In years past, soccer players used to be able to take off in the summer and work on their fitness during the pre-season. But today’s elite athletes are dedicated, driven, and committed to doing summer workouts and drills in the off-season. That’s because they want to make sure that they’re ready to go for the upcoming fall soccer season as soon as it starts. While you might be tempted to relax and enjoy the warm weather this summer, that’s probably not the best idea if you’re planning on playing soccer for your school in the fall.
After all, when it comes to soccer tryouts, you only have one shot to make a good first impression on your soccer coach. That’s why it’s extremely important to properly prepare for the upcoming season in the summer. So, if you want to standout at tryouts, and not fall behind your teammates or any opponents that you might play in scrimmages, here are some pre-season summer drills that you can do that will help you take your game to the next level.
5 Summer Pre-Season Drills For Soccer Players
The coaching staff will be watching you and your teammates closely all throughout tryouts. They’ll want to see where everyone’s conditioning is at, whether you have ball mastery or not, and ensure that everyone on the field has the physical, technical, tactical, and mental qualities required for each position.
Full-backs need to have explosive speed and endurance, central defenders have to have good height, power, jumping skills, speed, and mobility, and midfielders need to have outstanding strength, endurance, and mobility. Wingers needendurance and speed, strikers have to have good agility, power, and speed, and goalkeepers must have excellent jumping skills, reaction time, agility, and size.
So, here are some physical and technical training drills for you to do this summer that will help you hone your soccer skills right in time for the season. Just make sure to hydrate, rest as needed, and listen to what your body is telling you whenever you’re exercising outdoors in the summer. And always remember, before your start any drills or play in a game, make sure to loosen up your muscles and get your heart rate going by doing some dynamic stretches.
Soccer Drill 1: 3-2-1 Pattern Interval Sprints
Aerobic exercises are endurance-type exercises that increase your heart rate and breathing rate over long durations, while anaerobic exercises are exercises that involve short bursts of intense activity. The purpose of the 3-2-1 Pattern Interval Sprints is to help you progress from aerobic to anaerobic exercise. While sprints are probably the last thing you want to do in the summer heat, they’re what will set you apart from everyone else on the field. That’s because as the match goes on, and your opponents starts to slow down and show signs of fatigue, you’ll still be going strong.
To do 3-2-1 Pattern Interval Sprints, run as fast as you can for three minutes around a soccer field (or a track), and then rest for one minute. Then sprint again for two minutes, and rest for two minutes. After that, run for one minute and rest for three minutes. This will take 12 minutes total. Try to repeat this drill three times. You can either do this drill alone or with some of your teammates.
Soccer Drill 2: One Touch Passing Drill
If you have a teammate to train with during the off-season, you can practice this One Touch Passing Drill that will help both of you play at a faster pace in game situations. While you don’t need to play one touch all the time, if you check your shoulder during a game and see a defender coming, you can play a one touch pass back to your teammate that passed you the ball.
To practice this One Touch Passing Drill, set up two cones about 15 yards apart. Then have your partner pass you the ball. Move to it slightly, and make a one touch pass back. Your partner will take two touches, and pass you a good ball again. Then after a minute or two, switch with your partner. Go until you’re tired, or want to move on to the next drill. And if you’d like to challenge your partner (or your partner to challenge you a bit more), you can pass the ball a little harder, or make passes that are bouncing.
Soccer Drill 3: 1v1 Soccer Battle Drill
The 1v1 Soccer Battle drill is designed to focus on the attacker’s change of direction, change of pace, and burst of speed to the goal, while also working on the defender’s ability to close down the attacker quickly. This drill will also help defenders work on their reaction time, speed of recovery, and defensive angles. When doing this drill, the attacker should use feints, fakes, change of direction, and speed to try to get the defender off balance. Meanwhile, the defender should be watching the attacker’s hips rather than the ball, and react quickly to try and close the attacker down.
To set this drill up, you’ll need to create a grid that’s 40 yards wide and 30 yards long. Make sure to also set up small goals on each end line. Then the attacker will start on one sideline without the ball and the defender will start on the other sideline with the ball. Then the defender will step out with the ball, passing it to the attacker. The defender will then quickly try to close down the attack. The attacker can either attack one of the two small goals. Not knowing which goal the attacker will try to score on, the defender must react quickly to the attacker’s movements in order to close down the attack. Once the ball is either scored or goes out of bounds, the play is over. Then reset and switch, with the player who was just the attacker becoming the defender.
Soccer Drill 4: 4v1 Rotation
The 4v1 Rotation drill is basically the soccer version of keep away. It’s designed to help you and your teammates with passing, possession, and marking, which is a defensive strategy aimed at preventing a member of the opposing team from taking control of the ball.
To do this drill, four players will be placed in a grid with one defender. The four players will pass the soccer ball around with the goal of maintaining possession for as long as possible. The defender will try to break up the passes and gain control of the ball. When the defender gains control of the ball, the drill ends. Then the player who turned the ball over becomes the defender, with the drill starting over. When doing this drill, it’s important that you and your teammates use the full area of the grid. You and your teammates should also be using both feet, and all parts of your feet.
Soccer Drill 5: 4v4 30-Minute Game (Plus Two Goalkeepers)
When it’s almost time for tryouts, organize a 4v4 30-minute game (plus two goalkeepers) with members of your soccer team. This will help all of you with you aerobic strength and fitness, and also allow the goalkeepers to work on their technique on the line and in the air during the 30-minute game.
This simple 4v4 (plus two keepers) 30-minute game should be played in a 50×25-yard area as this will allow you and your teammates to practice long passing and passing in between opponents. Really focus on both the technical and tactical aspects of your game as you play because whenever there’s a scrimmage during tryouts your coach will be looking for positive decision-making, good ball movement, and players using game-like methods. Your coaches will also want to see your ability to receive the soccer ball on your back foot, as well as your ability to be aware of all the options around you.
After doing these drills this summer, you’ll be ready to crush your school fitness test and will also know that you’ve done everything in your power to make your school soccer team. So, go out there, have fun, and show your coach and your teammates what you’ve got.