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Soccer Coaching - What are the Most Important Soccer Skills You Should Teach Beginner Players?

Updated on April 8, 2010

The main objective of soccer is to keep the ball moving from one end of the field to the other end with the purpose of scoring. Thus, the main skills in soccer involves in advancing the ball while keeping total control. The fastest way to send the ball from end zone to end zone is through passing, which makes passing skills important as well.

Since this is basically a passing game, players must learn to place themselves in advantageous positions where they can receive and pass the ball with ease and accuracy. Receiving the ball well is also an essential part of the game. All in all, there are many different skills needed to be effective in soccer, but all are designed to meet the same goal. For beginners, the following foundations should not be ignored.


Passing is not just the mere act of aiming and kicking with the hopes that the other player gets the ball. Players must need to recognize that the ball projects itself into any direction by the way they kick it with the different parts of their feet. Knowing which part of the feet you should use when passing is important. Players must be taught to kick properly, with the basics of kicking using the outside or inside of the feet.

An important soccer training tip – when teaching youth players how to kick, introduce them to the instep kick/pass first, since this is the simplest to teach and the most accurate as well.

Receiving and Controlling

A passer requires a receiver, which makes receiving skills equally important as passing. A player can use every part of his body except the hands to receive the ball. Depending on whether the ball is in the air or in the ground, receiving techniques vary. Ground passes are easy to receive in contrast to passes in the air, and are commonly employed in the game.

An important tip to coaches – teach players to receive ground passes first before progressing them to advanced receiving techniques.


A number of novice players are hesitant about heading because of the fear of getting hurt. Coaches should be able to help their players curb their natural reaction to turn their heads from the ball in a heading situation. For coaches, it is important that they teach their players the aspects of heading a progressive process and slowly introduce several advanced heading techniques such as heading the ball forward, sideways, and into the air with their foreheads.


Dribbling is all about control. Such skill is required in order for players to move the ball into different directions without losing control and keeping up with the pace of the game. A very fundamental skill, dribbling should be taught as a foundation to youth players.

Important soccer coaching tip – players must be taught to use the inside and outside of the feet to dribble the ball. Also, control should be a primary concern before developing speed dribbling skills.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Scoring Goals

A soccer game is basically won on points, therefore, scoring skills are essential in every player’s arsenal. A player should learn on how to score on all possible occasions. Scoring skills are acquired through practice and experience, so a coach must be able to teach his players long shots, tap-in shots, chip shots, and head shots, as well as putting in a goalkeeper and several defenders to further advance a player’s scoring abilities.


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