by Ashley Pugh -

Soccer Coaching With Cupello Part 4 - Working On Individual Techniques

Close up of feet working in training soccer cones
object object object object object object object

Table of Contents


In this part four of six parts soccer coaching with Cupello, we look at individual techniques.

Individual training at home should be seen as an important way to advance individual skills especially the relationship between the player and the ball. Outcomes of any individual work should be game relevant, and in the course of working alone try to create as many relevant outcomes as possible.

Working with both feet is a key element of that work, so that players can work on both sides of the pitch and in any position they are given, defender, midfield maestro or two footed attacker.

You are looking for repetition of the coaching point – but you need to make sure the repetition is hidden so the players do not become bored. After all the summer break is all about having fun doing the sport the kids love to play so fun is number one on the list of priorities.

young boy kicks ball in back garden

Here is the Cupello checklist for skills to work on at home:


Players can shoot in a few ways, power shots, curlers, side foot accurate passes into the net. Work on timing, different areas of the foot, timing especially with volley shots. It is important to make sure when the players are attacking their body is positioned so they are balanced and facing the goal ready to receive and when shooting the supporting foot should be next to the ball and players should not be leaning back when they shoot. 

Fast feet:

Movement of the ball with the foot is vital to quick play and one touch passing. Dribbling with both feet at speed like Lionel Messi can be key to beating defences and getting behind them to attack the goal.

First touch:

The ability to control the ball with the first touch is an important development for young players as it makes the next action easier, be it a pass or a shot. A good first touch is also vital for teams playing a possession game or when they are under pressure from pressing opponents.


Keep your arms out at all times when dribbling around defenders. You can use them  to brush past players, improve your balance, and keep players farther away from you.

Good balance will help you cut quickly in any direction while retaining control of the ball.

Land on the front of your feet every step, whether you are dribbling forward with your laces or cutting across your body using an inside touch.

Ball Control:

Try to move the ball quickly, using a maximum of one or two touches. Try to get players to use one touch passing and only to depend on a second touch when they have to control a poor pass.

Running with the ball:

Pushing the ball in front of you and running with it – more likely to be in a straight line because the ball is not touched as often as it is when you dribble.

Turning with the ball:

Movement to change direction with the ball keeping it away from defenders

One of the best exercises that is great fun but also essential to becoming a better player is to develop player's control of the ball. This is key to every aspect of play. Power kicks and especially side foot passing are the key elements of game play. Work on this at home and when you next get to practice you will notice a big difference in how you control the ball and how you link up play with your team mates.

Driveway exercises for the development of foot control

By Richard Sewall – Rick specializes in the technical development of youth players of all ages, both through team soccer coaching and through camps and clinics.

Find a hard and flat surface, like a driveway, tennis or basketball court, or grass if ball bounces true. Have a properly inflated ball.

Exercises steps:

1)    With the ball in your hands and using a plantar-flexed foot (toe down, ankle locked), kick the ball up in the air with the instep, under control just a little higher than your head. Let it bounce on the flat surface, then kick it up again. Repeat for 2-3 minutes.

2)    Do the same with your weaker foot.

3)    Use both feet alternately.

4)    With the ball in your hands and using a dorsi-flexed foot (toe all the way up, ankle locked), kick the ball up in the air with the inside of the foot. The inside surface will be  facing upward and the sole of the foot facing away from the body.  Repeat as in steps 2  and 3.

5)    Alternate using a plantar and dorsi- flexed foot.

6)    After practicing for a while with one kick, try kicking the ball several times between bounces.


1)    On both kicks (the one with the instep and the one with the inside of the foot), make contact with the ball waist high or higher. If you make contact too low, maintaining foot control becomes difficult.

2)    Bend the upper body slightly forward before kicking. As you lift your leg to kick, the upper body should move farther forward

3)    Lift the leg to kick using only the hip joint (not the knee joint) for both the instep and inside of the foot. Keep the knee bent at about a 45-degree angle throughout the exercise, never straightening the leg or bending more than 45 degrees. Never lose foot control.

4)    Keep the feet moving constantly to maintain the proper distance from the ball. Happy feet!

The emphasis in this exercise is on foot control. It helps train the foot for kicking the ball properly when it is on the ground. Essentially, you are practicing foot control for the power kick and the inside of the foot push pass.

You have achieved a major technical goal when you’ve got solid foot control using the instep and inside of the foot.

The power kick By Richard Sewall

You can use this individual practice to become better at power shots at goal.

This is split into three parts:

  1. Sitting
  2. Standing
  3. Kicking

Work on this for around 15-20 minutes and break it down to 6 sessions. In session 1 work on the sitting part and then go into standing for session 2 and 3 with a brief review of the sitting session at the start of each session. In the last three sessions you should be spending most time on the actual kicking of the ball on the ground.

striker shoots on goal and goalkeeper misses as ball heads towards net

Rick's step by step guide:

Sometimes you just need to hit the target with accuracy and power. In a youth match hitting the target with power can be the best option. Here is a step-by-step guide to hitting an instep drive.

Cupello's best FIVE soccer drills for using indvidual skills in a game


 1. Dribbling dynamo

Long gone are the days of booting the ball and hoping for the best, players need to become confident dribblers with the ball

Dribbling dynamo diagram

2. Finishing from crossing positions

In this session players will have the opportunity to practice finishing in and around the 18 yard box from varied crossing deliveries, against defenders who will look to defend from a zonal tactic. Important finishing drills are realistic to the game

Finishing from crossing positions diagram

3. Attack The Defender
In this drill attackers are making decisions about when to shoot plus all the techniques an attacker needs – movement, first touch, dribble, shot. It is also a good work out for goalkeepers and defenders.

Attack The Defender diagram

4. 1v1 and 2v1 finishing

Giving players repetition at any skill will improve their technique, in this drill players will have the opportunity to get plenty of shots at goal with and without pressure.

1v1 and 2v1 finishing diagram

5. React and score

A striker needs to be able to shoot the second a chance occurs. Young players often take the extra touch but you can coach that out of them with this session and watch your team score more goals

React and score diagram

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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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