With the World Cup in full force, your kids may be like millions of others around the world and getting into soccer. Soccer has been proliferating in the USA. As of this year, soccer’s popularity has tripled in the last decade. Soccer ranks fourth among all sports and Almost ties with basketball for those under 18. Even better, there are clubs and summer camps where your kids can also learn team drills and playing!
Unfortunately, we can’t always be at camp or practicing with a club. We have put together a guide of exercises and drills to practice when not with your team. Remember, before exercising in the summer heat, be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.
Fusion Agility Drill
This soccer drill is the easiest. You need no tools or specialized equipment. Agility and stamina are the backbone of your performance on the field. The Fusion Agility Drill is where to begin. You can set this up to compete against another with set cones and a stopwatch. Or, you can make up your markers in your backyard. Set up two cones in the center to start, then five yards to either side of the center, set up more cones.
Starting in the middle, run five yards to one cone, pivot, 10 yards to the opposite side, and finally 5 yards back to the center. Also, you can set up for a more larger distance run for a stamina drill by setting the markers at 10, 20, even 50 yards apart. It is helpful to use a stopwatch to track your progress. For some competitive fun, you can run the drill with a partner and race.
The second drill you can do in your backyard by yourself or with a friend is turning square. As you know, being able to move with the ball is another fundamental that you can never practice enough.
Place two cones six yards apart. This drill is simple enough, dribble the ball around the cones and back. If you are right footed, you can use a hook turn. Left-footed players use the inside of the foot to change it up after mastering the turn. The goal is to make a fluid turn without slowing down. Beginning players can stop the ball at the corner to coordinate as they circle the cone.
Lean, Fall, and Sprint
Another critical skill for soccer is maintaining a proper center of gravity. This makes sure you are in a better position to take off from a standing position. For this, we have the Lean, Fall, and Sprint.
First, you stand up straight. Next, lean forward as if you are trying to make yourself fall until your body forces itself to step forward. What this does is creates an immediate boost of momentum for quicker acceleration. You then immediately push off the ground into a sprint. Picture a track and field runner starting position in a forward lunge. You cannot stand on a field in a starting position, you need to practice putting yourself in a starting position from a stand as fast as possible. You can set up cones for speed sprints from the standing position at 10, 20 or 30 yards. Here are more tips to improve your sprinting.
The Ronaldo Chop
The Ronaldo Chop. Photo by Jeffrey Lin
Admit it, we all want to be like Ronaldo. This skill gives you an effective way of getting past your opponents and destroying even the best defense. Christian Ronaldo didn’t get to be the best for nothing!
To begin, you need to start with a wide stance with the ball between your legs. Next, jump and try to land with one foot in front of the other with your back foot sweeping behind the front. This will cause you to connect with the ball hitting it off to the side. As you practice the Ronaldo Chop, you can begin to build on the combos. Alternate your left and right foot making the chop. Beginners can use a fence or wall to practice the drill and remain stationary. Finally, you can begin to dribble then chop. You can even combine the Ronaldo Chop with the turning square drill to dribble, chop to the side, pivot back and return.
The 2-Player Shooting Drill
Shooting drill. Photo by Edoardo Busti
Finally, we have a two-person drill. All the things we learned up to this point is how to have the skills and energy for the final goal of soccer, the goal! To be great on offense, this also takes skill.
To begin, you will need to set up cones in a 10-by-20-yard section. Next, put two cones in the center, roughly three yards from each other. The first person shoots the ball to the other, who is guarding the opposite side. You then take turns trying to shoot past each other from the center. As you progress in this drill, you can improve by narrowing the goal. Another option is to give yourself less advancing room before the shot.
We hope you have enjoyed these tips for practicing soccer drills. As you can see, these can be done in the home, or at almost any park or school in Portland. Once you master these or are in the mood for some more advanced fun, you can always come and join us at Baxter Sports for our summer training camps! Remember, if you are not a soccer fan, we have camps for several sports. Have a wonderful break and please, even if you have any questions about gear or safety, give us a call. We are always happy to help you when it comes to your child’s safety, at our camp or at home.