Indoor Football Drills and Skills

Widely recognised as an excellent environment to build on a range of football skills, indoor football dramatically switches up the abilities, strategies and formations usually required to master the game of traditional outdoor 11-a-side football. Indoor games are often so unique, fast-paced and challenging that many outdoor players make the switch full time, a decision which requires just as much regular training and skill-focused drills to make worthwhile.

Whether you’re using indoor football drills to keep your skills sharp inbetween outdoor sessions, or your main game is futsal and you want some tips on training, get the most out of your indoor football training with advice from Avec Sport.

The best indoor football drills

A game which sees players spend a significant amount of time in contact with the ball, indoor football training provides the perfect opportunity for players to work on their individual ball-control skills, sharpen their passing abilities and practice goal scoring. Regardless of whether you spend the majority of your playing time on an outdoor pitch or an indoor hall, these skills are worth developing, and the best way to do that is through indoor football training drills.

To make sure your sessions contain enough focus on core skills which lend themselves to this environment, we’ve put together a list of the most worthwhile and challenging indoor football drills to add into your own training schedule.

Pass interception drill

A drill which requires an even number of people spread across three teams (for example, three teams of three, or three teams of four), the pass interception drill starts by splitting up your players and giving each team a different coloured training bib to wear. Of these three teams, two will become the ‘passers’ while the remaining team will become the ‘interceptors’.

To begin the drill, the team of passers starting with the ball must pass it across to any member of the other passing team, their goal being to pass accurately and swiftly so that the interceptors can’t steal the ball mid-pass.

As this indoor football training drill focuses on passing skills, rather than defensive dribbling skills, the drill is made more difficult by the additional rule that each ‘passer’ is only allowed two touches on the ball, one for receiving and one for passing. If any member of a passing team breaks this rule, their team swaps positions with the intercepting team.

Strategic shooting drill

Designed to sharpen a player’s ability to shoot, this is an accuracy-focused drill which can be run in groups or alone, depending on the number of players in your indoor football training session. The set up is similarly versatile, with only cones and a goal required to divide up the space, giving players freedom to adjust the cones according to their own skill level.

To set up for this indoor shooting drill, the first step is to position two cones in front of the goal, separating it into three sections clear for scoring. Using more cones, mark out three ‘shooting zones’ within scoring distance of the goal, one of which should be straight on, while the other two take the left and right angles. 

Once the drill area has been established, the player must stand on the first shooting cone, and score a goal within each of the three goal segments without hitting the cones. Once this angle has been mastered, the player can then move onto the next shooting cone to repeat the process, then finally the last. By doing this, the player learns how to build on their accuracy to score goals from different approaching angles, while simultaneously building on their ability to aim at different areas of the goal, enabling them to bypass the goalkeeper accurately during matches.

Cone dribbling drill

A classic indoor training drill that has long since been used to sharpen individual players’ ability to maintain complete control over the ball, adding the cone dribbling drill to your training sessions is a worthwhile inclusion. 

Start by setting up four straight lines of cones in your indoor football training space. In order to provide a challenge to every player in the session, the first line should have the widest distance between each cone, with each following line closing the distance slightly. Once the cones are in place, each player should take turns dribbling the ball between the cones as they make their way down one line, then up the next. 

The best indoor football activities

While focusing on drills and skill building is the best approach when organising training sessions for yourself and your team, if you’re working in the position of coach and are responsible for organising indoor football practice sessions for youth players, we’d recommend taking an alternative approach by including games. 

More than just fun (though this is one of the most important reasons for including indoor football activities into a youth training session), games and activities are designed to help to encourage the very base learning blocks of football’s most important skills. From teamwork and communication to basic ball control in passing and shooting, kids have the opportunity to pick up essential skills in a fun, engaging way.

This rule does, of course, fluctuate depending on the age of the youth players in question. For example, if your team is made up of budding players starting to take part in competitive play, starting and ending sessions with indoor football games is a good way to inject a little bit of lighthearted, yet still skill-building, fun into sessions. Conversely, if you’re coaching a mini soccer team made up of under 7 and 8 year olds, filling training sessions with fun indoor football activities will help to spark a love of football that will keep them coming back week after week.

Stuck in the mud 

A classic game commonly played in school P.E sessions, stuck in the mud has been altered by youth coaches to bring an additional element to the fun: football. To add this game to your youth indoor football training session, make sure you have kids-sized training bibs and enough balls for all but three of your players. With the equipment ready, select three players, who will need to don a bib to become ‘taggers’, while the remaining players must all grab a ball.

Just like in a standard game of stuck in the mud, the role of the taggers is to work together to tag all the other players on the pitch. Once tagged, these players must stand still, with their legs shoulder width apart holding their ball in the air. In order to be freed, a non-stuck player must pass their own ball through their legs, at which point they can return to the game. What makes this version of the game more difficult is that all the regular players must evade the taggers and free their teammates, all while dribbling their ball with them.

Relay cone dribbling

As the name suggests, this indoor football activity requires players to split up into even teams who will work together in a relay format to complete a dribbling course the fastest. The course itself should consist of a line of cones equidistant from each other, and each team must send a player one at a time down the course, dribbling their ball through them before returning to pass the ball to the next player on their team. The first team to have all their players complete the course and sit down is the winner.

It’s worth noting that, as this is a competitive game, it is best used for older youth teams, preferably above the age of eleven, to avoid any feelings of stress or pressure which could deter much younger children from continuing with the sport. 

Find indoor football training essentials at Avec Sport

Whether you’re in need of training equipment essentials to help your sessions go more smoothly, or want to refresh your personal supply of training wear, Avec Sport has got your back. Makers of quality, affordable football gear, you’ll find everything from performance enhancing football kits to ball carry bags and training bibs online at Avec Sport.