Soccer Drills for Speed

Soccer is a sport where agility, control, and precision are crucial. Drills using cones are highly effective in enhancing these skills. This article presents 10 effective soccer drills that focus on boosting your speed on the field. Whether you’re a coach or a player, these drills will help refine your technique and gain an edge in your game performance. Let’s lace up those cleats and dive into these speed-enhancing exercises!


Key Takeaways

  • Cone drills improve agility, ball control, and decision-making under pressure.
  • Consistent practice of these drills is essential for improving speed and game performance.
  • Incorporating a competitive element, like in the Dribble Race Drill, can increase intensity and focus during practice.
  • A comprehensive speed training program can significantly improve a player’s explosiveness and quickness within a short time frame.
  • Combining these speed drills with additional shooting exercises can create a well-rounded training regimen for unstoppable soccer players.


1. Cone Weaving Drill

The cone weaving drill is all about mastering the art of close ball control and boosting your agility. Picture this: a neat row of cones spaced about a yard apart. Your mission? Weave through them with a soccer ball at your feet without missing a beat. It’s a simple drill, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a powerhouse for building those tight-space maneuvers that are so handy during a match.

Here’s how you set it up:

  • Place your cones in a straight line, one yard apart.
  • Start at one end with a ball.
  • Weave in and out of the cones as quickly as possible while controlling the ball.

This drill is a staple for a reason. It lays the groundwork for agility and ball mastery, which are essential for game-changing plays.

The more you practice, the more you’ll see your pitch skills improve. So, lace up those cleats and get weaving! Cone weaving drills enhance control and agility, teaching players to navigate the ball in tight spaces. Whether you’re a youth or an adult player, this drill is designed to benefit players of all ages and skill levels, with appropriate modifications to suit each group’s needs. Consistency is key for improvement on the pitch.


2. Figure 8 Drill

The Figure 8 Drill is all about mastering those swift moves! Set up your cones in, you guessed it, a figure-eight layout. This isn’t just about running in circles; it’s a dance with the ball that sharpens your agility and gets you in sync with the sphere at your feet.

Weave through the cones, focusing on quick turns and smooth transitions from one loop to the next. It’s a fantastic way to build that natural bond between you and the ball, making every touch count.

Here’s a quick rundown of the drill setup:

  • Place cones in a straight line, about 2 yards apart.
  • At each cone, perform a stop-and-go maneuver.
  • Focus on tight ball control and rapid speed changes.
  • Repeat the drill to build endurance and refine technique.


3. Cone Slalom Drill

The Cone Slalom Drill is all about mastering dribbling with a twist of agility. Imagine a zigzag pattern of cones laid out before you, each one an opportunity to finesse your dribbling precision. As you weave through the cones, you’re not just moving the ball; you’re training to navigate through tight spots and unpredictable gameplay situations. This drill is essential for players looking to improve their footwork and agility.

The Cone Slalom Drill is a dynamic way to replicate real-game scenarios, pushing you to adapt and overcome on the fly.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Place cones in a straight line, about 2 yards apart.
  • At each cone, perform a dynamic maneuver, such as a quick change of direction or a feint.
  • Focus on tight ball control and rapid speed changes.
  • Use both feet to ensure versatility in your dribbling.
  • Challenge yourself to increase speed without losing control of the ball.

The goal is to glide through the drill gracefully and precisely. It’s not just about speed; it’s about moving with purpose and building confidence with the ball at your feet.


4. Square Drill

The Square Drill is all about mastering those tight turns and keeping the ball glued to your feet. Imagine a square made of cones, and there you are, dribbling around the edges like a pro. At each corner, you’re challenged to make a sharp turn, maintaining control of the ball as if it’s an extension of your body. This drill is perfect for players looking to improve their agility and ball handling in tight spaces.

  • Start by setting up a square with cones at each corner.
  • Begin dribbling at one corner and proceed to the next, making a tight turn around the cone.
  • Keep the ball close, using quick touches to maintain control.
  • Once you’ve completed the circuit, repeat in the opposite direction.

Speed and precision are key here, as you navigate the square with the ball at your feet. It’s not just about being fast, but also about being smart with your movements. The Square Drill will help you become a more formidable player on the pitch, capable of handling the ball under pressure and in tight spaces.


5. Mirror Drill

The Mirror Drill is all about syncing up with a partner to enhance your ball control and awareness on the pitch. Pair up your players, with one taking the lead and the other following closely behind. The leader’s job is to dribble in unpredictable patterns while the follower tries to mirror their movements as closely as possible. This exercise is fantastic for developing a keen sense of your teammate’s and opponent’s movements during a match.

By focusing on the leader’s actions, the follower improves their reaction time and anticipates changes in direction, which is crucial for maintaining possession under pressure.

Youth soccer drills like the Mirror Drill are especially beneficial for players in the U9 to U12 age groups. These drills emphasize mastering the basics, such as dribbling and passing, through dynamic exercises. Consistency in practice is the foundation for future success in soccer.


6. Cone Stop-and-Go Drill

The Cone Stop-and-Go Drill is all about mastering the art of pace. Players line up cones, and at each marker, they’re tasked with a swift stop-and-go, pushing their acceleration and deceleration to the limits while keeping the ball glued to their feet. It’s a fantastic way to boost a player’s agility, teaching them to switch speeds like a pro during intense matches. This drill is essential for players who want to enhance their agility, speed, and performance on the field.

Here’s a quick rundown of the drill setup:

  • Place cones in a straight line, about 2 yards apart.
  • At each cone, perform a stop-and-go maneuver.
  • Focus on tight ball control and rapid speed changes.
  • Repeat the drill to build endurance and refine technique.

The key to success in this drill is the ability to control the ball at varying speeds, making it one of the 10 Must-Try Soccer Footwork Drills. By incorporating this exercise into your training, you’re not only working on your speed but also on your ability to be dynamic and effective during a game.


7. Dribble and Pass Drill

The Dribble and Pass Drill is all about syncing your feet with your teammates. Imagine two lines of players facing each other, each one ready to flaunt their dribbling prowess. They advance towards one another, exchange a sharp pass, and then dash to the end of the opposite line. It’s a rhythm of agility and precision, where swift decision-making pairs with impeccable ball handling.

Here’s how to nail it:

  • Start with a comfortable distance between the lines.
  • Pay attention to the quality of your dribble as you approach your partner.
  • Make the pass count; it should be firm and accurate.
  • After passing, sprint to the back of the opposite line to maintain the flow.

This drill isn’t just about the pass; it’s a measure of how well you can keep control under the subtle pressure of an approaching player. It’s like a mini-duel, equipping you for the real confrontations on the field.

It’s crucial to integrate acceleration, deceleration, and passing skills into your dribbling practice. The Dribble and Pass Drill does just that, enhancing your ability to handle the ball with finesse and speed.

10 Effective Soccer Drills for Speed
Foto de Nigel Msipa na Unsplash

8. Pressure Drill

The Pressure Drill is a high-octane exercise that’s all about simulating the intensity of a real match. Imagine you’re in the thick of the action, and every move counts. That’s what this drill is designed to replicate. By setting up a grid with cones and assigning roles of attacker and defender, players get to experience the thrill and challenge of evading an opponent who’s hell-bent on stealing the ball. It’s the ultimate test of ball shielding and navigation in tight spaces.

The key to success in this drill is maintaining control and composure, even when faced with aggressive defense.

Players will not only boost their ability to protect the ball but also build confidence for those nail-biting one-on-one situations that are so crucial on match days. Here’s what you’ll gain from the Pressure Drill:

  • Enhances ball protection skills
  • Builds confidence in high-pressure situations
  • Improves decision-making while being closely marked

This drill isn’t just a physical challenge; it’s a mental one too. By repeating this exercise, players will see a noticeable improvement in their ability to maintain control under pressure. It’s not just about speed; it’s about intelligent movement—knowing when to burst forward and ease off to outmaneuver opponents.


9. Dribble Race Drill

Ready to amp up the excitement in your training? The Dribble Race Drill is here to inject some competitive spirit into your sessions. This drill is all about speed dribbling and maneuvering past defenders with finesse. Here’s the lowdown on setting it up:

  • Place cones in a straight line, each about 2 yards apart.
  • At each cone, challenge players to perform quick footwork and close ball control.
  • The goal is to maintain rapid speed changes while keeping the ball close.
  • Encourage players to use unpredictable moves to simulate real-game scenarios.

This drill is perfect for players of all ages and skill levels, aiming to improve their dribbling under pressure and enhance their in-game resilience.

By repeating this drill, players will boost their endurance and refine their technique, making them formidable on the field. For those looking to take their skills to the next level, consider using training apps that offer specialized drills for further improvement.


10. Speed Training Programme

Ready to amp up your game with some serious speed training? The 28-Day Speed Training Programme is here to transform you into a lightning-fast soccer player. This programme is a blend of gym and pitch sessions, meticulously designed to boost your speed and explosiveness in just under a month. You’ll tackle a variety of drills, including ladder drills, plyometrics, and cone drills, all aimed at enhancing your footwork, coordination, and sprinting prowess.

With a combination of gym and pitch sessions, this programme will help you become a faster and more dynamic player.

Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect:

  • Ladder drills to improve agility
  • Plyometric exercises for explosive power
  • Cone drills to sharpen your footwork
  • Gym sessions to build strength
  • Sprints to increase your speed endurance

The program has received reviews for its well-structured speed sessions and easy-to-understand drills. Whether you’re looking to jump higher, sprint faster, or get ahead of the competition, this program has got you covered.



Alright, soccer enthusiasts, we’ve blitzed through 10 dynamic drills that will elevate your speed and agility on the field. From cone-weaving wizardry to dribble races that get your heart thumping, these exercises are your secret weapon to becoming a more formidable player. Remember, the magic happens with consistent practice, so don’t let those cones gather dust! Keep challenging yourself, mix in some shooting drills for a well-rounded routine, and you’ll be tearing up the turf quickly. Now, lace up, get out there, and show the pitch what you’re made of!


Frequently Asked Questions


How often should I practice these soccer drills to see improvement?

Consistency is key for improvement. Aim to practice these drills several times a week, focusing on technique and gradually increasing intensity.


Can these drills be performed individually or do they require a team?

Many of these drills can be practiced individually, but some may benefit from the presence of teammates to simulate real-game scenarios.


Are these drills suitable for players of all skill levels?

Yes, these drills are designed to benefit players of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced. Adjust the complexity and intensity to match your skill level.


Do I need any special equipment for these drills?

The primary equipment you’ll need is cones for marking drill areas. A ball for each player is also essential. Additional equipment like ladders or hurdles may be used in some drills.


How can I measure my improvement in speed and agility?

You can measure improvement by timing your drills, noting how your control and agility increase, and by tracking your performance during actual games.


Is there a particular order I should follow when doing these drills?

While there’s no mandatory order, it’s beneficial to start with basic drills to warm up and gradually progress to more complex ones that require higher levels of skill and fitness.



As a soccer coach and graduate in Physical Education, I bring a wealth of expertise to the field. My coaching philosophy combines technical precision with a passion for player well-being. With a commitment to fostering both skill and sportsmanship, I aim to empower athletes, nurturing their growth not only as players but as individuals on the journey to success.


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