Best Soccer Conditioning Drills: With and Without Ball
Endurance is the name of the game in soccer. Through soccer training drills, soccer shooting drills, and soccer warm up drills among other types of drills, the player receives immense endurance in practice for the real competition. Soccer conditioning drills are another important component of the practicing process as they effectively replicate the bodily demands that the soccer game incites. Soccer conditioning drills normally can be done with or without a ball as they are aligned more so with the exercise aspect. Soccer fitness drills fall under the scope of soccer conditioning as players learn to move quickly and rapidly, along with hand and eye coordination if a ball is being used. Many coaches and soccer experts recommend players participate in soccer conditioning workouts or even a soccer conditioning program to provide them with intense fitness sessions necessary if they are to play the game of soccer successfully. Take a look at a list of conditioning drills that include soccer conditioning drills with ball and soccer conditioning drills without ball.
- Tight Space Dribbling – with the use of a soccer ball, this drill needs to be done at the start of a practice, following a warm up. The drill is done using intervals of one minute and the players are encouraged to express themselves with the ball through various movements. This variety is encouraged to change during each 60 second interval. The coach may also tell the players to change directions while they are dribbling the ball.
- 2 versus 2 – in a group of five, two players are the offense; the other two are the defense. The remaining player is needed as the spare player. The offensive players, or the attackers are given the ball and the defensive players must try to get the ball away from the offense. The drill is considered by most soccer players to be an ingeniously done drill that is both physically and mentally demanding.
- Step Jumps – with no ball needed, this exercise is done after a warm-up. Players will stand beside an object which is typically a cone but not always. The player is to bring their knees to their upper torso and jump vertically over the object. As a part of many conditioning routines, 3 sets are recommended. The players should try to avoid touching the surface of the soccer field or gym if possible.
- Shuttles – effective but demanding, this drill can be done as a group or individually. Often recommended as a part of soccer goalkeeper conditioning drills, this drill is a sprint and come back drill. Goalkeepers must be able to act timely to avoid the opposing team players scoring a goal. The sprints are to be performed with cones placed roughly close to each other. The players will run around each cone and rest for 30 seconds and then run around the cones in the opposite direction.
- Triangle Run – with a triangular shaped grid using cones, players are commanded to dribble a ball around the cones for 5 minutes. This creates agility in the players and keeps them on their toes through a constant usage of hand and eye coordination.
- The Penalty Spot Drill – with the usage of the penalty area, players must sprint to one corner of the area and then return to the starting point and sprint to another corner. All four corners of the area should be sprinted to. This drill is to be repeated five times.
- Uphill sprints – to develop strong power in the legs, players have to run 10 yard sprints. Coaches typically allow a lot of rest time in between the sprints so the players do not get burn out considering the sprints is done uphill.
- The Lateral Shuffle – in a staircase motion, cones are lined up and the players have to sprint to each of the cones in one direction first and then the opposing direction for a period of specified time.
- Pyramid running – with a combination of jogging and running, cones are lined up around the penalty box and the players have to run around the cones in a clockwise and then counterclockwise fashion. Sets of 3 or 4 are generally done in a practice session. The combination happens with a run then jog motion, with the jogging being for about 1 minute.
- Speed Circuiting – noted by soccer players as being an easy conditioning drill, this drill has players form a circuit type loop and perform a variation of fitness routines within the circuit loop in an effort to build fortitude and agility.
- Pitch Runs – designed with aerobic finesse in mind, fitness is achieved through this simple conditioning drill that combines lap running and sprinting for the players in intervals. Players generally perform 3 sets of this conditioning drill and then cool down.