In order to improve your soccer skills and get better, it is important to put an effort not only during regular training sessions with your team, but when you’re off the field. These individual training activities will help you improve your technical abilities and increase your fitness level. As well as body agility and may even enhance your performance on team training sessions.
You do not need much to start. You can train inside your house or backyard, adapting the training drills you know or by looking for some online soccer courses. The truth is that you can improve most basic soccer skills working at your home. These home drills will not only upgrade your soccer abilities, but will also help you develop better knowledge and understanding of the game itself. You need only a few pieces of basic equipment, and willingness and dedication to be a better soccer player. That’s it.
What are some drills you can work on your own when you are not on the field?
Juggling is one of the most basic training exercises, which many of us started practicing as a kid. It is an excellent exercise to work on in the backyard, or even inside your house if you have enough space. Juggling will help you develop a better sense of the ball, improve your ball control and perfect your touch.
You should slowly raise the bar by making the exercise a little bit harder each time and always tend to try and learn something new. For example, try manipulating the ball in different ways: juggling the ball without spin, with side-spin, with backspin, and top spin. This will greatly enhance your ball control and the spin of the ball, which will also improve your passing game.
Here Coach Marty Schupak breaks down the fundamentals of juggling.
Source: Advanced Soccer Drills
In addition, try to juggle only with your non-dominant foot. This simple exercise will gradually improve the kicking ability of your non-dominant foot and perfect your sense for the ball.
Next in line of simple home drills, is of course dribbling. Dribbling is a great way to further improve ball control and your body coordination, as well as your agility. You can do it without any equipment, or you can step up the game with the most basic and cheap training equipment – cones.
Place three cones on the floor, forming a triangle or a straight line, about a foot apart. Then take your soccer ball, and dribble between and around the cones, keeping the ball under your control all the time. With time, you should aim to increase the speed of your dribbling and practice dribbling with different parts of your foot. That way you will become a more versatile player, who can control the ball with every part of his foot.
If not having cones, no problem. You can do this with any other similar object you find in your own home. This is one of the most fun drills you can practice outside the field, and you can get very creative with it. There are plenty of online soccer courses that can help you and give you the idea for developing your own dribbling exercises.
Here Coach Gerhard Benthin demonstrates dribbling drills you could practice on and off the field.
Source: Soccer Tips and Techniques ft. Coach Gerhard Benthin
Kicking the Ball against a Wall
This is one simple way to improve your shooting skill. If you have a garage, or a shed, or yard fence, you can use that wall to practice. Just make sure it is from hard enough material so it can endure constant kicking of the ball (and be careful not to hit any window).
Kick the ball against the wall, first with your dominant and then with your non-dominant foot. Start with standing about 2 feet from the wall, and then gradually increase your distance. Give yourself a goal of achieving 100 one-bounce kicks in a row. As you master this, raise the number.
In addition, force yourself to practice one touch shooting. One touch kicking of the ball is an extremely important skill to master. This is especially crucial for midfielders, as improving this skill allows you to react quickly without hesitation when playing the game. Sending the ball further with only one kick increases the pace of the game and improves your team’s possession game.
Push and Pull
This is maybe one of the best soccer drills you can practice in the comfort of your own home.
You can do it with the top of your foot, or the side of it. You use the bottom of your foot, the sole, and pull the ball back. After that, you almost instantly use the top or the side of your foot and push it back. You should aim to do as many repetitions and as quickly as you can. Try doing it with one, then the other foot, and also with both feet simultaneously.
Switching the ball back and forth with both your feet is a great way to practice transitioning from your left to right foot and backward. This improves your ball control and enhances your coordination and body balance. This is also the one drill that will without doubt help you improve ball control with your non-dominant foot.
This is one of the little advanced drills you can do when you are not on the field. Unlike kicking the ball against the wall, this practice is about precision and distance shot control. Shooting is not about smashing the ball with maximum power. It is about precision shots, with optimal force.
You can take some online soccer courses to help you with organizing your backyard for this exercise. Set up a goal in your backyard with some attachable targets, or set up some objects around that represent your targets. Start from small, then increase the distance. This is perfect practice for you to find adequate power for different kicks. That way you will greatly improve the precision of your shooting and passing game.
If you’d like to take it to the next level and practice more drills at home, click here!