by Ashley Pugh -

Soccer Coaching With Cupello Part 2 - 10 Games For Individuals

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Table of Contents

In this part two of six parts soccer coaching with Cupello, we look at 10 games for individuals.

Being at home for the summer holidays means that young players have time on their hands to practice either with a friend, parent or on their own. Team sports need individuals to put the effort in when they have the opportunity to do so.

Teams are often training one day a week as well so the time put in on an individual basis should pay off when the season starts again at the end of summer. Investing time into your chosen sport is a good way to spend time.

Cupello has come up with the best ways players can work on individual skills, often with a sibling or friend to help youth players improve their game.

Soccer coaching for kids

Keeping fit over summer

One thing any player needs to do is to keep their general fitness up during the summer especially if they want to develop their playing skills. Players will have to try and keep themselves fit as well as develop skills because once they start playing and training in pre-season they will want to be fit and ready to play.

Things like running and cycling are excellent ways to keep fit, as well as using weights and other forms of fitness training like yoga that stretch muscles and keep players toned.

There are many simple things that players can do like squats and lunges that are good fun to work on when players are alone in the back yard. Older players can use the gym and work with the fitness equipment there.

Simple soccer drills

There are some things that players can do when they are alone that don't need diagrams to explain what needs to be done. These are timeless simple activities that have been used by young players over the years and it has been helpful for their soccer skills.

Ball skills and footwork

You can set up cones that players must run through making sure they use both feet to control the ball, you can do rows or circles or zigzags that players can dribble through to develop their ball skills. Quick feet are very important to a player and will help when they are dribbling in a game.

One two's with a wall

Simply passing the ball against a wall and practicing receiving and passing – you can use one touch to practice side-foot passes which are the most accurate types of passing that players can do. Practicing the side-foot pass is a key part of summer development and will help strengthen ankles and develop both feet.

Individual soccer coaching for kids

Free kicks/shooting

If you have a big garden and a goal you can hang a hoop from the crossbar and use it for accurate shooting from free kicks and direct shots. Set up different differences to shoot from – David Beckham used to spend hours after training on his own just firing shots into areas of the goal that were marked out.

Keepie uppies

One of the best ways to get a balls skills workout is every day to set targets for how many keepie uppies you can do (Keeping the ball in the air using foot, knee, head or chest without it bouncing). Try to do one or two more than the day before so players are building up their ability to keep the ball in the air.

Toe taps

Players can tap the ball on the top with left and right feet which gives feet and ankles a good workout. Quickly switching feet to tap the top of the ball, which will also help balance and control. Do something different by tapping the top and moving around the ball in a circle.

Ball skills

Skills like this are ideal for the back garden with players trying to use skills like this during games. Players love to do them like their heroes they see on TV.

The hook turn

  1. Keep body between defender and the ball
  2. Move arm and place standing leg besides the ball
  3. Fake movement to look like a shot is going to be taken
  4. Pivot on standing leg and hook ball behind the standing leg
  5. Quick change of direction and move away


  1. Control the ball running towards the defender (use a cone to be the defender)
  2. Lean as though you are going to go one way but then using the outside of the foot take the ball the other way fooling the defender.

Stop turn

  1. Dribble at speed towards a cone
  2. Stop just before the cone with foot on top of the ball to stop it moving
  3. Pivot on standing leg and move off with the ball in the opposite direction

Players can also practice skills like throw-ins by marking the length of the throw-in with a cone and trying to beat the distance or have friends try and beat the distance.

Individual soccer coaching

Here are Cupello's 10 best soccer drills for individuals – they are working in pairs with a parent or a friend in some of the drills.

1. Winning 1v1s

Winning 1v1s

The defending player must try to press the player on the ball making sure the attacker has no way through and blocking any passing options

2. 1v1 to goal turn and defend

1v1 to goal turn and defend

Reacting to the ball being won and lost is a key part of a player's development – in this drill the players learn to beat a player to score but also to stop goals being scored

3. Win the ball and attack 1v1

Win the ball and attack 1v1

This game involves a few more players but the 1v1 is an important part of player development and the extra players can be made up from siblings and friends

4. Match Reaction Agility

Match reaction agility

Agility is linked to match fitness and players' ability to last the full game. In this drill the player works on movement and turning and passing skills

5. 1v1 Warm Up

1v1 Warm Up

This is about individual awareness of where abouts the individual is on the pitch in relation to where the goal is. Good for pressing to win the ball and possession to keep the ball

6. 2v1 Dribble or Pass

2v1 Dribble or Pass

In this drill the individual players must make decisions to pass the ball or to take on the defender with a dribble and shot. Key development phase

7. Finish with fast feet

Finish with fast feet

You can set up a circuit like the one in this drill or use parts of it depending on how many siblings or friends that can join in. Circuits are great ways to give individuals movement and shooting practice.

8. Shooting from Runs Outside the Penalty Area

Shooting from runs outside the penalty area

Get players to shoot from distance after running through cones … every player loves to take a shot from long range and this set up adds elements to help players understand when and where to shoot from.

9. Pass and Shoot

Pass and shoot

Repetition is key in this drill with players receiving the ball and setting themselves up to take a shot.

10. Through the Gates

Through the gates

Use this drill as a blueprint for creating a course around the garden where players must go through the gates that you create. You can have numbers of players one upwards depending who you have that wants to play!

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Ashley Pugh Written by
Ashley Pugh

Ashley Pugh is one of the Co-Founders of and has been committed to writing family related content since 2008. There isn't much about family attractions that Ashley doesn't know, after visiting hundreds of them worldwide over the last 20 years.

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