If you are passionate about soccer, then you will want to do everything you can to be the best player that you can be.
This includes improving your skills, taking time to practice and working on some ball control and footwork drills whilst at home!
To be a great soccer player, you will need to not only go to your team’s practice sessions, or play in matches, but you also need to be training at home.
You truly can hone your skills anywhere...whether it is in the backyard, in the street or on your driveway, you can practice your soccer ball control and technique wherever you are.
Luckily, we have created a guide of the 10 best soccer ball control and footwork drills to do at home, so that you can improve as a player, whilst working on your footwork and ball possession at the same time!
10 Soccer Ball Control Drills and Footwork Drills
Developing your control over the ball, possession and touch is vital in improving your soccer skills.
Soccer is one of those sports where there is always room for improvement, and practice makes perfect! Once you have got that technique down, there will be no stopping you.
By trying out a few of these 10 ball control drills, you will simultaneously work on your balance, speed, power, agility and dexterity, by finetuning your craft and soccer skills.
These drills will not only help you increase your accuracy, footwork and control over the ball, they are also fun, and improve your strength as a player.
So, let’s get you really upgrading those skills, boosting your confidence, and finetuning your technique with our soccer ball control drills!
1. Target Practice
The first drill is target practice. This drill will need to be done with a wall so that you have something to aim at.
By partaking in this drill, you can enhance your striking skills, improve your accuracy and work on hitting your targets every time.
The best way to work on your target practice is to visualize a place on the wall, or a particular spot on the wall. Try finding a marker, or using something to mark out the target that you want to hit.
Then, stand back from the wall and begin hitting the ball at the target either striking with your laces, or trying a placement shot with the inner part of the foot.
For target practice, you will be working on your ability to strike and hit the ball in a particular direction, so try both striking hard at the wall for powerful shots, and practicing smaller passing shots.
Hit the wall repeatedly with the ball in order to improve the accuracy, and the amount of power you are using when kicking the ball.
You should also ensure that you are focusing on your footwork, and striking the ball cleanly, properly and without causing an injury.
One of the most effective ways of improving your accuracy when it comes to targets is to start off simply with a stationary shot.
Once you have mastered hitting your target consistently from a stationary position, you can move onto more challenging tasks such as shooting whilst moving.
For instance, you can add some cones to the floor, and dribble the ball around them, before firing your shot towards the target to see how well you hit it.
Juggling the ball, or kick-ups as some people call it, is a great way to master the ball and work on your technique as a soccer player.
Juggling is an incredibly fun way to use your whole body to control the ball, keep it elevated, and catch it again.
To juggle a ball, you can use just your feet and alternate them, but you can also use your chest and head to catch the ball and keep kicking it upwards, hence the nickname kick-ups.
In order to juggle the ball, you are going to need to flick the ball in the air, or drop it from your hands and start kicking it up or juggling it. Kick it upwards with your dominant leg, catching it on the foot and kicking it up again.
Do this until you consistently catch and juggle the ball, and have built up your confidence.
Juggling is a great way to improve your touch and give you better coordination, and a good feel for controlling the ball.
When juggling, you will want to use all parts of the body (except hands) including both of your feet, your chest, thighs and head, to realize the full potential of good control over the ball.
You should also work on doing this with a rhythm, and keep pushing yourself, targeting more and more each time without dropping it or losing the ball.
You should first practice juggling whilst standing still, and then implement walking slowly whilst juggling when you are ready.
If you are unsure how to juggle the ball, then first start with one touch on your right foot, and knock the ball back towards your hands.
Repeat this 50 times until you can do this consistently and perfectly. Then repeat again with the left foot, catching the ball.
Next, juggle two times on your right foot and catch it. Repeat this until you get a rhythm and can do it consistently. Again, do it with your left foot, too.
Once you have mastered this, switch the feet whilst knocking the ball up, and start juggling. Catch on one foot, then catch on the other, and keep doing this until you can effortlessly.
Once you are comfortable with juggling between your feet, try implementing the thighs into the routine, and after that the chest, and even your head.
The trick is keeping a consistent touch on the ball without losing it, which will improve your touch, accuracy, control and reaction times.
The kicks should be short and sharp touches, whilst you maintain control and balance over the ball and your body. You may benefit from keeping the knees bent to increase your power and control.
Once you are able to juggle well, try kicking the ball high into the air, and catch it or control it on its way back down with your chest, feet and thighs for extra technique.
3. Wall Passes
A very simple practice drill that you can do at home or in your backyard is Wall Passes. The drill improves the striking and passing of the ball and increases your accuracy and technique.
To do this, simply kick a ball against the wall, and control it as it rebounds, passing it again, controlling it, and hitting it against the wall again.
This will help you react, adjust to the angles and respond quickly to the ball coming back at you, whilst also ensuring that you are able to pass and strike well.
This exercise will keep you on your toes, and ensure that you can react quickly, strike the ball effectively and improve your touch.
If you feel that you can do wall passes with ease, then why not try mixing it up, by doing them from a further distance, or practicing with your weaker foot?
You can also alter how high or low you pass the ball, and where you aim to hit it against the wall to make things more interesting.
One of the best ways that you can develop your ball control skills and your footwork at the same time is by dribbling. You can practice dribbling around your home or backyard with just a few cones.
By maneuvering yourself and the ball around some cones, you are actively working on your coordination, agility, speed, balance and ability to change direction with the ball quickly.
These are all incredibly important and useful skills to have as a soccer player, and so this is a drill that you need in your repertoire!
To dribble, just set up a line of cones a few feet apart from each other. Then, take a ball, and touch it lightly, taking the ball between, in and out of the cones.
For the best results, try to use both of your feet, tapping and maneuvering the ball through the cones quickly and confidently.
You may need to start off slow at first, until you are able to completely control the ball at a slower pace.
Then, gradually work up your speed until you are able to run between the cones, tapping the ball with you as you go.
You can also spread out the cones, so that you have to sprint between them or run from side to side with the ball, weaving in and out of the cones whilst dribbling the ball.
Keep in mind that you have to use both feet, including your weaker foot to really maximize your footwork and ball control.
You may come across heading in many different games and matches, and so practicing them at home is probably a good idea. However it is not just your head that you should be worrying about.
You should also be focusing on your footwork, control and accuracy as you head the ball.
When you practice this drill, you can either ask a friend or family member to throw the ball at you, throw it up into the air yourself to head it, or throw it against a wall and use that as your launcher.
Whichever method you choose, each one will be a great way to improve your power when heading, the direction, target and control of the header.
You will additionally need to use your legs to give yourself enough power and force to propel your body towards the ball.
If you have a friend or family member throw the ball, then you can practice running into the header, by having them throw the ball from different directions and heights.
The important thing to remember is that you need to keep your arms at your sides, and you cannot be tempted to use your hands to catch or control the ball.
This drill also works on the footwork as you have to have this down in order to position yourself in the right place to head the ball, and launch yourself upwards to come into contact with it.
With this drill, you can make it more challenging by marking a target on a wall, or in a particular place so that you can accurately head the ball wherever you want it to go.
In addition, you can try heading the ball in different directions, left to right, upwards or in another desired direction. This will prove to be a very valuable skill in future games and matches.
6. Rollover Dribble
If you want to further your soccer footwork skills, then you can try out the rollover dribble.
This drill can be performed in a variety of different ways, but the general idea is that you use the ball or the sole of your foot to control the ball, and move it in whatever direction you want it to go.
It is the same as dribbling, where you use a line of cones to maneuver the ball around, and speed up as you become more confident.
However, you only use the sole of your foot to control the ball, which can be more difficult for some players.
7. The Inside Out
If you want to improve your coordination, then the Inside Out drill will be perfect for you. This drill helps build your footwork skills and ball control, which can be really useful when you are on the pitch.
To do the Inside Out drill, you are going to need to start with the ball at your feet. With one foot, then push the ball with your foot to the side of you just a little bit.
Take that same foot, and stop the ball with the inside of it your foot, and tap it back to where it came from. Now, do the same but with the other foot in the opposite direction.
This movement will really get you used to controlling the ball even when it rolls in odd directions. The purpose is to move in and out with great fluidity, keeping in control of the ball at all times with both the insides and outside of your feet.
Once you have this movement down when rolling the ball, you can increase your speed to make it more difficult, and thus it will strengthen your skills even more!
The Inside Out can lose interest after a while, and so sticking at this drill can help improve your ability to focus and concentrate on the task at hand.
8. Toe Taps
Footwork is so important in soccer. One of the greatest ways that you can become a better soccer player is by developing your footwork skills.
Toe-taps are the perfect drill for this, as they will progress your balance, coordination, and skill.
Toe-taps can be done outside the home in the garden, backyard or street, or even inside the home if you have some space.
To accurately perform toe-taps, all you need to do is remain stationary on the ground, with a ball placed in front of you.
Then, simply place one foot on top of the ball, and replace it with the other foot.
So, essentially, you are just tapping the ball with each foot, and switching them over. Tap tap tap tap.
Repeat this for a few minutes, without missing the ball, or losing your balance and your coordination skills will progress massively.
If you have mastered this drill, then try rotating around the ball as you do your toe taps without missing. This will ensure that you are on top of your footwork, and in control at all times.
9. The Cruyff
The Cruyff is another drill that will test your coordination, and ability to control the ball. However, when done correctly, the Cruyff will increase your balance, agility and dexterity simultaneously, and so this drill is one you need to practice.
Similar to the Inside Out drill, the Cruyff is where you push the ball with the outside part of your foot, until it is at one side of your body.
Then, instead of bringing it back in the same way you do during Inside Out, you will need to do a Cruyff turn.
The Cruyff turn is where you cushion the ball back in the direction it came, but instead take the ball behind the leg that you are standing on. Then, repeat this move with the opposite foot.
Once you feel that you have mastered this move, you will want to increase your speed and really test your footwork and reaction times.
With this drill completed and well practiced, you will be able to turn quickly, control the ball, and evade opposing team members with speed and fluidity.
10. The L Cut
Finally, one of the great ways that you can progress your close ball skills, and work on your footwork technique is by practicing the L Cut. This will improve your touch, and how you control and handle the ball.
If you need to get the ball away from an opposing player, and change the direction of it quickly, so that it is in your team’s favor, then the L Cut is the perfect technique for you to use.
To do the L Cut, you will need to start with the ball at your feet. Then, you will have to drag the ball backward and then towards the side, using the studs on your boots.
After this, open your body and cushion the ball pushing it forwards with the interior of your foot. The entire move should trace the lines of an L shape, hence the name L Cut.
The next step is to take the ball with your studs on the other foot and complete the L Cut in the same shape, but in the opposite direction.
Then, repeat the process multiple times, passing from left to right, right to left and so on.
With the L Cut, if you practice this move often, you can increase your speed, and move the ball with ease between your legs with just the studs.
This will hugely impact how you control the ball and how well you can move your feet quickly during a game, which is perfect for practicing ball possession.
To conclude, if you want to be the best soccer player that you can be, then you have to practice and train hard.
Of course, it is very beneficial and highly important that you attend every team match, training session and turn up to your practice meetings, but why not continue the training when you are at home?
There’s no reason not to practice your ball control skills, footwork and soccer technique in the comfort of your own home.
Luckily, with this guide, you can try out a few or even all of the ball control and footwork drills, so that you can improve your touch, technique, balance, agility and dexterity in your own time.
This will give you a massive advantage over the other players in your next match, and improve your overall skill as a player.
All you have to do is put in some of the extra work, practice hard, often, and make sure that you learn these ball control and footwork drills very well.
This will help you achieve great things in your soccer training, increase your skill, progress your performance, and allow you to flourish as a soccer player.