Pro Soccer Practice Drills: Target Practice
When I was first starting out in Europe and was training with a reserve side in Serbia I saw the assistant coach putting some of the first team players through this after a light Saturday morning session. It tests accuracy, decision making and your ability to vary your service from the middle of the park. Enough talk let's get into it.
This particular drill can be done on your own much like any of the other skill tests found on the skills page. This workout helps you develop your ability to play the long ball. So this means you centre mids, centre backs and any other position where the long ball is a weapon you want to develop. If you struggle with this, which many of you may, then it's time to put some extra work in.
Don't feel like you have to be perfect the first time you try this or any of the pro soccer practice drills listed, get the feel for it before you start getting on yourself.
10 balls preferably. 5 will work but you'll have to collect them half way through. If you have one ball, this will turn into a fitness drill.
Set up five targets (preferably using pylons set up in a square 5 yards long and 5 yards wide) if you don't have cones you can use garbage cans, shoes, rocks, goals or whatever else)
The targets are to be set up as follows: (if using an actual pitch, if not adjust accordingly)
First target: In between the corner of the 18 yard box and the side line.
Second target: Same thing on opposite side.
Third Target: 15 yards closer to half then the first two targets
Fourth Target: Same thing on opposite side
Fifth Target: Middle of the pitch 10 yards above the 18 yard box.
Rules of this Soccer Practice Drill:
-You start at half with the balls (5-10 balls)
-This is a two touch game, you have one touch to turn, one touch to hit the ball
-Balls can be passed to you by a teammate but if not keep the ball up for a couple touches then hit it high in the air, control and turn with a touch and then serve the ball.
-You MUST alternate feet each time. If you serve the first ball with your right foot the next must be with the left and so on.
Object of Game:
-Hit the targets (simple enough!)
-Each target has a different value and you have ten balls to hit all 5 targets. -Land the ball in the square in the air (3points) -Ball rolls into the area on the ground (1point) -Hit all targets (either air or ground) extra 3 points
-Can't hit the same target twice in a row but you can go back to it after.
-Add up your points. Challenge your mates.
Food for Thought:
-18 points = PERFECT SCORE (not likely hot shot)
-A good score is above 12
-Average between 7-10
-Poor is 6 and under
-It's tougher then you thought eh?
The beauty of this particular soccer practice drill is it makes you serve the ball quickly and makes your decisions have to be even quicker. Over time you should see yourself getting better and better at it as your long ball ability improves and you get the feel for it.
It's nice to do drills and skills that professionals do to see how you compare to that level. Most players I saw doing it that day didn't get under 10 points hardly ever. It's fun and functional. Enjoy.