Soccer Drills With Cones (Dribbling Exercises)

Use cones with your team or at home to improve your dribbling, agility, and control skills. Cones are a great way of making unique circuits.

This is a list packed with a variety of cone drills and you’ll improve from the first session. You can do them on your own, with friends and teammates.

Cones On A Soccer Field
Cones On A Soccer Field ○ Soccer Blade

Soccer Drills With Cones

Basic Cone Weave: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Basic cone weave
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 1 to 18
  • Skills learned: Ball control, dribbling, turning with the ball
  • Equipment: 1 ball (minimum), 8 cones

Drill Setup

  • This drill requires a minimum 20-yard strip along the training field. 
  • Place 1 cone to indicate the starting point of the drill. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards from the first to indicate the starting point of the dribbling weave.
  • Place a further 5 cones 1 yard apart to complete the dribbling weave section. 
  • Place the final cone 5 yards from the end of the dribbling weave. 
  • All players line up behind P1 at the starting point. 
  • If there are 6 or more players, consider setting up an identical cone weave, and splitting the team into 2 groups. 
Basic Cone Weave
Basic Cone Weave

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by dribbling toward the cone weave. 
  2. P1 then dribbles the ball inside and out between the cones until the weave is complete. 
  3. P1 then dribbles around the final cone before completing the weave from the opposite side. 
  4. After rounding the last cone in the weave, P1 passes to P2 and rejoins the end of the line. 
  5. P2 repeats the drill. 
  6. Players should focus on ball control, ensuring they don’t lose possession or trip over the cones. 
  7. Round by round, increase the emphasis on speed. 

Drill Variations

  • Focus on the right foot dribbling only for a round. 
  • Focus on left foot dribbling only for a round.
  • Focus on right-to-left dribbling for a round. 
  • Focus on left-to-right dribbling for a round.
  • Once the players are comfortable dribbling through the weave, create a competition to see which team or individual completes the drill fastest. Consider introducing time penalties for losing control of the ball.

Dribble to Sprint Square: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Dribble to Sprint Square 
  • Session Length: 3 to 5 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 1 (set up multiple grids for more players)
  • Skills learned: Sprinting, dribbling, conditioning
  • Equipment: 4 cones, 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • Create a 4-cone square grid with each cone placed 10 yards apart.
  • Place 1 ball in the center of the grid.
  • This drill works best with 1 player but 2 can participate at the same time as long as they work in opposite directions. 
  • Set up multiple grids for each player or grid.
  • This drill works well in conjunction with another team-based drill, ensuring all players are active. 
Dribble To Sprint Square
Dribble To Sprint Square

Drill Instructions

  1. Ensure all players undergo a thorough warmup before all conditioning drills to avoid injury.
  2. P1 starts with the ball at their feet in the center of the grid.
  3. P1 dribbles toward, then around a cone before leaving the ball back in the center of the grid.
  4. As soon as they stop the ball in the center, P1 sprints to the opposite cone around it and then sprint to the center grid.
  5. P1 collects the ball, turns to their right, then dribbles to the next cone, repeating the entire process. 
  6. The focus of this drill is on speed, improving the players’ conditioning. However, they must also focus on technique, maintaining control of the ball at all times. 

Drill Variations

  • Focus on the players’ left and right feet each round, ensuring they practice with both.
  • Count how many times each player completes a dribble and a sprint. Create a competition to see how many rounds players can complete. 

Pass Through the Gates: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 6-10
  • Length of Session: 10 mins 
  • Number of Players: any
  • Skills to Learn: passing, communication
  • Equipment: balls and cones, optional pinnies

Description: Players must pass the ball through a gate to their teammate to earn a point. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Set up a large space based on the number of players you have and their ages. 
  • Randomly place gates using cones. Gates should be about 3 meters. 
  • Give each player a partner.
  • Optional: use pinnies to distinguish groups. 
  • Each group of 2 gets 1 ball.
Pass Through The Gates Soccer Drill
Pass Through The Gates Soccer Drill

Drill Instructions:

  1. Kids must dribble around the area and pass through the gates to their partners. 
  2. Each successful pass through the gate earns one point. 
  3. Kids cannot go through the same gate twice in a row. 
  4. Challenge your players to see who gets the most passes in a set time or who can complete all gates first. 
  5. Keep each round to 60 seconds or less. 
  6. Challenge older players to use their weaker foot or complete the drill with smaller gates. 

Receive Pass Drag Back: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Receive pass drag back
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 2 to 18
  • Skills learned: First touch, drag back, dribbling, ball control
  • Equipment: 2 cones (minimum), 1 ball (minimum)

Drill Setup

  • This drill requires players to work in pairs. 
  • For each pair, set up 2 cones 5 yards apart. 
  • Each player stands at a cone. 
  • P2 starts with the ball.
  • P1 starts behind their cone.
  • P1 is the main focus of the drill. 
  • P2 plays the role of a passer. 
Receive Pass Drag Back
Receive Pass Drag Back

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, P1 sprints in front of the cone and calls for the pass. 
  2. P2 passes the ball to the feet. 
  3. P1 takes a touch to control the ball, then drags the ball behind the cone, shuffles to the opposite side, and plays a return pass. 
  4. Repeat the drill for 1 to 2 minutes before alternating roles. 
  5. The focus is on moving backward, then sideways while maintaining control of the ball. 
  6. The cone represents a defender, so this drill also helps players practice receiving the ball under pressure. 

Drill Variations

  • Focus on using both feet for a round. 
  • Focus on using the right foot for a round. 
  • Focus on using the left foot for a round.

Agility Assault Course: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Agility Assault Course
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 2 to 18
  • Skills learned: Quick feet, lateral movement, sprinting, deceleration, passing
  • Equipment: 6 cones, 4 agility poles, 1 hurdle, 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • You need a training space of approximately 30 square yards. 
  • Place a cone at the end of the grid to indicate the starting point. 
  • 5 yards from the starting point, place 4 agility poles 3 yards apart in a staggered formation.
  • Place a hurdle 10 yards diagonally to the left of the final agility pole.
  • Create a small square grid 10 yards diagonally to the right of the hurdle. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards from the grid. 
  • P2 stands at the cone at the end of the grid with a ball.
Agility Assault Course
Agility Assault Course

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 and the rest of the team line up at the starting point.
  2. On the coach’s signal, P1 sprints to the agility poles and quickly swerves through them, keeping their center of gravity low for fast, fluid turns. 
  3. After rounding the final pole, P1 sprints to the hurdle and hops over it then back. 
  4. P1 then sprints to the square grid and plays a quick give-and-go pass with P2.
  5. P1 shuffles to the right side of the grid, then back into it for another give-and-go.
  6. P1 shuffles to the left side of the grid, then back into it for another give-and-go.
  7. The round finishes and the next player starts.

Drill Variations

  • Create competition by timing each player’s round.
  • Instead of a give-and-go pass, practice headers, volleys, or chest control.
  • Extend the drill by increasing the distance between stages or adding extra cones, agility poles, and hurdles.

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.

1 v 1 Pass & Move: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 1 v 1 Pass & Move
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Number of players: 2
  • Skills learned: Passing, movement, dribbling, tackling, and defensive jockeying
  • Equipment: 10 cones, 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • Place 2 cones 15 yards apart, marking the starting points for both players.
  • 5 yards to either side of these cones, create a dribbling tunnel of the same length. The tunnel should be approximately 5 yards wide.
  • Place cones 5 yards apart on both sides of the tunnel to create 3 separate, evenly sized sections within it. 
  • P1 begins with the ball at their feet. 
1 V 1 Pass And Move
1 V 1 Pass And Move

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by playing a long pass to P2. 
  2. After the pass, P1 sprints through their end of the dribbling tunnel, making their way to the center section. They cannot enter the furthest section of the tunnel. 
  3. P2 receives the pass, then dribbles through the end of the dribbling tunnel. 
  4. P2 then tries to dribble past P1 and through the opposite end of the tunnel. 
  5. P1 can tackle, block, or jockey the dribbler to try and regain possession. 
  6. The round is over when P2 loses possession or successfully passes through the tunnel. 
  7. If the ball crosses either sideline of the tunnel, the round is over. 
  8. After the round, players switch roles.

Drill Variations

  • Create a competition to see who can complete the most successful dribbles in the allocated time frame. Or, create a competition to see which player reaches 5 successful dribbles first. 
  • Set a time limit for the dribblers to get through the tunnel. 
  • If the defenders have the edge over the attackers, prohibit them from entering the center section.
  • If the attackers have the edge, allow the defenders to enter all sections of the tunnel. 

Dribble Weave – Speed Ladder: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Dribble Weave – Speed Ladder
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 1 
  • Skills learned: Dribbling, quick feet
  • Equipment: 4 cones, 1 ball, 1 speed ladder

Drill Setup

  • Place a speed ladder on the ground. 
  • Set up a 4-cone dribbling weave the same length as the ladder. 
  • P1 begins at one end of the cone weave.
Dribble Weave Speed Ladder
Dribble Weave Speed Ladder

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts by dribbling through the cone weave. 
  2. When they reach the end, P1 passes the ball lightly between the cone and the ladder from one end to the other. 
  3. As soon as they make the pass, P1 sprints through the speed ladder. 
  4. P1 then collects the ball and dribbles through the cone weave, repeating the drill again. 
  5. P1 completes the drill 10 times, takes a 1-minute break, then repeats the full routine 2 more times (3 in total).

Drill Variations

  • Focus on right foot dribbling only for some rotations. 
  • Focus on left foot dribbling only for some rotations.
  • Perform different movements through the speed ladder.

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. 

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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