10 Soccer Ball Control and Footwork Drills (For All Ages)

Ball control is arguably the most fundamental skill in soccer. In fact, it is a necessary prerequisite for many brilliant moments on the field.

This is why I have compiled this list of the best ball control and footwork soccer drills that I could find. I’ve laid out a step-by-step guide to how each one works. I’ve also included a video or image of how the drill is set up to help you visualize it.

As a player, when the ball is in your possession, it is essential to have it under control and know what you will do with it. This technique is crucial at all levels of soccer.

If you don’t know how to control the ball properly, you could end up losing possession of the ball quickly and missing out on opportunities for your team to make progress.

To be able to control the ball effectively, a player must possess good footwork as the majority of contact with the ball will be with their feet.

This is why ball control and footwork go together.

And as you work through these drills and improve, your confidence will grow.

So, let’s look at them now and get started with improving your ball control and footwork on the soccer field!

10 Soccer Ball Control and Footwork Drills

1. “Push and Pull” Soccer Drill

First up, we have the push and pull drill. Push and Pull is a simple but effective training drill.

It is focused on improving players’ touch of the ball with all parts of the foot. This drill has three variations: inner push, outside push, and laces push.

Walkthrough of the “Push and Pull” Soccer Drill

  • Stand with the ball at your feet
  • Push the ball with your right foot.
  • Use the same foot to stop it, and push it back with the sole part.
  • Now do the same with your left foot.
  • For inner push variation, use the inner part of the foot to push the ball. With outside push use outside part, and for laces push push the ball with top of the foot (with laces).

Have a look at the video below for some examples of the push/pull drill.

How to do the Pull Push Move - Football Soccer Ball Mastery Tutorial

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • Try to fulfil the drill as fast as possible, as this will gradually improve your ball control.
  • For more advanced variation, set up a line of cones, and combine Push and Pull when next to a cone, with running with the ball between them. That kind of practice improves both players’ control of the ball at their feet, as well as stopping the ball while in motion.

2. Inside V Cut Soccer Drill

The Inside V Cut drill focuses on improving players’ ability to change direction with the ball.

Moreover, it allows players to practice swift change of play, which is especially useful when pressured by the opposing defenders in a tight space.

After performing this move, the player can run in the other way or pass the ball to his teammate in the opposite direction.

This is an excellent drill to consider using alongside my list of 10 Best Soccer Coaching Drills that are perfect for training sessions.

Walkthrough of the “Inside V Cut” Soccer Drill

  • Place one foot on top of the ball.
  • Drag the ball back toward you.
  • Open up hips and then push the ball with inner part of the same foot in the opposite direction diagonally.
  • Stop the ball with the opposite foot.
  • Repeat the drill in the reverse direction.

Have a look at the video below for an example of the inside V cut drill.

5 V Cut Ball Mastery Skills | Five Easy Ball Mastery Skills To Master The V Cut

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • There are several variations of this drill. It can be performed with the outside part of the foot, which is called Outside V Cut.

If you are looking for a guide on how to pass a soccer ball, check out my post explaining how to pass a soccer ball successfully every time. It even includes tips and techniques for every type of pass.

3. Drag and Inner Push Soccer Drill

This drill focuses on improving players’ ball mastery by making them feel comfortable using the sole and inner part of both feet.

With improvement from practicing this drill, players get better control over the ball in tight spaces.

Walkthrough of the “Drag and Inner Push” Soccer Drill

  • Set two cones at about one feet apart.
  • Start with the ball positioned outside the right cone.
  • Drag the ball toward yourself using the sole of the right foot, slightly hopping back with the opposite foot.
  • Push the ball across with your right foot, toward the middle area.
  • Stop the ball with the inner part of the left foot, while pushing the ball between cones.
  • Place your right foot on top of the ball to stop it.
  • Repeat the same process for the second cone.
  • After coming to the end, repeat the drill in the opposite direction.

Have a look at the image below for an illustration of the drag and inner push drill.

drag and inner push soccer drill
Drag and inner push soccer drill

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • Start working the drill slowly at first, and after getting into rhythm, do the drill while keeping the head up. This practice will ensure you can control the ball, while paying attention on your surroundings.
  • Try not to touch the cones with the ball.

4. Alternate V Cut Soccer Drill

Alternate V Cut is similar to the Inside/Outside V Cut drill but is focused on using both feet simultaneously.

Alternate V Cut helps players to feel comfortable with using both feet.

Walkthrough of the “Alternate V Cut” Soccer Drill

  • Place one foot on top of the ball.
  • Drag the ball back toward you with the sole of the same foot.
  • Open up hips and then push the ball with inner part of the opposite foot in the diagonal direction.
  • Stop the ball with the opposite foot.
  • Repeat the drill in the reverse direction.

Have a look at the video below for an example of the alternate V-cut drill.

5 V Cut Ball Mastery Skills | Five Easy Ball Mastery Skills To Master The V Cut

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • Put a cone in front of you to help you get better orientation and move the ball to cone’s sides. Also, you can add additional cones around you or use some other way to limit the area available for performing V Cuts, and try not to cross it.

5. L Drags Soccer Drill

The L Drags drill is a great way to help players build confidence when they have a ball in their possession. It is also a move that allows you to move the ball away from your opponent easily.

This drill is perfect for feeling more comfortable with the ball.

Players sometimes lose confidence when they have a ball on their weaker foot and feel more comfortable when it is at their dominant foot.

The L Drag not just improves the ball control ability of your weaker foot, but it also allows you to move the ball away from your opponent quickly and then send it to your stronger, dominant foot.

This is another excellent drill to consider using alongside my list of 9 Fun (and Effective) Youth Soccer Drills For Kids. If youth players can master this, they will run rings around the opposition in no time!

Walkthrough of the “L Drags” Soccer Drill

  • Place a foot on top of the ball.
  • Drag it towards you with same foot, at 45 degrees angle.
  • Let it pass behind your standing leg.
  • Using the inside part of the same foot, push it 45 degrees in the opposite direction.
  • Now use the opposite (standing leg) foot to stop the ball and roll it across to the starting position.

Have a look at the video below for some examples of L drag drills.

5 L Drag Mastery Skills | Five Simple Ball Mastery Skills To Master The L Drag

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • Perform the drill for 30 seconds with one foot, and then 30 seconds with the opposite foot.
  • If needed, do the L Drag with your weaker foot more often.

6. Brazilian Toe Taps Soccer Drill

Brazilian Toe Taps drill, also known by the name Soccer Dance, is a quick and continuous drill meant to enhance player’s touch and ball control, with both feet equally.

As it allows players to improve their dominant foot, as well as the weaker foot, it is considered as a perfect drill for all-around players.

Walkthrough of the “Brazilian Toe Taps” Soccer Drill

  • Place the ball in front of you.
  • Do two toe taps on the ball, first with your right, then with your left foot.
  • Now place your left foot next to the ball, on the right side
  • Bring your right foot behind the left leg and tap the ball with your toes.
  • Now perform the drill in the opposite direction: toe tap with left foot, then right, place right foot on the left side, bring left foot from behind and tap the ball.
  • Repeat the process in a continuous manner, without stopping.

Have a look at the video below for an example of the Brazilian Toe Tap drill.

Brazilian Toe Taps | Soccer Dance Ball Control / Touch Drill | IMPROVE YOUR WEAKER FOOT IN SOCCER

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • Try to keep the ball at the same spot. When first performing Soccer Dance, the ball will often move around and away from you. Keep practicing, and you will be able eventually to practice the drill with keeping the ball at the starting position.
  • This drill is a great measurement of player’s ball control improvement.

7. Parallel Rolls Soccer Drill

The Parallel Rolls drill is a great way to work on improving ball rolls, especially when it comes to the accuracy of the rolls.

This drill can sometimes be both physically and mentally challenging. However, while practicing and trying to master it, the Parallel Rolls drill will do wonders for your ball control and confidence.

Walkthrough of the “Parallel Rolls” Soccer Drill

  • Place four cones, at a step distance from each other, forming a square.
  • Stand in front of two cones.
  • Roll the ball across your body with the sole of your right foot.
  • Push the ball in front of you with your opposite foot, but outside the cone square.
  • Now roll the ball with the sole of your left foot through the middle line of the cone square.
  • Push the ball again in front of you and outside the square, now with your right foot.
  • Perform another sole roll with right foot, around the last two cones.
  • Stop the ball with your left foot.
  • Perform the drill in opposite, backward direction, with pulling the ball back, instead of pushing.
  • Repeat the drill starting with left foot and in opposite direction.

Have a look at the image below for an example of a Parallel Roll drill.

Parallel Roll Soccer Drill
Parallel Roll Soccer Drill

 Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • This is one of the most intensive ball control drills, which requires a lot of precision while performing. It demands a movement coordination and right amount of force applied with your touches.

8. Number 8 Soccer Drill

Number 8 drill is a sole push and pull drill. This drill is performed with one foot at a time.

It improves players’ balance and coordination while keeping the ball.

Walkthrough of the “Number 8” Soccer Drill

  • Place two cones one foot apart.
  • Push the ball with the sole of your foot up.
  • Go around the cone, while controlling the ball with sole of the same foot.
  • Pull the ball back through the middle, between the cones.
  • Now push the ball again with sole of your foot, outside and around the second cone.
  • Pull the ball again through the middle, forming a number 8 with your moves.
  • After coming back to the start, switch your foot and repeat the drill.
  • While moving the ball with one foot, you should hop with the other leg.

Have a look at the video below for an example of the Number 8 drill.

How to Improve your Dribbling Skills with "The Figure 8 Soccer Drill"

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • You can set up a square of cones, or even a line, and make the drill more difficult.
  • Balance is important aspect of this drill. With that in mind, use you second leg and keep hopping, as it will give you more balance and better movement coordination.

9. Roll Stops Soccer Drill

The Roll Stops drill helps players to quickly switch the ball from one foot to the other, which is extremely useful when trying to keep the ball in possession during competitive games.

In addition, the good side of this drill is the fact that it allows players to strengthen both of their feet equally.

This is a really good option to add to my list of 10 Best Soccer Drills for Beginners if you or someone you’re working with is just starting out.

Walkthrough of the “Roll Stops” Soccer Drill

  • Start with a ball positioned next to your right foot.
  • Now push the ball with the sole part of your right foot, rolling the ball to your left.
  • Let the ball pass your right foot.
  • Stop the ball with the inner part of your left foot.
  • Repeat the drill in the opposite direction.

Have a look at the video below for an example of a roll stop drill.

5 Easy Sole Roll Mastery Skills | Master The Sole Roll With These Simple Ball Mastery Exercises

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • Place several cones in line, at one yard distance, and practice rolling and stopping the ball between them, while in motion. This is a more advanced version of a drill and will make players get better control while moving with the ball.

10. Drag and Outside Push Soccer Drill

This drill focuses on improving the ball control with the outside part of both feet and the sole part. 

With improving the drill performance, combined with a previous drill, players get better control over the ball in limited space and get used to controlling the ball with one foot at a time.

Walkthrough of the “Drag and Outside Push” Soccer Drill

  • Put two cones one foot apart.
  • Start with the ball positioned outside the right cone.
  • Place your left foot on top of the ball.
  • Drag the ball backward with sole.
  • Push the ball to the middle with the outside part of the left foot.
  • Stop the ball with the inner part of the same foot, slightly pushing it between the cones.
  • Stand on the ball with your left foot.
  • Repeat the same process for the second cone.
  • After coming to the end, repeat the drill in the opposite direction, using your right foot.

Have a look at the video below for some examples of drag and outside push drills.

drag and outside push soccer drill
Drag and outside push soccer drill

Additional instructions to get the most out of this drill:

  • Practice performing the drill while keeping your head up.
  • Slowly increase the speed of performing the drill.
  • Try not to touch the cones with the ball.

Each of these drills is designed to improve a player’s ball control and footwork swiftly.

For more options of soccer drills, check out one of my other guides:

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

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