9 Best Soccer Skills for Beginners! (+ Skills Per Position)

Best Soccer Skills for Beginners

Soccer is a sport of skills! In other words, players with the most skills tend to be the most successful during games and even in their career (if they choose soccer as a career) …

… Just have a look at Zidane, Messi, Ronaldo Da Lima … All these players with tremendous skills ended up being legends!

I know, you are probably a beginner, that’s why I’ve put together this article, for you, where I breakdown the best soccer techniques and skills that you should learn to become a good (why not a great) player in the future.

Let’s dive in!

Basic soccer skills beginners should learn

There are about a total of 9 basic soccer skills that every beginner should learn. They are passing, receiving, rules, heading, communicating, shooting, juggling, dribbling, and tackling.

Important Tip: To properly practice those skills, I strongly recommend to use soccer shoes with decent Quality  and reliable Grip to perform at the best of your abilities. You can have a quick look at these quality soccer cleats to get an idea!

1. Passing

Passing is what you do to get the ball from one player to another. This is an essential skill to keep the game moving and to help keep the possession for you team.

Have a look at Barcelona in their Golden Era from 2009 up to 2015! Their passing was second to none, they were able to keep 70% sometimes 80% possession which made the opposing team look very bad chasing the ball all the time.

You can practice passing by yourself against the wall for example, yet the ideal way is to do it with a partner.

2. Receiving (First Touch)

One of the most important skills in soccer is your first touch on the ball when you receive it from one of your teammates.

Receiving is the compliment to passing and you must be able to control the ball with a light touch with the inside of your foot. Being able to receive the ball well will make your teammates pass to you more because they will trust you.

3. Rules

The rules of soccer are simple but if you are going to play then it is something that you should learn. The basic rules of soccer are don’t use your hands and score goals, but there are a couple more.

The most confusing rule is probably the offside. The latter means that you can’t be past the last defender of your opposing team. This rule takes some time to learn and get used to so don’t worry if it takes some time.

4. Heading

Heading is an important technique for both offensive and defensive side. When heading the ball, you want to make sure you actually use your forehead, not the top of your skull.

Using your forehead reduces concussions and other injuries that bad heading technique lends itself to. It also allows you to be a little bit more accurate while hitting the ball.

5. Communicating

No matter what position you are on the field, you must always be communicating with your teammates as well as your coaches.

If you are confused on a rule, don’t be afraid to ask your teammates! The more communication there is on the field, the better you will work as a team which will lead to more wins!

6. Shooting

Scoring is the goal in soccer and if you don’t know how to shoot you won’t be able to score! Shooting is similar to passing but with a lot more force and attention to hit the net.

Beginners should practice their shots on an empty net to ensure they have a strong and precise shot.

Shooting is not exclusive for strikers! This is something that should be learned by those playing in any position even Goalies.

7. Juggling

Juggling is a skill not often used in games, but it will make your ball handling in games much better! Juggling is a good drill to do in practice to increase your overall skills.

Try to use every part of your body to juggle and you will notice a drastic improvement in your skills.

It is also a good way to get warmed up before actual Drills and even games.

8. Dribbling

Dribbling is a skill that you will use in games to get past opponents. The better dribbler you are, the more likely you will be zooming past opponents and scoring goals.

Not only will you be able to score more goals, but you will be able to provide your teammates with better passes.

9. Tackling

Tackling is a critical skill beginner should master, especially if they are wanting to become a defender. Defenders need to be able to tackle so no opponents get into their goal box.

Soccer Skills for Beginners by Position …

Now let move on to more specific skills that could be useful for specific positions!

1. Strikers

Speed: To beat out opposing defenders, strikers must be fast. Strikers need speed to be able to beat opposing defenders down the sidelines and run into empty space to receive passes from the wingers.

Shot Accuracy: Strikers are almost always scoring goals, so it is especially important that their shots are accurate. They must be on goal but not at the goalie so precise accuracy is crucial.

2. Wingers

Dribbling Ability: Wingers also need to be good and creative dribblers in order to win one on one encounters with the opposing defense. The sidelines aren’t as crowded as the middle of the field so wingers must be able to take advantage of that.

Crossing Ability: Wingers usually bring the ball up the field and then cross it into the middle for the striker to score. Wingers must have a high, accurate kick in order to set up their striker to put the ball in the back of the net.

3. Midfielders

Midfielders spend basically all of their time dribbling and passing the ball. This means they must be precise and hold a very high level of technical skill.

Normally, there are three midfielders and the most common formation they hold is a triangle. It is a must for midfielders to not only be precise in their technical skills but be aware of their spacing with other players.

4. Fullbacks

Defensive Ability: The full backs job is to defend! In theory, no opposing offenders should be getting past them and challenging their goalie.

Clearing Ability: Whenever fullbacks get the ball, they want it out of their end. This means that fullbacks must have a strong kick so they can get the ball all the way to the forwards on the other end of the field.

5. Sweepers

Communication: Sweepers have to be great at communicating because a lot of times they have to pass back to their goalie. In order to avoid a mistake goal, they must communicate very clearly.

Strength: A lot of the times, sweepers are the last round of defense before the opposing team gets dangerously close to the goal. This often leads to last ditch efforts such as slide tackling so sweepers must be strong.

6. Goalkeepers

Quick Reflexes: The other team’s offenders are always going to be trying to trick the goalie so they can score. The goalie must be able to adapt to any situation at any time so that they can save the goal.

Diving: A lot of the times this involves diving every which way. Goalies must not be afraid to throw their bodies around because they are going to end up using every part of their body to block goals.

You can also learn about these good soccer positions for beginners!

How can beginners master soccer skills faster?

A lot of people want to hear that there is a secret sauce to learning these essential skills. Technically there isn’t but I promise if you practice for at least one hour every day, you will see vast improvement very fast.

Dedication and persistence are so important to learning these skills. Even if it seems impossible at first, just chip away little by little, every single day.

Of course, there are more concrete steps you can take to master your soccer skills faster and good news – most of them can be done in your backyard! All you need is yourself and a ball.

To improve your dribbling, go back and forth across your yard while alternating paces. You can start off walking but eventually graduate to jogging and then running. While doing this make sure to be taking light, fast touches on the ball. You can alternate touches between the top of your foot and the inside of your foot to practice different types of dribbling.

Once you begin running with the ball, make sure to keep the ball close but not touch it as frequently. You can master this skill using the drill described above. Once you feel confident enough, keep your eyes up and don’t look at the ball or ground; this will ensure you are prepared for gameday!

To improve your passing and trapping skills at home all you need is a ball and a wall. Kicking a soccer ball at a wall may sound silly and way too simple but it will dramatically improve your passing and trapping ability.

All you have to do is kick your soccer ball at a wall and it will bounce right back to you, acting as a rebounder. This will help you practice getting first touches on unpredictable bounces that you will likely encounter during games as well!

If you have a dog or little sibling – play keep away! This is a fun drill that not only improves technical skill, but it also teaches improvisation, creativity, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. All of these skills are extremely valuable in soccer and a game of keep away a couple times a week will drastically improve your soccer skills.

If you feel like your games of keep away are becoming too easy, take it out on the driveway. This may sound random but limiting the space you have to keep the ball away from your opponent will force you to become even more creative in what you do with the ball.

Playing keep away within the driveway both adds boundaries and pressure. Every position in soccer has to learn how to deal with pressure. The best soccer players in the world have honed their ability to thrive under pressure, which separates them from the average player. This method of keep away will be able to improve your own ability of staying calm and making great plays while under pressure.

Final Thoughts …

Hope this article has given you a blueprint regarding the right skills and techniques you should focus on early on!

In fact, focusing on the right techniques on your early days with this sport will certainly make you evolve much quicker comparing to the average newbie.

So, I guess you are on the right Track!

Finally, if you want to learn more difficult skills, then you should have a look at those hard soccer skills!

Claressa Cormier

Claressa Cormier has over 15 years of soccer experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest soccer teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right foot.

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