Speed and Quickness Drills (Explosive Feet)

Fast and explosive soccer drills to get you flying through the defense. These speed drills are fun and competitive, which you and your team will enjoy.

Soccer Player Speed Dribbling Away
Soccer Player Speed Dribbling Away ○ Soccer Blade

Speed and Quickness Drill

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. 

1v1 Shooting: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 6-10
  • Length of Session:10 mins
  • Number of Players: 2+
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling, 1v1 attacking and defending, finishing
  • Equipment: balls, cones, a goal

Description: Both players face the goal and engage in a race to the ball and goal. Who can finish first? This fun game is a combination of 1v1 and shooting. 

Drill Set-up:

  • Place a cone about 25 meters away from the goal. 
  • Bring all of the balls to the cone. 
  • If you do not have a goal available, create one with cones or use a mini goal. 
  • Split players into two even teams. 
  • Have each team line up on one side of the cone. 
1V1 Shooting Soccer Drill
1V1 Shooting Soccer Drill

Drill Instructions:

  1. Have the goalkeeper (s) head to the goal. They can switch off every few times.
  2. Stand at the cone with the balls. 
  3. Pass the ball forward toward the goal. 
  4. The first player in each line should react to the pass and race to the ball. 
  5. The players should compete to see who can win the ball and finish first. 
  6. If the players are unable to finish right away and engage in a 1v1, keep the game at under 20 seconds. 
  7. Play the first team to 10 goals and then switch sides. Keep the entire activity around 10 minutes or less. 
  8. Have players start in different positions. At first, they can face forward. Then have them face sideways and backward,  or start kneeling or in a push-up position. Different starting positions help them work on power and reaction time.

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.

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. 

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.

Midfield Attacking Sequence: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Midfield Attacking Sequence
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Number of players: 4 to 16
  • Skills learned: Receiving the ball under pressure, quick passing, dribbling, and crossing
  • Equipment: 7 cones, 1 ball, and goalposts

Drill Setup

  • Half a soccer field is the perfect space for this drill.
  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • Place 1 cone near the center of the field to indicate the starting point. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards in front of the first cone, toward the goal. 
  • Place 1 cone 25 yards to the right of the second cone, toward the sideline.
  • Create a square crossing zone in front of the third cone, next to the penalty box. 
  • Set up a full-size goal. 
  • Split the team into 2 groups, with wingers and full-backs lining up on the wing and other players lining up in the center of the field. 
Midfield Attacking Sequence
Midfield Attacking Sequence

Drill Instructions

  1. P2 starts with the ball at the center field. P1 stands at the second cone with their back to the goal. 
  2. The defender (D1) stands behind P1, applying some pressure as they receive, pass, and turn, simulating an in-game midfield scenario.
  3. P1 begins the drill by playing a quick “one-two” (return pass) with P2.
  4. P1 must hold off the defender while playing the return pass. 
  5. The defender applies some pressure but doesn’t attempt to win possession.
  6. After playing the ball back to P2, P1 spins toward the goal and sprints to the penalty box. 
  7. P2 then plays a 25-yard pass to P3 next to the sideline. 
  8. P3 dribbles along the sideline into the crossing grid and crosses the ball into the penalty box toward P1. 
  9. P1 takes a shot on goal. 
  10. Rotate the defensive player every 2 to 3 rounds. 

Drill Variations

  • Switch the crossing grid to the opposite side of the field. 
  • Introduce a defender in the penalty box. 
  • Create a contest between the 2 groups to see which team scores the most goals.

Byline Attack: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Byline Attack
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Number of players: minimum 4, optimal 8 to 16
  • Skills learned: Timing, holding off defenders, off-the-ball movement, penalty box positioning, and by-line crossing
  • Equipment: 5 cones, 1 ball, and goal posts

Drill Setup

  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • Place 1 cone near the center of the field. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards in front of the first toward the goal. 
  • Place 1 cone on the edge of the penalty box, 5 yards left of center.
  • Create a 5-yard gate to the right of the penalty box in line with the edge of the area.
  • Set up goalposts (any size)
Byline Attack
Byline Attack

Drill Instructions

  1. The team lines up behind the cone at the center field. 1 attacker and 1 defender stand at the cone 5 yards from center field. 1 player stands near the sideline, parallel to the center field. 
  2. P2 starts the drill at the center field by playing a 5-year pass to P1. 
  3. P1 takes a touch to control the ball, then holds off the defender (D1) before playing a return pass to P2. 
  4. Immediately after the return pass, P1 spins the defender and makes a forward run toward the back post. 
  5. Concurrently, P3 starts their forward run along the sideline. 
  6. After receiving the return ball, P2 plays a through pass behind the gate in front of P3.
  7. P3 must time their run to ensure they don’t move through the gate until the pass from P2 is played. This simulates timing a run to beat the offside line.
  8. P3 dribbles toward the end line.
  9. When P1 reaches the cone at the edge of the penalty box, they quickly change the angle of their run and sprint toward the front post. 
  10. At the by-line, P3 crosses the ball to meet the run of P1.
  11. P1 finishes the cross inside the 6-yard box. 
  12. The main focus of this drill is timing so repeat the sequence multiple times until the players are running it smoothly.

Drill Variations

  • Switch to the opposite side of the field. 
  • Focus initially on low crosses, then headers. 
  • Adjust the angle of the attacker’s run inside the penalty box, focusing on back post runs and cutbacks.

Box-to-box Midfielder Drill: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Box-to-box Midfielder Drill
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Number of players: 8 to 16
  • Skills learned: Receiving the ball, turning with the ball, quick passing, dribbling, shooting
  • Equipment: 9 cones, at least 1 ball

Drill Setup

  • Use approximately half of the training field if possible.
  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • Place 1 cone in the center of the field to indicate the starting point. 
  • Use 2 cones to create a 3-yard gate, 5 yards from the center cone, toward the goal.
  • Place another cone 5 yards to the right at a right angle to the gate. 
  • Using 4 cones positioned 1 yard apart, create a controlled dribbling route at the edge of the penalty box.
  • Place 1 more cone 5 yards to the right at a right angle to the final cone in the dribbling zone. 
  • Set up a full-size goal if you have a goalkeeper. Or, create a mini goal using cones. 
Box To Box Midfield
Box To Box Midfield

Drill Instructions

  1. P1 starts the drill at the center of the field by playing a low, firm 5-yard pass to P2.
  2. P2 checks their shoulder before receiving the pass. 
  3. As they receive the pass, P2 opens up their body and turns 180 degrees until they are facing the goal. The touch and turn must be controlled, taking place within the gate.
  4. P2 plays a give-and-go pass to P3, continuing their run toward the goal. 
  5. After receiving the return pass, P3 accelerates toward the dribbling zone. 
  6. P2 dribbles through the cones, weaving from one side to the other, using multiple soft touches. 
  7. After passing through the dribble zones, P2 enters the penalty box and plays a give-and-go pass with P4. 
  8. P4 continues the run then shoots on goal.
  9. When the round finishes, P1 joins the P2 line, P2 joins the P3 line, and P3 joins the P4 line.

Drill Variations

  • Switch drill to the opposite side.
  • Instruct the players to work on their weaker shooting feet.

Dribble, Turn, and Shoot: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Dribble, turn, and shoot
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Number of players: 2 to 16
  • Skills learned: Dribbling, ball control, turning, skill moves, and finishing
  • Equipment: 5 cones (or agility poles), mannequin, 1 ball (minimum), and goal posts

Drill Setup

  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • Place 1 cone near the center of the field. 
  • Place 1 cone 10 yards parallel to the first, toward the sideline. 
  • Place 2 more cones 10 yards from the first 2 just outside the penalty box. 
  • Place a mannequin on the edge of the penalty box, in the center of the goal. If you don’t have a mannequin, a cone will suffice. 
  • Set up full-size goalposts.
Dribble Turn And Shoot
Dribble Turn And Shoot

Drill Instructions

  1. The team lines up at the center field behind the cone. 1 player (P2) stands at the cone on the right side of the penalty box. 
  2. P1 starts the drill by dribbling at, then around the parallel cone toward the sideline. 
  3. After rounding the cone, P1 passes the ball to P2 and then takes its original position. 
  4. P2 dribbles at, then around the cone near the edge of the penalty box. 
  5. After rounding the cone, P2 dribbles at the mannequin and uses a skill move (e.g. step over) to go around it. 
  6. P2 has a 1 v 1 with the goalkeeper. 

Drill Variations

  • Switch to the opposite side of the field. 
  • Focus on the left and right-footed shooting. 
  • If there is no goalkeeper, use small goals to improve finishing accuracy.

Double Movement Finishing: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Double movement finishing
  • Session Length: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 3 to 18
  • Skills learned: First touch, shooting, finishing from a cross, crossing, movement
  • Equipment: 1 mannequin (alternatively 1 cone or agility pole), 3 cone, 1 goal, 2 balls (minimum)

Drill Setup

  • Use the penalty box for this drill. 
  • Set up a full-size goal, even if there is no goalkeeper.
  • Place a mannequin, cone, or agility pole centrally on the penalty spot inside the box. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards outside the penalty box. 
  • Place 1 cone next to the goal on the end line. 
  • Place 1 cone between the right-hand sideline and the edge of the penalty box.
  • P2 stands next to the cone on the end line with a ball. 
  • P3 stands next to the cone near the sideline with a ball.
  • P1 and the rest of the players line up behind the cone outside the penalty box. 
Double Movement Finishing
Double Movement Finishing

Drill Instructions

  1. P2 starts the drill by passing the ball to P1. 
  2. P1 takes one touch to control the pass before taking a shot on goal. 
  3. P1 then makes a dummy run to the left side of the mannequin as if they are heading for the back post. When P1 reaches the mannequin, they quickly check their run, sprinting to the other side toward the front post.
  4. P3 crosses the ball to P1.
  5. P1 finishes the ball with a header, volley, or regular shot. Instruct the attackers to try to finish first-time. 
  6. P1 rejoins the end of the attacking line. 
  7. Rotate the passer and crosser occasionally.

Drill Variations

  • Switch the passing and crossing positions to the opposite side. 
  • Instruct strikers to shoot first-time on all shots.
  • Change the starting position of the strikers for different shooting angles.
  • Change the angle of the runs toward the back post. 
  • Focus on weak foot shooting.

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.

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 Relay: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 1 v 1 Relay
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Number of players: 2+
  • Skills learned: Movement, quick feet, dribbling, tackling, blocking, finishing
  • Equipment: 6 cones, 1 ball, 1 goal, 8 agility poles

Drill Setup

  • Use the penalty box and the surrounding area for this drill. 
  • Place a cone, 5 to 10 yards from the corner of the penalty box toward the sideline. This indicates the starting position.
  • Place 4 agility poles 5 yards from the cone toward the end line in a weave formation. 
  • Place another cone 5 yards from the end of the weave. 
  • Position 1 more cone in line with the first cone and the edge of the penalty box. 
  • Set up an identical drill on the opposite side of the field. 
  • Place 1 in the center of the edge of the penalty box. 
  • P1 and P2 stand at the starting cones on either side of the field. 
1 V 1 Relay
1 V 1 Relay

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, P1 and P2 sprint to, then through the agility pole weave, moving laterally outside each pole. 
  2. After completing the weave, they spring too, then around the cone near the end line before sprinting toward the final cone next to the starting point. 
  3. After rounding the final cone, both players race to win possession of the ball. 
  4. The player who gets the ball first is the attacker, making the other player the defender. 
  5. From here, they compete in a 1 v 1, with the attacker trying to score. 
  6. If you have a goalkeeper, use a full-size goal. If not, set up a small goal or create a shooting gate using cones. 
  7. Players are awarded 2 points for a goal and 1 point for dispossessing or blocking their opponent. A foul results in a 1 point deduction. 
  8. No points are awarded to either player for a miss.
  9. Repeat the drill until 1 player reaches 5 points. 

Drill Variations

  • Get creative with the agility course by adding more obstacles or sections. 
  • If you want to focus on player conditioning, consider increasing the winning points tally to 10. 
  • To add a fun twist, award point for nutmegs (kicking the ball through the defender’s legs).
  • If 1 player consistently passes through the grid faster than the other, consider lengthening their route to create a more even contest. 

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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