the players wait and watch until the round is over.
Speed Dribbling
Speed Dribbling

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, P1 and P2 dribble as quickly as they can toward the center circle. 
  2. The players should focus on taking big touches, and playing the ball ahead of themselves so they can move quickly. However, they must also maintain control of the ball. 
  3. When they reach the center circle or the cone on the halfway line, the players stop the ball dead.
  4. P1 and P2 then sprint back to the starting position and get a second ball. 
  5. Repeat the drill until each player has left 3 balls in the center. 
  6. When the round is over, return the balls to the starting point. 
  7. The next 2 attacking players begin the second round on the coach’s signal. 

Drill Variations

  • Create a competition between the groups to see who can complete each round the fastest. 
  • Focus on the right foot dribbling only for a round. 
  • Focus on left foot dribbling only for a round.
  • Limit the number of touches a player can take between the starting point and the center.

Zig-Zag Dribbling: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Zig-Zag Dribbling
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 1 to 18
  • Skills learned: Ball control, dribbling, turning, accelerating with the ball.
  • Equipment: 1 ball (minimum), 4 cones

Drill Setup

  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • Create a zig-zag grid by placing 4 cones 10 yards apart in a lightning bolt formation.
  • All players line up behind P1 at the starting point. 
  • If there are 6 or more players, consider setting up an identical zig-zag grid, and splitting the team into 2 groups. 
Zig Zag Dribbling
Zig Zag Dribbling

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by dribbling at speed toward the second cone. 
  2. P1 decelerates and rounds the cone as quickly as possible before dribbling to the third cone. 
  3. Again, P1 decelerates and rounds the third cone before dribbling toward then around the final cone. 
  4. P1 repeats the drill from the opposite angle. 
  5. The focus should be on sharp but controlled turns. 
  6. Instruct players to trap the ball as they turn, avoiding it from running away from them. 
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Drill Variations

  • Focus on the right foot dribbling only for a round. 
  • Focus on left foot dribbling only for a round.
  • For advanced dribblers, instruct them to practice chopping the ball with their heel for a round.
  • Create a competition between teams or individuals to see who can complete the drill the quickest. Consider introducing time penalties for losing control of the ball.

Advanced Dribbling: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Advanced Dribbling
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 1 to 18
  • Skills learned: Ball control, dribbling, turning, skill moves.
  • Equipment: 1 ball (minimum), 18 cones, 2 mannequins, 4 agility poles

Drill Setup

  • Use the width of the training field for this drill.
  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • The distance between each piece of equipment should be relative to the space you have. 
  • Ensure there are at least 5 yards between each 2-cone dribbling gate. 
  • If you don’t have a mannequin, use a cone, agility pole, or player. 
  • If you don’t have agility poles, use cones. 
  • All players line up behind P1 at the starting point. 
Advanced Dribbling
Advanced Dribbling

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by dribbling from the first cone to then around the second. 
  2. P1 then completes the cone weave before rounding the next cone. 
  3. P1 dribbles at the mannequin and completes a skill move (e.g. stepover) before dribbling around it.
  4. P1 then completes the zig-zag portion of the grid, focusing on controlled turns. 
  5. Taking large but controlled touches, P1 dribbles through the gates at speed before rounding the next cone. 
  6. P1 in and out between the agility cones, turning sharply and as close to the poles as possible. 
  7. P1 finishes the round by completing a skill move to beat the mannequin, then dribbling through the finishing line gates. 
  8. P2 then starts their round. 

Drill Variations

  • Focus on controlled dribbling to start with no emphasis on speed. Once players are used to the route, increase the emphasis on speed. Allow the next player in line to start 5 seconds after the player ahead of them. 
  • Time all players and create a competition to see who can get the best time. 
  • Divide the team into 2 groups. Create competition by timing how long it takes for all players from each team to complete the drill. 
  • If you have time, run a best-of-3 time trial competition. 

Agility Passing Weave: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Agility Passing Weave 
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 5 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: Sprinting, changing direction, back peddling, 1-touch passing
  • Equipment: 5 cones, 4 balls

Drill Setup

  • Create a square grid using cones positioned 5 to 10 yards apart. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards perpendicular to any corner of the grid to indicate the starting point. 
  • 4 players stand 5 yards outside each corner of the grid. Each of these players has a ball at their feet. 
  • P1 and any remaining players line up behind the starting cone.
Agility Passing Weave
Agility Passing Weave

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, P1 sprints to, then around the first cone and faces P2.
  2. P1 calls for the ball. 
  3. P2 plays a quick give-and-go pass with P1. 
  4. P1 sprints, then around the next cone, repeating the process until they complete the entire square grid. 
  5. The next player may begin when P1 reaches the second cone. 
  6. Rotate player roles occasionally, giving all players a chance to complete the drill.
  7. The focus of this drill is quick movements. Sharp turns to simulate getting free from a defender to receive a pass.
  8. Encourage players to be vocal, calling for a pass as they would in a real game scenario. 

Drill Variations

  • Focus on the players’ left and right feet each round, ensuring they practice with both.
  • Instead of a give-and-go pass, practice headers, volleys, or chest control.
  • Increase the passing distance for higher-skilled players.
  • Create competition by timing each player’s round.

Pass, turn, & shoot: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Pass, turn, & shoot
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 2 to 18
  • Skills learned: Passing, turning, & shooting
  • Equipment: 2 balls, 2 cones, 1 goal

Drill Setup

  • Use the penalty box for this drill. 
  • Set up a full-size goal. Even if there is no goalkeeper, it’s important to practice shooting in a regulation goal.
  • Place 1 cone centrally on the edge of the penalty box.
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards from the first, toward the center of the field. 
  • P2 stands at the cone on the edge of the penalty box.
  • P1 and the rest of the players line up at the other cone. 
  • P1 begins with the ball at their feet.
Pass Turn And Shoot
Pass Turn and Shoot

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by playing a low, hard pass to P2.
  2. P2 takes a touch to control the ball then turns toward the goal. 
  3. P2 sets the ball in front of them and shoots at goal. 
  4. This drill focuses on technique. Instruct players to work on precision passing, great first touches, and accurate shooting. 
  5. P1 collects their ball, gives it to the next player, and joins the end of the line.
  6. P1 takes P2’s original position and the next player in line continues the drill.

Drill Variations

  • Instruct players to turn to their right and left to focus on shooting from both sides. 
  • Instruct players to focus on power shots for a round. 
  • Set accuracy targets, instructing players to aim for specific targets on goal, such as the bottom and top corners. 
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Quick Fire Passing Drill: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Quick Fire Passing Drill
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 2 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: One touch passing, first touch, lateral movement, give-and-go passing
  • Equipment: 1 ball (per pair), 3 cones

Drill Setup

  • Divide the team into pairs.
  • Each pair operates in a small grid consisting of a 3-yard, 2-cone gate, and a perpendicular cone, 3 yards from the gate.
  • Each player takes turns being the focus of the drill. 
  • P1 begins in the center of the gate. 
  • P2 begins with the ball at their feet at the perpendicular cone. 
Quick Fire Passing
Quick Fire Passing

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, P2 starts the drill by playing 2 return passes to P1.
  2. P1 then shuffles to the right side of the right-hand cone to receive the next pass. 
  3. P2 passes the ball when P1 reaches the outside of the cone. 
  4. P1 takes 1 touch (if possible), taking the ball back toward the center of the gate. 
  5. P1 passes the ball to P2.
  6. P2 plays 2 return passes to P1. 
  7. P1 shuffles to the left side of the left-hand cone to receive the next pass. 
  8. After receiving the pass, P1 takes 1 touch, taking the ball back toward the center of the gate. 
  9. P1 and P2 continue the process for 1 minute then switch roles. 
  10. Each player performs at least 3 rounds of the drill. 

Drill Variations

  • To add a conditioning focus to the drill, consider increasing the working time or the number of rounds. 
  • Create competition by tracking the number of mistakes (extra touches, misplaced passes, performing the drill incorrectly, etc.). The team that commits the least number of mistakes wins. 

Progressive Passing Drill: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Progressive passing drill
  • Session Length: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 10 to 12
  • Skills learned: Passing, movement, awareness, 
  • Equipment: 6 cones, 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • Create a 20-yard, 4-cone square grid. Split the grid into 2 sections using 2 more cones.
  • Elect 8 players to perform as attackers, and 2 as defenders. 
  • P1 and P2 stand outside the grid on one end, with P3 and P4 outside the grid on the other end. 
  • P5 and P6 begin inside the grid on one side, with P7 and P8 on the other side. 
  • D1 occupies the same space as P5 and P6. D2 occupies the same space as P7 and P8.
Progressive Passing Drill
Progressive Passing Drill

Drill Instructions

  • Throughout this drill, all players must stay in their designated spaces.
  • Players cannot pass the ball through any section. The ball must travel through each individual section to score. 
  • On the coach’s signal, P1 starts by playing the ball to P5 or P6. 
  • P5 and P6 work together to play the ball into the next section to P7 and P8. They can play the ball back to P1 and P2 to recycle possession.
  • When P7 and P8 receive possession, they work together to play the ball to P3 and P4. They can play the ball back to P5 and P6, but not back to P1 and P2.
  • D1 and D2 (in black) tackle, block, and try to regain possession. 
  • If the defenders win back the ball, the attackers must restart with P1 and P2. 
  • Each time the attackers successfully play the ball from one side to the other, they score a point. 
  • Run the drill for 2 to 3 minutes then rotate player roles. 

Drill Variations

  • Add an extra defender to both center sections. 
  • Create competition by tracking how many points each group scores. 
  • Reduce or increase the size of the grid to accommodate players’ skill levels. 
  • Limit the number of touches per player inside the grid. 
  • If attacking players are struggling, instruct the defenders to play passively with no tackling. 
  • This drill is designed for 10 to 12 players but it can be scaled up or down depending on numbers. Consider increasing the size of the grid if you have a large training squad. 

1 v 1 Mini-Game: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 1 v 1 Mini-Game
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Number of players: 2
  • Skills learned: Passing, dribbling, defensive positioning, tackling, finishing
  • Equipment: 10 cones, 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • Create a 10 to 15-yard square playing grid, placing 1 cone on each of the 4 corners, and using 2 cones to mark the halfway point on either side. 
  • Create 2 x 3-yard goals using cones. 
  • P1 begins at 1 goal with the ball at their feet, while P2 begins at the other goal. 
1 V 1 Mini Game
1 v 1 Mini Game

Drill Instructions

  1. The drill begins on the coach’s signal. 
  2. P1 dribbles toward P2’s goal and tries to score. P2 can defend whatever way they choose, either pressing the ball aggressively or protecting their goal more conservatively. 
  3. If the defender wins the ball, they have 3 seconds to score a goal on a counterattack. 
  4. The round is over if either player scores, if the ball goes out of play, or if the 3-second counterattack is unsuccessful.
  5. The drill is then reset. After every round, the players switch roles, altering who starts with the ball.
  6. The first player to score 5 goals wins.

Drill Variations

  • Increase the winning goal tally to improve player fitness. 
  • Set a time limit for the attacking player to score. 
  • Increase or decrease the size of the playing grid. 
  • Consider adjusting the points system, rewarding players for tackling, or doubling points for counterattack goals. 

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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