Add targets to make soccer fitness training fun for players

Fitness is fundamental to successful soccer coaching. It’s something you need to think about on a regular basis and I don’t mean simply getting your players to run around the pitch each week. First, that’s going to be boring and, second, players won’t push themselves. Instead, this soccer drill gives your players targets to create interest and fun.

Fitness targets improve stamina

Giving your players fitness targets is a good way to improve their stamina in matches. Speed and fitness can be key to winning games in the last ten minutes. You need a series of stamina-busting soccer drills to get your players fit to face the most tiring parts of matches.

Testing fitness and skills

This drill is a good one for your players to fill their lungs and get their blood pumping, especially if you feel your soccer coaching session isn’t going anywhere. Get the boys to do this drill. What you are also doing is helping improve their co-ordination at speed.

Soccer drill set up

The first time, run the soccer drill without a ball, then make your players control a football around the cones. Ball control at speed is a great ability to give your players. You can draw up a chart to fill in over the season with times on it. Record who is fastest, who improves the most and who needs to work on their soccer skills.

You can compare speeds with the ball and without it – it can be frustrating for the very fast ones who suddenly don’t come top of the soccer drill speed lists because with a ball they are not half as fast as when they were running.

Agility soccer drill to test speed of players sprinting and ball control skills

Drill tips

You need to use eight cones, a stopwatch, and a few balls.

You can change the length or the number of cones in each column. Or try getting one player going from one end and one from another and see how they get past each other.

Key soccer coaching tips:

  • All players should be fully warmed-up before undertaking this drill session.


  • The tester should encourage players to give their maximum.
  • The test may be repeated three times to give an average or best time.


Put your players to the test

  • The player begins the drill in a sprint position – on one knee, hands on ground in line with shoulders.
  • He gets up and sprints to the touch line (note: he must always touch the line).
  • He sprints around the cones, as shown in the diagram above.
  • The player sprints back to the touch line.
  • Finally, he sprints over the finish line.

When you get your players to use a soccer ball, tell them at points three and four to stop the ball and do four step-overs before continuing around the circuit.

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