As a soccer player or even hobbyist, adults should focus on different skills from those they were practicing where they were kids …
… These skills are a bit advanced, yet extremely useful and effective if they want to have the most success in any game!
In this article, I go all in! Indeed, I breakdown 15 different skills for adults that will enhance the quality of their game really quickly. For each skill, I provide my favourite drill to practice it and learn it.
Let’s dive in!
1. Dribbling in straight lines
Such a skill might sound easy yet it include made other abilities like close ball control, the ability to run with the ball with proper balance and spatial awareness!
Quick Tip: To make the most out of these drills, 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!
An excellent drill for that is to line up a row of cones two yards apart and to run through them, keeping the ball as close to the cones as possible without touching them.
Once you feel that you’ve quite mastered this technique with one foot, switch to the other!
Learn to lift your head so that you can see where you are headed, whilst knowing where the ball is at any time.
2. Dribbling in circles
Dribble in a circle is a bit more advanced than the previous skill, because in a real game situation, players rarely get the opportunity to run straight at opponents…
… Instead, learning this advanced technique adds balance and stability to the dribbling skills you may already have mastered.
Take the cones and arrange them in a circle perhaps 12 yards in diameter.
Then try dribbling around the cones as before, trying to stay as close to them as possible.
Try this first clockwise and then anti-clockwise to try this exercise in different conditions.
You can also learn these tips to improve your soccer drilbbling skills at home!
3. The self-pass
One of the biggest problems players find in a game situation is a lack of space, particularly in midfield or the opposition’s third of the field. A self-pass is an easy and effective way to buy yourself an extra yard.
As the name suggests it involves passing the ball to yourself by just tapping the ball forward a yard or so and then moving to occupy the space you have just created.
It can be practiced by playing the ball of a wall, or having a teammate pass the ball towards you.
You can also learn these tips to improve your passing skills alone …
A cut back is a type of pass used by a player who gets to the dead ball line and then passes the ball back to forwards and midfielders who are attacking the goal. It can be hard to defend this, simply because defenders are often wrong-footed and are expecting a flat cross instead.
To practice this skill, have one player run towards the dead ball line with the ball, whilst a teammate stands on the penalty spot.
The cut back should reach them in such a way that it falls into their path without them even having to break stride.
Try and practice this with both feet.
5. Inside Foot taps
One of the things that helps distinguish the good from the average player is their ability to control the ball, especially in tight situations. This skill require as well as stamina and balance.
Begin with your feet apart and the ball on the instep of one foot. Roll it to the other foot and then back again, repeating this exercise for at least a minute.
Make sure that the ball always stays on the sweet spot on the inside of each foot and never moves outside that arc.
6. The Step Over
A step over is where a player feints a change of direction by pacing his foot above the ball and then shifts the ball in the opposite direction and accelerates away from his opponent.
The move is practiced by placing your dominant foot next to the ball, and the bringing your weaker foot forward and over the ball.
Pretend to head in one direction by dropping your shoulder, then bring your weaker foot down on the other side of the ball.
Now bring your stronger foot next to the weaker foot, and, keep control of the ball, head in the opposite direction to which you first signalled.
7. The Pull-Back
This move was popularised by the Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas, part of the legendary Real Madrid team of the late 1950s/early 1960s.
It is regarded as a key move for any player because it can help create space in a tight situation.
To practice this first try it just by yourself. With the ball in front of you, uses the sole of your foot to roll the ball backwards.
Then take your sole from the top of the boot and use your instep to kick the ball in front of you and accelerate away with the ball.
Having mastered it by yourself, add a defender into the equation. Use the manoeuvre to keep the ball away from them and then use the space you have created to put some distance between you.
Volleying is a tough skill to master because the ball is in the air and there is no time to take touch to bring it under control.
You need to watch the ball carefully, make sure that you are balanced, and ready to address the ball correctly with your striking foot.
To practice this, have a colleague throw or pass a ball in front of you and practice striking it with either foot.
To begin with do not worry about where the ball goes, just concentrate on hitting it cleanly.
When this skill has been learned then begin to focus on accuracy, perhaps bringing in a goal as a target.
Keep in mind that these kind of skills require some confidence … You can learn how you can help your confidence for soccer!
9. Wall Shooting
Soccer is a low scoring game, so a premium is placed upon the ability to shoot with power and accuracy. At the same time, when you are in the opposition penalty box, you are not going to have much time on the ball, so you need to be confident to shoot first time.
To practice this skill, you need three players – a goalkeeper, somebody to provide the pass, and somebody to shoot. After a while, alternate the positions.
The passer and the shooter play one or two wall passes between each other, and then the shooter must try and shoot first time.
After five goals have been scored, change the positions and then, after everybody has had a turn, start again, this time with everybody using their other foot to shoot.
The ability to cross the ball is an important skill, because a good cross can create many goal scoring opportunities.
Not only must you be able to pass the ball with accuracy as well, but usually you are required to run with it first and having to do two things at once is a technique that must be learned.
To practice this, four players are needed:
- One to pass the ball to the winger
- Then the winger who must supply the cross to the striker
- The latter must shoot towards the net
- The latter is guarded by the goalkeeper.
The aim is that the winger must collect the ball, run with it towards the penalty box and deliver it so that it lands either on the feet or on the head of the incoming forward, who must immediately strike towards goal.
11. Grid Passing
The ability to pass accurately is amongst the most highly prized in soccer. Players are needed to play the ball to feet at the right pace so a teammate can immediately control the ball and initiate the next movement.
To practice this, create a rectangular grid area three yards wide by 15 yards long. Two players should stand at either end of the grid and attempt to pass to each other without the ball leaving the grid.
Every time one of their passes leaves the grid, the other player gets a point.
After a while change so that passes are made with the weaker foot, and players can try chipping the ball instead of making flat passes.
They should also extend the length of the grid to make it more difficult.
12. Passing with an opponent
In a real game situation, what makes passing more difficult is the presence of players on the opposite side on the pitch.
Passes need to be judged and executed in such a way that they are not intercepted.
A variation of the following drill is used by many professional clubs…
…They will get players standing in a circle, with another player standing in the middle. They must pass the ball across the circle without the man in the middle intercepting it.
When he does so, then the person who hit the misplaced pass must take his place.
The advantage of this drill is it helps practice defending as well.
You can also learn about long passing in soccer …
13. The Chip
A chip is a shot where the ball is kicked from underneath and is either designed to go over the head of opponents, or to score a goal (it may also be called a lob).
The aim is not to hit the ball with power, but with accuracy!
Stand with the ball on your instep and then cushion the foot under the ball, striking it so that it gets elevation and heads in the air.
You will find that you need to place the foot in exactly the right area to get the intended direction on the ball, Practice this technique with both feet.
14. The back-heel
The aim of a back heel is to deceive a defender making them think the ball is going to go one way when it eventually goes in another.
It is executed with the heel of the foot with the ball going either backwards or to one side.
Part of the difficulty is that a back-heel works best when you are looking in a different direction. So, practice looking one way and directing the ball another, first by yourself, and then with a teammate to represent an opponent.
15. The Bicycle Kick
Arguably one of the greatest sights on a soccer pitch is a well-executed bicycle kick, but they are difficult to get right, and only a handful of players have the audacity to try them.
Two of the best of all time were actually scored by teammates for Real Madrid in the same Champions League campaign.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s bicycle kick in the quarterfinals against Juventus was so good that the home crowd gave him a standing ovation afterwards.
And Gareth Bale’s effort in the final against Liverpool helped the Spanish club lift the trophy for the 13th time.
The manoeuvre is performed by a player propelling themselves into the air in a backward direction.
Keeping their eye on the ball at all times, they make a cycling motion with their feet, and then strike the ball with power and accuracy.
This skill requires a great deal of athleticism and the timing needs to be exactly right.
Keep in mind that this kind of skills is more adapted for advanced players …
Final Thoughts …
As an adult and a soccer player, you should add most of these skills to your arsenal! The great thing about these skills is that they are useful regardless of the position you choose to play in …
… Especially in modern soccer!
Hope you’ve found it useful, if so, would really appreciate it if you share this article with your fellow players who need this kind of information.
Lastly, if you are a beginner, then you should check those very important soccer skills for beginners … You will find those skills ready interesting!