Soccer drill to develop decision making skills

Playing soccer (football) is all about making split-second decisions in a team environment. Make the wrong decision and you put your team under pressure. Make the right decision and you can win the game. This soccer drill helps develop the decision-making skills of the player in possession.

When you are using this soccer training drill, don’t be tempted to make your players' decisions for them – encourage them but don’t tell them what to do. It’s their choice.

Drill tips

Arrange your players in a circle the size of the centre circle on a full size pitch – 20 yards in diameter.

Choose three players to begin the drill and give them a ball each.

drill in two parts to develop quick decisions showing dribbling, then passing

  • In diagram 1, on your call, the three players simultaneously dribble the ball across the circle.

  • On the way they must show a skill to the rest of the players. This might be a step-over skill or a feint to avoid one of the other players – let them decide which skill to use in thed drill.
  • A good tip is to make sure the players have the ball under close control all the way across.
  • In diagram 2, the players have to pass and communicate to get across the area.
  • They can use any of these methods or any other soccer skills they can think of.
  • Again, let the players decide and make sure they call the play to their team-mate (“one-two”, “pass”, “swap” etc.).
  • If it’s too complicated to do this three at a time, start with one pair and build up gradually. 

To check out another decision-making drill for young players, click here.