10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

Authority Soccer (authoritysoccer.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.

In an ideal world, every soccer player would already be as fit as they need to be, unfortunately, it is something that has to be constantly worked on. What players most like is to do their fitness training with balls at their feet, much like a match situation.

In this article, we will go through ten of the best soccer drills for fitness while using a soccer ball. If you are a player who wants to help the team or if you are a coach who wants to get the best out of your squad, read on because you might just find that drill that gives your team the edge.

1. STRAIGHT CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing that this drill centers on is to help players improve their ability to keep the ball while going at a short pace. This is a great attribute to have for any player and it is one that is fully expected of you if you are known as a dribbler. This drill will help you with your touch as well as control.

To set up this drill, you will need 10 cones and put them in a straight line10 cones on a straight line at an equal distance apart, and ideally, the distance will be between 1.5 m and 0.8 m.

How to do it

The coach or trainer will stand on the sideline and as soon as he blows the whistle, he kicks the ball at pace to a player that is standing next to the first cone. The player has to control the ball well and then proceed to dribble through the cones.

Players then practice their dribbling through the cones with either foot and with the inside and outside of each foot too. When the player gets to the last cone, they must have quick touches with the ball and then sprint as fast as they can back to the first cone. The coach can repeat as many times as they like.

Tips for doing the drill

This drill has to be done with the utmost concentration and it will help players keep the ball while they are under pressure, much like a match situation as well as build on their fitness.

2. FORTH & BACK CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing do to in this drill is to help a player with how determined they are with their dribbling. It also helps with player’s fitness as well as their ability to turn during a match.

The drill is easy to set up and you are going to need at least five cones set the same distance apart. Ideally between four to five meters.

How to do it

This drill comes in two parts, the first is with the ball moving straight in a line with the second phase coming with the player dribbling through the cones set out.

For the first part, players start with the first cone, and they run as fast as they can to cone two. Turn around and run back to cone 1, turn around and run to cone three then back to cone one, and so on.

When it comes to the second phase, the player starts at the first cone and dribbles through to the second cone, then turns and runs back to cone one. Then the player turns and runs to the third cone, then back to cone one, and so forth.

Once a player has done this to all of the ones, they should take a quick half a minute break and then start the drill again.

Tips for doing this drill

When players are doing this drill, they have to do it with extremely high energy levels, and the drill has to be done at least twice before moving onto another drill.

3. ONE ON ONE CONTROLLED DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing that players should get out of this drill is to improve their ability to control the ball and the overall handling of it.

The set up for this drill is to place cones in a 20m x 20m square and mark the corners with cones. Then you make two goals which are four meters in length at each end of the square.

How to do it

The drill starts in the middle of the square and any player can start the drill with the ball. For a player to score in this game, he has to dribble around the other player before he can shoot at the goal. After a goal is scored, the opposite player then starts with the ball.

The player who gets to three or five first wins the game. This will largely depend on the coach’s decision as he/she might want to go to seven or even ten to further improve fitness levels.

Tips for this drill

Players participating in this drill have to exert maximum effort and they have to focus on ball control and their ability to dribble and defend when fatigued.

4. CIRCULAR CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main objective of this drill is to help improve players to make quick cuts while navigating through the circle of cones.

For this drill, you will need to get ten cones and set them apart, and the radius of the circle should be between five to ten meters with the distance between cones being small.

How to do it

Players involved in this drill have to move the ball and go around the circle and to it as many times as they can and as fast as they can.

Tips for the drill

The player has to keep their head up as they dribble and not always down focusing on the ball. Going around this circle will help improve fitness as it mimics a match situation.

5. RANDOM DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill helps players improve their ability to turn quickly and also to use increased speed when they dribble to get away from the opposition.

You can set up as many cones as you like and not in any pattern or order. All must be set different lengths apart and at any distance.

How to do it

The coach has to stand close to the player and the drill starts at the blow of the whistle. Has to be done at a quick pace and the coach has to tell the player to go as quick as they can. In no specific order, the player has to dribble around every cone.

Tips for the drill

This drill improves concentration and gives players better knowledge of how to connect and move the ball while getting fatigued.

6. ONE AGAINST TWO DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill aims to improve the players’ confidence to dribble in a 1v1 situation and a 2v1 situation. It aims at improving vision, speed, ability to change direction, and confidence in and around the penalty box.

You will have a goalkeeper, set up two different goals or gates that are a couple of meters apart and put them in front of the goal. Two players should stand in the gates and stop the attacking player from going through. The attacking player should aim to get past both players and then score past the GK.

How to do it

The coach will blow the whistle, the first player tries to dribble past the first gate and get to the player in the second gate. If the player manages to get past both gates, then they attempt to shoot on goal and score.

If the players in the gate dispossess the attacking player or the attacking player fails to score, the drill restarts from the start.

Another player can only start the drill if the attacking player gets past the two gates and scores a goal. The drill can go for as long as you want and at the pace the coach wants.

Tips for this drill

The coach should encourage players to be their creative selves and get past the gates how they would in a game. Players should dribble at speed and keep close control of the ball and be decisive when trying to go past a defender.

7. ROUND THE CYCLIC CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing that this drill focuses on is how to consistently focus on players while they are dribbling.

There will be one big cone that is placed in the center and then around 20 cones will be put around the big cone in a circle shape.

How to do it

When the coach blows the whistle, the player will then start dribbling inside the cones while going as fast as they can while keeping their touches short and sharp. Once the player gets to the big cone, they will then turn around and dribble out of the cones as quickly as they can.

Once the player gets back to the start, then the next player in line will start the drill. This drill can be done as often as the coach likes and player speeds should increase with every turn they take doing the drill.

Tips for the drill

For the player to be a good dribbler, they have to be consistent with the ball under pressure. When the players are dribbling, the coach should give words of encouragement to keep the player’s eyes up while running with the ball.

8. ROUND THE SQUARE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill helps players keep alert of players around them and to try and not lose the ball to the opposition. Also, it helps players have a better connection with the ball.

Four cones that are all different colors are placed on each side of the field, the cones have to be close together and each player has to be standing by the cone.

How to do it

When the whistle blows, the player had to start moving with the ball with the inside of the foot inside the cone and has to b done at a quick pace. When the whistle goes again the player goes to a different cone and moves the ball with the outside of the foot this time.

The coach should be onto players who are going slowly and get them to go faster. At the sound of the whistle, each player goes to a different cone. The drill is stopped at the coach’s word, and then other players can start the drill.

Tips for the drill

The coach should tell players to use both the inside and outside of their foot to help improve technique as well as their fitness by going as fast as they can.

9. MUSICAL DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill helps improve players dribbling and ball control skills in a fun way. Players should keep high levels of awareness to find the closest cone to them.

A rectangular grid is set up with however many players the coach wants. There should be more players than cones and each player should have their ball and the coach controls the music or a whistle can be used.

How to do it

Players should use their weak foot and take only a one-second touch and no more. The drill starts when the music/whistle is starts and players dribble inside the grid. When the music stops or the whistle is blown, players have to dribble to the closest cone and knock it over with their ball. A player who does not knock over a cone is out of the game and stands outside the grid.

Before the next round, the cones have to be reset and a random cone taken out of the grid so there are more players than cones. Players can dribble anywhere inside the grid but have to move around and not standstill. The game continues until there is only a single-player left inside the grid.

The drill can be done as many times as the coach wants and is good for preseason as it can help increased fitness levels as well as close control of the soccer ball.

Tips for the drill

The coach should tell all the players to dribble to every corner of the grid, and no player should be allowed to target a certain cone before the music stops or the whistle is blown. Stopping the music or blowing the whistle helps increase player’s awareness.

10. BULLDOG ATTACK DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill is a fun one and is more suited to younger players, and it is meant to help improve player’s skills while dribbling. Ball control and awareness are also skills that can be improved.

The coach will set up either a rectangle or square grip in no set order. Each player that is inside the grid has a ball, and the one player that is outside the area does not have a ball and that player is called the “Bulldog”.

How to do it

When the coach blows the whistle, players start dribbling inside the area, and after around 20 seconds, the Bulldog is put into the area, and it is their job to kick other player’s balls out of the grid. Payers have to protect their ball from the Bulldog and when a player’s ball is kicked out, they then become another Bulldog. 

Once the whistle is blown, the drill starts again, and after 20 seconds, two Bulldogs enter and try and kick other player’s balls out of the grid. This keeps going until there is only one player left in the grid and that player is the winner and then the drill can be started all over again.

The drill can be done as many times as the coach wants.

Tips for the drill

Players have to try and protect their soccer ball using dribbling skills and by positioning their bodies so the Bulldog cannot get to their ball. They can use their strength and speed to dribble away from the Bulldog. When there is more than one Bulldog in the area, players have to show awareness because if they managed to get away from one Bulldog, another one can be right next to them and easily kick their ball away.

So they are the 10 best soccer drills for fitness. Whether you are a coach yourself or a player who wants to introduce different training drills and methods, the drills we have outlined should mainly help with players’ fitness.

Instead of just running numerous kms, these drills work on fitness with the ball, much like a soccer match and that is more beneficial for players.


10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

Authority Soccer (authoritysoccer.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.

In an ideal world, every soccer player would already be as fit as they need to be, unfortunately, it is something that has to be constantly worked on. What players most like is to do their fitness training with balls at their feet, much like a match situation.

In this article, we will go through ten of the best soccer drills for fitness while using a soccer ball. If you are a player who wants to help the team or if you are a coach who wants to get the best out of your squad, read on because you might just find that drill that gives your team the edge.

1. STRAIGHT CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing that this drill centers on is to help players improve their ability to keep the ball while going at a short pace. This is a great attribute to have for any player and it is one that is fully expected of you if you are known as a dribbler. This drill will help you with your touch as well as control.

To set up this drill, you will need 10 cones and put them in a straight line10 cones on a straight line at an equal distance apart, and ideally, the distance will be between 1.5 m and 0.8 m.

How to do it

The coach or trainer will stand on the sideline and as soon as he blows the whistle, he kicks the ball at pace to a player that is standing next to the first cone. The player has to control the ball well and then proceed to dribble through the cones.

Players then practice their dribbling through the cones with either foot and with the inside and outside of each foot too. When the player gets to the last cone, they must have quick touches with the ball and then sprint as fast as they can back to the first cone. The coach can repeat as many times as they like.

Tips for doing the drill

This drill has to be done with the utmost concentration and it will help players keep the ball while they are under pressure, much like a match situation as well as build on their fitness.

2. FORTH & BACK CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing do to in this drill is to help a player with how determined they are with their dribbling. It also helps with player’s fitness as well as their ability to turn during a match.

The drill is easy to set up and you are going to need at least five cones set the same distance apart. Ideally between four to five meters.

How to do it

This drill comes in two parts, the first is with the ball moving straight in a line with the second phase coming with the player dribbling through the cones set out.

For the first part, players start with the first cone, and they run as fast as they can to cone two. Turn around and run back to cone 1, turn around and run to cone three then back to cone one, and so on.

When it comes to the second phase, the player starts at the first cone and dribbles through to the second cone, then turns and runs back to cone one. Then the player turns and runs to the third cone, then back to cone one, and so forth.

Once a player has done this to all of the ones, they should take a quick half a minute break and then start the drill again.

Tips for doing this drill

When players are doing this drill, they have to do it with extremely high energy levels, and the drill has to be done at least twice before moving onto another drill.

3. ONE ON ONE CONTROLLED DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing that players should get out of this drill is to improve their ability to control the ball and the overall handling of it.

The set up for this drill is to place cones in a 20m x 20m square and mark the corners with cones. Then you make two goals which are four meters in length at each end of the square.

How to do it

The drill starts in the middle of the square and any player can start the drill with the ball. For a player to score in this game, he has to dribble around the other player before he can shoot at the goal. After a goal is scored, the opposite player then starts with the ball.

The player who gets to three or five first wins the game. This will largely depend on the coach’s decision as he/she might want to go to seven or even ten to further improve fitness levels.

Tips for this drill

Players participating in this drill have to exert maximum effort and they have to focus on ball control and their ability to dribble and defend when fatigued.

4. CIRCULAR CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main objective of this drill is to help improve players to make quick cuts while navigating through the circle of cones.

For this drill, you will need to get ten cones and set them apart, and the radius of the circle should be between five to ten meters with the distance between cones being small.

How to do it

Players involved in this drill have to move the ball and go around the circle and to it as many times as they can and as fast as they can.

Tips for the drill

The player has to keep their head up as they dribble and not always down focusing on the ball. Going around this circle will help improve fitness as it mimics a match situation.

5. RANDOM DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill helps players improve their ability to turn quickly and also to use increased speed when they dribble to get away from the opposition.

You can set up as many cones as you like and not in any pattern or order. All must be set different lengths apart and at any distance.

How to do it

The coach has to stand close to the player and the drill starts at the blow of the whistle. Has to be done at a quick pace and the coach has to tell the player to go as quick as they can. In no specific order, the player has to dribble around every cone.

Tips for the drill

This drill improves concentration and gives players better knowledge of how to connect and move the ball while getting fatigued.

6. ONE AGAINST TWO DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill aims to improve the players’ confidence to dribble in a 1v1 situation and a 2v1 situation. It aims at improving vision, speed, ability to change direction, and confidence in and around the penalty box.

You will have a goalkeeper, set up two different goals or gates that are a couple of meters apart and put them in front of the goal. Two players should stand in the gates and stop the attacking player from going through. The attacking player should aim to get past both players and then score past the GK.

How to do it

The coach will blow the whistle, the first player tries to dribble past the first gate and get to the player in the second gate. If the player manages to get past both gates, then they attempt to shoot on goal and score.

If the players in the gate dispossess the attacking player or the attacking player fails to score, the drill restarts from the start.

Another player can only start the drill if the attacking player gets past the two gates and scores a goal. The drill can go for as long as you want and at the pace the coach wants.

Tips for this drill

The coach should encourage players to be their creative selves and get past the gates how they would in a game. Players should dribble at speed and keep close control of the ball and be decisive when trying to go past a defender.

7. ROUND THE CYCLIC CONE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

The main thing that this drill focuses on is how to consistently focus on players while they are dribbling.

There will be one big cone that is placed in the center and then around 20 cones will be put around the big cone in a circle shape.

How to do it

When the coach blows the whistle, the player will then start dribbling inside the cones while going as fast as they can while keeping their touches short and sharp. Once the player gets to the big cone, they will then turn around and dribble out of the cones as quickly as they can.

Once the player gets back to the start, then the next player in line will start the drill. This drill can be done as often as the coach likes and player speeds should increase with every turn they take doing the drill.

Tips for the drill

For the player to be a good dribbler, they have to be consistent with the ball under pressure. When the players are dribbling, the coach should give words of encouragement to keep the player’s eyes up while running with the ball.

8. ROUND THE SQUARE DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill helps players keep alert of players around them and to try and not lose the ball to the opposition. Also, it helps players have a better connection with the ball.

Four cones that are all different colors are placed on each side of the field, the cones have to be close together and each player has to be standing by the cone.

How to do it

When the whistle blows, the player had to start moving with the ball with the inside of the foot inside the cone and has to b done at a quick pace. When the whistle goes again the player goes to a different cone and moves the ball with the outside of the foot this time.

The coach should be onto players who are going slowly and get them to go faster. At the sound of the whistle, each player goes to a different cone. The drill is stopped at the coach’s word, and then other players can start the drill.

Tips for the drill

The coach should tell players to use both the inside and outside of their foot to help improve technique as well as their fitness by going as fast as they can.

9. MUSICAL DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill helps improve players dribbling and ball control skills in a fun way. Players should keep high levels of awareness to find the closest cone to them.

A rectangular grid is set up with however many players the coach wants. There should be more players than cones and each player should have their ball and the coach controls the music or a whistle can be used.

How to do it

Players should use their weak foot and take only a one-second touch and no more. The drill starts when the music/whistle is starts and players dribble inside the grid. When the music stops or the whistle is blown, players have to dribble to the closest cone and knock it over with their ball. A player who does not knock over a cone is out of the game and stands outside the grid.

Before the next round, the cones have to be reset and a random cone taken out of the grid so there are more players than cones. Players can dribble anywhere inside the grid but have to move around and not standstill. The game continues until there is only a single-player left inside the grid.

The drill can be done as many times as the coach wants and is good for preseason as it can help increased fitness levels as well as close control of the soccer ball.

Tips for the drill

The coach should tell all the players to dribble to every corner of the grid, and no player should be allowed to target a certain cone before the music stops or the whistle is blown. Stopping the music or blowing the whistle helps increase player’s awareness.

10. BULLDOG ATTACK DRIBBLE DRILL

10 Best Soccer Fitness Drills With The Ball

This drill is a fun one and is more suited to younger players, and it is meant to help improve player’s skills while dribbling. Ball control and awareness are also skills that can be improved.

The coach will set up either a rectangle or square grip in no set order. Each player that is inside the grid has a ball, and the one player that is outside the area does not have a ball and that player is called the “Bulldog”.

How to do it

When the coach blows the whistle, players start dribbling inside the area, and after around 20 seconds, the Bulldog is put into the area, and it is their job to kick other player’s balls out of the grid. Payers have to protect their ball from the Bulldog and when a player’s ball is kicked out, they then become another Bulldog. 

Once the whistle is blown, the drill starts again, and after 20 seconds, two Bulldogs enter and try and kick other player’s balls out of the grid. This keeps going until there is only one player left in the grid and that player is the winner and then the drill can be started all over again.

The drill can be done as many times as the coach wants.

Tips for the drill

Players have to try and protect their soccer ball using dribbling skills and by positioning their bodies so the Bulldog cannot get to their ball. They can use their strength and speed to dribble away from the Bulldog. When there is more than one Bulldog in the area, players have to show awareness because if they managed to get away from one Bulldog, another one can be right next to them and easily kick their ball away.

So they are the 10 best soccer drills for fitness. Whether you are a coach yourself or a player who wants to introduce different training drills and methods, the drills we have outlined should mainly help with players’ fitness.

Instead of just running numerous kms, these drills work on fitness with the ball, much like a soccer match and that is more beneficial for players.