Are you new to soccer? Here are some soccer skills for beginners that will tremendously help. The basics are easy to learn, but practice makes perfect. Soccer is a complex game. There are many areas of the game to learn and improve your skills in. If you are a beginner, don’t worry. Here’s a guide for you.

How to improve your soccer skills?

Like any new skill, practice makes perfect. The more touches you have on the ball the better. If you practice everyday, even if it’s only for 10 minutes, you will see improvements in your results. The more comfortable you are with both feet, the more control you will have with the ball. Practice is an easy way for beginners to improve their soccer skills.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

~Pele

1. Dribbling Skills for Beginners

Dribbling is a very important aspect to the game and it is one that is easy to practice on your own. All you need is a ball, some cones, and a little bit of space. Dribbling is a soccer skill that beginners can benefit from. Dribbling skills lead to better ball control that will help you beat defenders.

kid dribbling soccer ball

Technique

  • Use the top of your foot- Point your foot down and use top part of your foot, at the bottom of your laces. Get used to touching the ball with this part of your foot, it will give you the most control on the ball.
  • Alternate touching the ball inside and outside- to obtain more control, when dribbling with one foot, touch the ball towards the inside of your body, and your next touch should be outside. Then continue to follow this pattern.
  • Practice with both feet- This will come easier to your dominant foot, but focusing on your least dominant foot will help you outshine players that can only do things with one foot.
  • Take your time- When beginning your soccer skills, you should go slow. It is important to learn technique first because speed will come with time. The more practice you have with technique, the faster you will be able to dribble with control.

Moves

When dribbling, players need to beat defenders. Sometimes you can beat the defender with speed, but sometimes you need a change in direction to throw them off. Moves are a way to improve soccer skills for beginners. These are 5 easy moves that will enhance your skill set. Once you master these skills, try to consecutively combine 2 of the moves.

  1. The Push– When the ball is slightly in front of your feet, take either foot and use the outside of it to push the ball. You want to push the far outside of your body in the direction of the foot you chose.
  2. The Cut- Start the same way as the push. Then, take either foot and use the inside of it to cut the ball across your body. You want to touch the ball in the opposite direction of the foot you chose, and carry the ball further than the planted foot.
  3. The V- Start with the ball slightly in front of your feet. Take one foot and put it on top of the ball. Drag the ball back towards you, using the sole of your foot. As you are doing that, slightly turn your body towards the direction of the foot you are doing the move with. Then open your body up and touch the ball to the side with the inside of your foot, making a V shape.
  4. The L- You start the same way as the V with the ball slightly in front of your feet. Take one foot and put it on top of the ball. Drag the ball back towards you, using the sole of your foot, to slightly behind your planted leg. Then push the ball behind your planted leg, so it comes out on the other side of your body, forming an L shape.
  5. The Scissors- Start with the ball in the middle of your body. Then, take one foot and go around the front of the ball from the inside to the outside. Then plant your foot a little outside the ball, so there is some room in between your foot and the ball. Now, take the outside of your other foot and push the ball towards the outside of your body.

More advanced moves to master

Drills

Set up 10 cones in a line with equal distances in between them. For beginners, give a larger gap in between the cones. Start at the beginning cone and zig zag through the cones while dribbling. When you get to the end, dribble back next to the cones to the beginning. First start with only using one foot, then go through using the other foot. Lastly, use both feet to dribble through the cones. Remember to use the technique mentioned above, and repeat as many times as you would like.

Dribbling cone drill

Have 2 people run out to a cone, one with a ball, one without. The one without the ball acts as a defender. The person with the ball does a move as they approach the other player and tries to beat the defender. If you are practicing by yourself, use a cone to act as a defender. Repeat as many times as you want.

More easy dribbling drills; the T-Cone dribbling drill

2. Passing for beginners

Another soccer skill for beginners, is passing and receiving. This is a key part to the game because other than dribbling, it is another way to move the ball around the field. Since the ball moves faster than a person, passing is a quicker way to get the ball up the field.

passing the soccer ball
Inside of the foot pass

Types of Passes

  • Inside of the foot pass- You should use this type of pass in a short distance. To pass with the inside of the foot, turn your foot sideways and lock your ankle. Aim for the center of ball and swing your leg to make contact with the ball. Then follow through in the direction you want the ball to go.
  • Driven ball- This type of pass can be used for a further distance. Point your foot down, and lock your ankle. Swing your leg, kick the center of the ball with your laces, and follow through. To keep the ball near the ground, lean the top of your body over the ball.
  • Long Ball- This type of pass can be used for further distances in the air. Lock your ankle and aim for the bottom half of the ball. You want to get underneath the ball and lean your body back to get the ball to go higher in the air. Hit the ball with your laces, but near the inside of your foot because your foot should not completely pointed down.

Additional information for passing technique

Passing Drills

Set up a square with 4 cones. Put a player on each cone with an additional player on the cone that starts with the ball. Start passing in the clockwise direction. The first person passes to the next cone, the person receives the ball around the cone on the outside of the square and passes to the next person. The pattern keeps continuing around the square. Then after a doing it for a specified time, switch directions and go counterclockwise around the square.

square passing drill

If you are by yourself and want to work on passing, find a wall to kick against. Change the distance between you and the wall. Other variations would be the amount of touches you allow before you kick it back at the wall.

Additional easy youth passing drills

3. Shooting skills for beginners

Shooting is a critical part in soccer. Scoring goals is how teams win games, so shooting is a basic soccer skill that beginners should learn. Learning shooting technique will better your game and help you score goals.

Shooting Technique

  • Plant foot- When shooting the ball, you want your plant foot to be placed next to the middle of the ball. If you plant your foot in the middle, you will get the best angle to strike the ball. If you plant your foot behind the ball, you will get under the ball and your shot will rise.
  • Locked ankle- To get a hard shot, lock your ankle by pointing your foot down. Keep your foot in that position the whole time while striking the ball.
  • Lean over the ball– When striking the ball, the rest of your body position matters too. Lean the top part of your body over the ball, this will keep the ball down.
  • Follow through- When you strike the ball, you want to follow through in the direction you would like the shot to go. You should follow through and land on the foot that you shot with.
  • Arms- Your arms are also needed for balance while shooting. Put both arms out to the side to keep your body stable.
girl shooting the ball

More for shooting technique

Shooting Drills

To improve your soccer skills, shooting should be an area for beginners to focus on. It is easy to practice shooting, all you need is a ball and a net to shoot on. You can shoot from different angles and distances for variations.

If you have more than one person, a simple drill you can do is have one person stand in front of the net not facing it. The distance in front of the net will depend on your shooting range. The other player will pass the ball into the player standing in front of the net. That player would pass the ball back lightly, known as a layoff, and the other player will run up to the ball and shoot it, using the technique explained above.

shooting drill

Drills to improve shooting

These 3 ways to improve your game are crucial soccer skills for beginners to learn. Although these are skills that beginners should put a lot of focus on, they are not the only areas that exist. There are other ways to improve your soccer game.

Other ways to improve soccer skills for beginners