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Basic Football Drills

Basic Football Drills for Youth

Football is a popular sport worldwide, and many youngsters develop a passion for it at a young age. To become skilled in the game, it is essential for youth players to start with the basics. Basic football drills provide a solid foundation for young athletes, helping them develop crucial skills like passing, shooting, dribbling, and defending.

In this article, we will explore a variety of basic football drills for youth players, allowing them to improve their technique, coordination, and understanding of the game.

1. Dribbling Drills:

Dribbling is a fundamental skill in football and requires both agility and ball control. The following basic drills can help young players enhance their dribbling abilities:

a) Cone Weave:

Set up a series of cones in a straight line about 3 to 5 yards apart. Players must dribble the ball in a zigzag pattern through the cones, using both feet and maintaining control at all times.

b) Dribble and Shield:

Create a square playing area with four cones. Place a defender in the middle, and the remaining players evenly distributed on the outside. The players on the outside must dribble the ball while trying to shield it from the defender in the middle.

c) Dribble Tag:

Mark a large circular area and select two or three players as taggers. The remaining players must dribble their balls around the area while avoiding the taggers. If tagged, players switch roles with the tagger.

2. Passing Drills:

Passing is a crucial aspect of football, and youth players must learn to pass accurately and with proper technique. The following basic drills can help improve passing skills:

a) Wall Passing:

Set up two players facing a wall, a few feet apart. They must pass the ball back and forth with proper technique, focusing on accuracy and utilizing different types of passes, such as the inside of the foot, laces, and instep.

b) Triangle Passing:

Form a triangle with three players about ten yards apart from each other. Each player takes turns passing the ball to the next player in the triangle, maintaining accuracy and speed.

c) Long-Distance Passing:

Set up two cones about 30 yards apart. Players line up behind one cone and take turns passing the ball to another player at the opposite cone. This drill helps develop long-distance passing skills.

3. Shooting Drills:

Scoring goals is the ultimate objective of football. Improving shooting skills at a young age can lead to a successful future in the sport. The following basic drills can help young players enhance their shooting abilities:

a) One-on-One Shooting:

Create a rectangular area with a goalkeeper and a series of cones as the shooting line. Players take turns dribbling towards the shooting line and attempt to score against the goalkeeper.

b) Shooting Progression:

Start with simple shooting, allowing players to take shots from different angles and distances. Gradually introduce more challenging elements, such as a defender or a limited amount of time to shoot, to simulate game situations.

c) Shooting Accuracy:

Set up various targets or cones within the goal. Players must aim and shoot at these targets, focusing on accuracy and precision. This drill helps improve shooting technique and placement.

4. Defending Drills:

Defending is a vital aspect of football, and youth players must learn proper defensive techniques to effectively stop opponents. The following basic drills can help enhance defensive skills:

a) 1v1 Defending:

Set up a small playing area and pair up players. One player acts as the attacker, while the other defends. The objective is for the defender to block the attacker’s progress and prevent them from scoring.

b) Shadow Defending:

Divide players into pairs, with one designated as the shadow and the other as the attacker. The shadow player mimics the movements of the attacker, working on staying in front and blocking their path to the goal.

c) Small-Sided Games:

Organize small-sided matches where players can apply their defensive skills in a game-like scenario. This allows them to understand positioning, marking, and teamwork in a practical setting.


Basic football drills for youth are essential for building a strong foundation in the sport. Dribbling, passing, shooting, and defending skills are all crucial aspects of the game that young players must develop. By incorporating these basic drills into their training sessions, youth players can improve their technique, coordination, and overall understanding of the sport. Remember, practice and repetition of these drills are key to mastery, so encourage young players to train regularly and have fun while doing so.

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