You might be asking “how can I practice soccer by myself?” It’s not uncommon for players all ages to get stuck, not knowing what to work on. One reason I love helping parents, coaches and players is because I remember being that person who was at the field, wondering what to do next after 5 minutes of working with the ball. Even when I was in college or playing pro, I would wish I had guidance or a program to follow. The college kids I work with now, say how they love my online courses because they forget what to do. So of course the beginners enjoy these tips. Below you can find some easy tips for training on your own.
Where to practice soccer by myself and what to do
When you think “where or how can I practice soccer by myself” what are your first thoughts? I think of things to do, which there are thousands of drills. To get a good workout and improve fast we need to work on the best things, not just anything.
First, you want to get a good warm-up. This could be you jogging around the block or field. It could be with or without the ball. I think if you’re at the field, do a proper warm-up without the ball. If you’re stuck in the house due to weather or travel restrictions just start working with the ball.
The perfect amount of space needed for most things is just a 10 yard area [30 feet]. If you only have 5 yards of space, that fine. You can still do lots of things.
Ways to practice soccer by myself at home
Obviously we all have different home situations. Some of us have small backyards, while others aren’t allowed to practice inside the house.
3 main things I did growing up playing soccer in the house:
- Kick the ball against the fireplace and back of the coach. These both made great walls! I understand not all fireplaces and coaches offer this, but look around and find what you can use. Some of my trainees said they use a softer/smaller ball and kick it against the wall. [I sure hope I don’t get in trouble by some soccer parents giving these ideas] ha-ha
- Dribble through the house from my room, down the hall to the living room. I would pretend I was taking defenders on. Try moves, mess up, try again and succeed. This is part of practice.
- Play keep away with the dog. What a great way to work on quickness and skill with the ball.
When I was younger a friend of mine nailed a wood board to his fence. He and his siblings would kick the ball against it working on accurate short range passing.
His next door neighbor was 5 years older than us and was the star of the HS team. I remember they had a big goal set up between the houses to shoot on. Both motivated me to practice soccer by myself. The best players are usually the ones who put in the extra work.
Best ways to improve dribbling the ball
Have a few balls around the house so that you can dribble from one room to the other. Even if you do this a few times a day the time will add up. Players who do this usually are better and more comfortable with the ball at their feet.
Teach your muscle memory how to control the ball with every surface. The inside, outside and bottom of both feet. When using the outside of the foot, make sure you bend your knee allowing your foot to come up higher. This will allow you to turn sharper and change direction better. Players who are not yet smooth with the ball can benefit from doing my basic courses – check out this sample lesson.
Players who already know the basics can choose from the Advanced, Magic or get both in the Complete Ball Control Courses.
Watch me work with 2 college players work with me for the first time. You’ll see immediate improvement.
Schools often make great training places to train solo
Go check out the local schools near you and look for walls to kick against. The gymnasium buildings are great because they are taller than the other school buildings.
I remember kicking the ball on the roof of the school a few times. That’s no fun. Luckily I lived 3 houses down, so just had to walk home, get the ladder and climb up to get my ball. I think I only did this once. It taught me I had to be better.
Parks are also great places to find walls to practice. This one below is a baseball park, but I used it for better use:)
Click here to watch 4 videos to improve passing and first touch drills using a wall. Using a wall is better than a goal/net because you don’t have to go get the ball out of the net. Not only that, you have to trap the ball coming back at you. This is how you improve 2 skill elements in 1 drill. Kicking and receiving, compared to only kicking.
Walls give you more reps.
Practice soccer by myself on the open field
On an open field you can do all the things you can do in the house, but I would focus on the things you can’t do inside. Throw the ball or punt the ball up high so you can work on bringing the ball down with your foot.
Fitness vs technical training
Depending on your situation, you might need to improve fitness. College and pro players probably focus more on fitness vs technical. One reason is because they’re already technically good. Can they improve more? Of course, but being fit at this age/level is very important.
Younger players in high school down to elementary need to focus on building more skill. There are way too many kids and parents who say “I’m already or my kid is skillful, but the need to get stronger or faster.” I would disagree. Even the higher skilled players at this age need to improve technically.
Look at the pro players in Mexico or Spain. They are very small players, but they are pros because their skill is topnotch. Your first touch and passing with both feet can always improve and stay sharp.