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Sample Individual Practice Plan
For age bracket specific practice plans and other soccer drills, visit our drills directory. Also, in the box below, are some new soccer practice plans for groups and individuals:
NEW: For soccer coaches, if you want to make setting up your soccer practices easier, take a look at the Soccer Session Planner by Coerver.
When you don't have soccer practice or you're getting ready for the season, here's a good individual soccer training routine:
Really, there's not much of a difference in a fundamentals training session whether you're six or seventeen, it's all about spending time with the ball and making the ball do what you want to do and not vice versa.
When you take a break between activities, you can either juggle or do sit-ups and pushups.
Start out near half field, try to hit the cross bar with the ball. Use this a warm-up, jogging to retrieve the ball, and dribbling back with the right foot and then left foot, alternating. See if you can hit the cross bar with your left foot too. When striking the ball towards the crossbar, you're not trying to drive the ball or chip the ball, it's a combination of the two, don't follow through when you kick, rather stop your follow through just after you hit the ball, that way you'll get some lift under the ball. Mastering this will give you a great feel for the ball, so you can play the ball to any part of the field, to any player or space, with a driven ball or a lofted pass. Incorporate some stretching into this warm-up phase after a few attempts at hitting the cross bar.
After trying to hit the cross bar five or six times, juggle with each foot twenty times - repeat this three or four times. Next, do a cycle, from left foot to right, to right thigh and then left thigh, and then up to the head and chest - repeat this four or five times. Try to make up your own cycles, say left foot to head and then to fight foot and back up to the head. Next see if you can jog twenty yards while juggling the ball.
When you're done with juggling, find a wall to strike the ball against, practice driving the ball, this means hitting the ball with power, but controlled. So again, not following through when you strike the ball like when taking a shot, by stopping just after you hit the ball--there's not that much back spin on the ball like with a chip--more steady.
Spend about ten minutes hitting the ball against the wall with both feet. Spend a few minutes than striking the ball against the wall with all the different parts of your foot--inside, outside, and instep of both feet. Try to control the ball off the wall in two or three touches. And control the ball out in front of you, don't kill the ball under your feet but control it a few yards away so you can strike the ball right away.
Moving on, kick the ball up in the air as high as you can and control the ball with the instep of your foot, see if you can actually steer the ball to one side when you're controlling it, as if there was a defender on you - repeat five or six times. Next see if you can juggle the ball once before you settle the ball down on to the ground or even control the ball back through your legs with the instep of your foot.
Next, try dribbling at speed twenty yards or so, touching the ball with each step but going as fast as you can. Do this with both feet and don't have your head down but slightly up so you can see what's a head of you. If you have a set of cones, setup a line of cones that you can weave in and out of. Work on his one foot when dribbling through the cones or one part of the foot.
Master your favorite soccer moves and turns. Dribbling at a slow pace, do a soccer feint or move such as a step over or a cut back and the dribble away at speed. Work on five or six of your favorite soccer moves and then take off on the dribble after doing the move. Remember, it's all about change of pace when doing a soccer move.
Lastly, run through another cycle of juggling, vary your routine, two juggles on the right foot and then two on the left, then three on the right and three on the left, going up to ten.
Take a slow jog around half the field with the ball at your foot to cool down and then stretch out. Do a set of 100 situps and 50 pushups in between your stretching. And then one last round of juggling, at least 100 before you leave.
NEW: Check out these soccer training sessions by position:
And then a training session to improve speed: