We all want to be good at the things we enjoy and, at the risk of repeating an already well-worn phrase; practice makes perfect. Of course, when it comes to team sports such as football, this is quite often easier said than done.
Depending on the team you belong to, whether it’s a school club, a grassroots league or anything else, you’ll likely only get a few hours of practice each week. If this isn’t enough time for you to build up your football skills, or you feel as though you’d like to invest more time into your hobby (especially if you aim to become a professional football player or would like to work in another position like football coach) there are plenty of ways you can practice football at home alone.
Whether you’re looking to create a strict solo training schedule or just want to make the most of any free moments you get to practice, keep reading to discover the best solo football drills and general advice for improving your solo football training.
While honing specific football skills such as dribbling, passing and shooting is important, so much of football requires a high level of general fitness that isn’t always given enough time in team training practices. Of course, there's a good reason for this. Generally, it’s smarter to make the most out of time spent practicing in front of a football coach who can correct mistakes, give useful tips and focus more solidly on specific footballing ability than general fitness training. This prioritisation of skills over general fitness means that stamina training often takes a backseat but, fortunately, exercising at home is the perfect opportunity to remedy this.
An ideal exercise that builds stamina and improves general fitness, as well as building the muscles in your legs, running regularly can help you to build skills that feed directly into boosting your football abilities. If running isn’t for you, or you don’t have somewhere nearby to take regular jogs, cycling is an excellent alternative.
When running and cycling, it’s also important to ensure that you have the right equipment to protect yourself from the elements. While the exercise will automatically keep your blood pumping and body warm, shielding yourself from rain and cold winds is a necessity. If you lack this training wear, the rain jacket from Avec Sport may provide the protection you need. Available in a range of fits and colourways, see the full collection of training rain jackets online.
While running and cycling are excellent forms of stamina training, specific strength workouts are a great way to get some extra power into your legs - perfect for a sport that focuses on leg strength. Squats and lunges are great exercises that can be done at home or, if you have access to a gym, working on machines like the leg press and hamstring curl will go a long way to improving your muscle strength.
For this type of exercise, traditional training wear such as a comfortable football jersey and pair of training shorts will suffice. At Avec Sport, we have a selection of training wear that has been specifically designed to allow you to maximise your performance in training.
There are plenty of football training drills that can be done alone and, with the only equipment needed being a training football, anyone can do these solo football drills at home!
Making accurate passes in football is vital to maintaining possession of the ball during an actual game and wall passes are a great way to practice this football skill at home alone. Using any wall and your football, stand a few feet away and begin to kick the ball towards the wall, using the strength of your passes to ensure the ball is returned to you. The more you practice this solo football drill, the longer you should be able to carry on before losing control of the ball and, if you’re looking to increase the difficulty of the exercise, simply adjust your distance from the wall.
The perfect solo football practice drill, cone dribbling allows you to increase your control over the ball by keeping it close to your body and using small taps from your foot to weave it through a line or obstacle course of cones. Of course, the only equipment needed for this solo drill is a football and a set of cones and, while these should be relatively easy to source, if you’re unable to, simply laying out markers in chalk or with stones would do the trick.
A seemingly small activity that many will be used to practicing during scheduled football training, the toe taps football training drill can easily be done at home. Requiring only your training football, rest one foot on the ball before quickly switching feet and repeat the process - all without moving the ball. This solo training drill will build your balance and control and can be made more difficult by using your own creativity. One example of increasing the level of challenge of this drill is to move around the ball in circles, changing direction each time you’ve completed a circuit.
Without a goalie to block your shots and challenge your ability to make decisions about which way to shoot, practicing taking shots at a goal alone should focus on accuracy. Take your time setting up shots from every angle and distance, set up cones to dribble the ball past before taking a shot, be creative with your training. Chances are, you’ll know what you struggle with most and, with help from your own creativity and pointers from your usual coach, you'll be able to plan shooting drills that test those weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
If you’re unsure of which areas you should be spending additional practice time on, the best route to take is to simply ask for help. Often, it can be hard to identify our own mistakes and weaknesses so make the most of your coach’s trained eye by asking for pointers. Getting someone else’s input, someone who knows your football abilities, will allow you to correct mistakes before they become a habit and weed out areas that need a little additional attention. Allow their comments to shape your solo football practice, this is the easiest way to focus your training and can even open up opportunities to align your personal training with group sessions by working on the same skills alone as in team training sessions.
Wanting to spend extra time honing your football skills at home alone is admirable and well worth the additional effort. Using our advice and solo football drill suggestions, your home training regime should help you achieve results in no time.
Looking for other ways to improve the effectiveness of training? Take a look at our ‘What to wear to football training to maximise performance’ or go directly to our training wear collection and find the right gear for you.