Soccer Drills: The Top Three Things to Focus On when Developing Footwork
Soccer Drills: The Top Three Things to Focus On when Developing Footwork with and without cones
There are so many proved and practiced ways and theories to develop soccer skills. Not only do they change from coach to coach, the methods that are most efficient change also from player to player. What may work for someone can have hardly any effect on someone else. No player is the same.
However, one thing is true: to develop your footwork, it takes practice—a lot of it.
You might be feeling overwhelmed with all the types of drills out there to work on and train with that you might not know which to focus on. To help with that dilemma, here are the top three things that you should be focusing on to develop your footwork:
Soccer Juggling Drills
Juggling or keep ups, is when you keep the ball up in the air as long as you possibly can without it hitting the ground. You can use all body parts aside from your hands to keep the ball up.
This is the foundation of your footwork. Being able to be comfortable with getting touches on the ball is important when learning how to best trap the ball and the relationship between your foot and the ball—how it reacts to how you move, etc.
When juggling, first start off with bouncing the ball in between touches, so you have more time to adjust your body. As you progress, move on to no bounces, focusing on using both feet, and all parts of your body. When you're using your feet—aim for the laces of your shoes and try and get the ball spinning backward toward you with every touch.
Soccer Passing Drills
From extremely short passes to one or two-touch passes, passing the ball back and forth with someone or with the wall can help you work on your first touch and getting your passes heading the right direction.
Practice using both feet when you pass and trap the ball and also vary the distances. As you lengthen the distance of your passing, you can also work on passing the ball in the air—which will help with trapping, as well.
Soccer Cone Drills
Used to focus on your dribbling skills, cone drills can be used to primarily work on getting quality ball control.
Easy to set up, you can use cones, Barbie dolls (what I used when I was younger), cans, shoes, anything around. Keep the ball as close to you as possible while dribbling, maintaining as much control as you can. Use both feet when training, and various parts of the foot—instep, sole, outside, etc.
Most important of them all is to practice. To be a high-quality soccer player, you have to put in the hours necessary until you feel much more comfortable with the ball. The best part about it is—you can really never be a “master” of it. There are always ways to improve—your non-dominant foot, using a certain part of your foot, etc.
Written By: Adriana Rodrigues is a professional soccer player and a coach. She has over twenty years of experience in soccer after having played in a Division 1 University and has represented two national teams, both Brazil and Portugal.