Soccer Drills Without Goals (Skill Drills)

Practice soccer without goals with these drills. We have a great collection here to improve your skillset.

Goals can make players focus on shooting and scoring. While this is important it’s good to perfect passing, control, and dribbling so we can get to the goal.

Soccer Player Dribbling Around Cones During A Training Drill
Soccer Player Dribbling Around Cones During A Training Drill ○ Soccer Blade
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Soccer Drills Without Goals

Pass Through the Gates: Soccer Drill

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. 

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.

Fun Heading Warmup Drill: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Fun Heading Warmup Drill
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups (according to health recommendations in your area)
  • Number of players: 6 to 18
  • Skills learned: Standing and jumping headers, agility, blocking
  • Equipment: 2 balls (minimum), 4 cones, 2 agility poles

Drill Setup

  • Create a narrow gate by placing 2 cones 3 yards apart. 
  • Create an identical narrow gate 10 yards parallel from the first. 
  • Create a 5-yard gate using 2 agility poles halfway between the narrow gates. 
  • P1 starts between the agility poles.
  • Divide the rest of the team into 2 even groups. 
  • 1 group lines up behind gate 1, and the other group lines up behind gate 2.
  • The coach stands outside the playing grid next to the agility polls with multiple balls. 
Fun Heading
Fun Heading Warmup Drill

Drill Instructions

  1. P2 starts the drill by running toward the agility cones while calling for a pass from the coach.
  2. The coach throws the ball toward P2. 
  3. P2 heads the ball, attempting to score between the agility poles. 
  4. P1 tries to block the header without using their hands. 
  5. P2 then takes P1’s position between the poles and the drill is repeated from the opposite side. 
  6. This is a fun, fast-paced drill so encourage the players to enjoy themselves while working hard.

Drill Variations

  • Create a last-player standing tournament. If a player doesn’t score their header, they are out of the game. The drill continues until there is only 1 player returning. 
  • Adjust the distance between the poles to make it easier or harder to score. 
  • Divide the team into pairs and repeat the drill.

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. 

Dual Station Footwork: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Dual Station Footwork
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 1 to 18
  • Skills learned: Ball control, dribbling, quick feet, turning
  • Equipment: 4 cones (minimum), 1 ball (Cruyff station), 1 ball per player outside Cruyff station 

Drill Setup

  • This drill consists of 2 stations. 
  • Set up the Cruyff turn station by creating an inverted square, placing cones 5 yards apart. 
  • The lateral movement station is simply an open space, large enough for whatever number of players you have to work with individually. Each player requires approximately 5 yards of space. 
  • If you have 10 or more players, consider setting up multiple Cruyff turn stations. 
Dual Station Footwork
Dual Station Footwork

Drill Instructions

  1. 2 players participate in the Cruyff drill at a time (left in the image below). 
  2. P1 starts at 1 cone with a ball, while P2 starts at another cone (can’t be the opposite cone to P1).
  3. P1 and P2 start at the same time by dribbling toward their opposite cones. They must use ball control and footwork to ensure they don’t collide as they cross paths.
  4. When they reach the opposite cone, P1 and P2 do a Cruyff turn then repeat the drill from the opposite side. 
  5. All other players (right side) have a ball each and work individually in the lateral movement space. 
  6. Each player takes 2 quick, short touches to then right then stop the ball. 
  7. They then roll the ball under their foot from right to left.
  8. They then repeat the steps from the opposite side. 
  9. Rotate player roles every minute. 

Drill Variations

  • Change the type of footwork drill in the lateral movement space to focus on other skills. Keepy-uppies, stepovers, and ball drag are good alternatives for this drill.

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.

Passing Practice in Pairs: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Passing practice in pairs
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 2 to 18
  • Skills learned: Passing, volleying, heading, and ball control
  • Equipment: 1 ball, 8 cones (per group)

Drill Setup

  • Divide the team into pairs.
  • Create 2 x 4-cone grids approximately 5 yards apart for each pair. 
  • Each player stands inside their own 4-cone grid. 
  • 1 player in each pair begins with the ball.
  • There are 4 rounds in this drill. Each round covers a different variation.
Passing In Pairs
Passing In Pairs

Drill Instructions

  1. Round 1: P1 starts by playing a low pass to the feet of P2. P2 then plays a return pass to P1. Players repeat the process for 10 passes. 
  2. Round 2: P1 starts with the ball in their hands and gently lobs it toward the feet of P2. P2 volleys the ball back to P1’s hands using the inside of their foot. Players repeat the process for 5 passes then switch roles. 
  3. Round 3: P1 starts with the ball in their hands and lobs it toward P2’s chest. P2 controls the ball with their chest, then volleys it back to P1’s hands as they did in round 2. Players repeat the process for 5 passes then switch roles. 
  4. Round 4: P1 lobs the ball in the air. P2 heads the ball back to P1’s hands, jumping if necessary.  Players repeat the process for 5 passes then switch roles. 
  5. Players complete all 4 rounds 3 times.

Drill Variations

  • Focus on using weak feet for a round.
  • Increase the distance between the grids to practice different ranges of passing.

Long passing: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Long passing 
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 2 to 18
  • Skills learned: First touch, ball control, long-distance passing
  • Equipment: 1 ball, 8 cones (per pair)

Drill Setup

  • Divide the team into pairs.
  • For each pair, create 2 x 4-cone grids and position them approximately 10 yards apart. 
  • Each player stands inside their own 4-cone grid. 
  • 1 player in each pair begins with the ball.
Long Range Passing
Long Range Passing

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill by playing a direct pass to their teammate. Passes should be accurate, requiring minimal lateral movement from the receiver. However, allow the passers to vary the power and height of their passes, forcing the receiver to adjust and practice controlling the ball with different parts of their body. 
  2. Instruct the receivers to focus on taking their first touch within the grid, keeping the ball close to their body. 
  3. In the beginning, don’t limit the number of touches each player can take. Once players get used to the drill, encourage them to take a single touch to control the ball before playing a return pass.
  4. All players must complete 10 passes with their strong foot, then 10 passes with their weaker foot. 
  5. When each player completes their 10 passes on each foot, expand the size of the grid and increase the distance between players to 20 yards. Repeat the entire process at this distance. 

Drill Variations

  • For advanced players, instruct players to make chest passes for a round. 
  • For advanced players, instruct players to try landing the ball inside their teammate’s grid, without it hitting the ground beforehand. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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