Best Football Drills to do by Yourself
Fri, Mar 06.20
We’re deep into pre-season in Australia, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be putting in extra work by yourself so you can cement a starting spot in your clubs first 11.
The pros don’t stop, so we thought we’d share some of the best football drills to do on your own so you can reach new personal heights.
The best thing about these football drills? You can do them at home, in the park or at your local ground – anywhere! Check out what FC Ultras capitano Tom McGowan put together for you below!
The first football drill to do on your own is ‘toe taps’. This may seem basic but doing toe taps will take your touch and level of confidence on the ball to another level. It’s a simple but highly effective drill and an easy one to incorporate in your warmup. Remember that you can never have too many touches on the ball when you are training. Getting comfortable with the ball means once you hit the pitch a lot of the general touches that might seem basic become second nature, meaning you can focus on the next move before it’s even happened.
Start off by get as many little touches on the ball as you can for a specific period, making sure to lift your head and assess your surroundings to mimic the feeling of being in a game.
There are lots of variations you can do to make toe taps more challenging such as dragging the ball back for 5 taps then exploding forward with a good touch. Another variation is moving the ball from side to side, so you develop good close control with your instep.
Make sure not to forget the outside of your foot as well. Push the ball with the outside of your foot and then pull back with your studs. This will add a bit more control and familiarity with the outside of your foot which you’ll use more often than you might think!
Our final recommendation is adding a behind the leg element. Push the ball forward, pull it back past your planted leg then bring it forward from behind your leg. This may be challenging to start with but soon you will be comfortable with the ball anywhere in your proximity.
The beauty of this first drill is you can make it as challenging as you want. Just remember to keep your head up and scan your surroundings.
There’s a saying in football that you are only as good as your first touch. Better make sure it’s as good as it can be!
Dribbling is another crucial skill to master. For this next drill you can use cones, shoes, clothing – whatever! Just make an area of scattered obstacles on the ground to work through and around while you dribble. The closer the obstacles are together and the more obstacles there are results in a tougher drill.
Start by trying not to hit these obstacles running from one side through to the other, and then weaving in and out and around changing direction frequently and using both feet.
Remember to be light on your toes, have a gentle touch and keep your head up to know what your surroundings look like. Everything must mimic being in a game, otherwise the skills will not translate to the pitch.
Juggling is another great drill to do by yourself which will vastly improve your touch and control of the ball.
Get the ball in the air and juggle for as long as you can and when it gets too easy after a while you can start to incorporate some harder challenges.
One that the Barcelona Academy do is the two low, one high juggle. Take two touches at a low height close to the ground and then send the third up above your head and control. Repeat the process using both feet to control the ball to improve your weak foot too. The more you do this the better you will become. As you get better send the ball higher to make it that little bit tougher.
Once you get even more advance you can do things like “the ladder”. To start off with juggle the ball from your foot to your knee, then to your head, back to your knee and finally back to your foot.
If you’ve mastered that then make it a bit more advanced by doing the following order – right root, right knee, right shoulder, head, left shoulder, left knee, left foot. If you’ve turned into prime Ronaldinho and still find this one easy go from your right side and then all the way back from your left in a loop.
Once you get even more advanced you can start adding elements like “around the world” and so on.
A wall is your best friend! You don’t need anyone else to improve your passing skills. As Tom suggests, a wall is often going to be more consistent and reliable than a teammate anyway.
Practice two touch and one touch passive against a wall, making sure you control with both feet and mix between the instep and outside of your feet. Don’t forget to get your head up and scan your surroundings to mimic game moments.
When things are getting a little to easy mix it up by pinging the ball harder so you have less time to control, lengthen the distance to improve long distance passing and even add a skill/change of direction once you receive the ball and then play.
Remember all those juggling skills you’ve been practising? Another advance drill you can do is juggling against a wall. If you can master playing one two passes with a wall without the ball hitting the ground you’ve truly come a long way.
Once again, a wall (and tape) is your best friend! For improvements to shooting add some tape targets to a wall in high and low positions so you have something to consistently aim at.
Make sure when you are striking the ball at the targets you mix between weak and strong foot, and the laced and inside part of your foot so you are well rounded. To add difficulty, add a skill move with every shot.
Make sure you check our Toms video showcasing all these drills, and his final one which ties everything together, so you can fully understand each one in detail.
If you master all of these elements, you’ll be in the first 11 of your club side in no time!
If you're going to give some of the above a try to improve your game, you're going to need some basic equipment to get you started. One of which is the right football. Luckily we've got you covered with a range of mini balls, training balls or match balls if you really want to go top of the range. A pair of top quality grip socks and some boots and you're good to go.
Best of luck training!