Whether you’re a coach or a grassroots footballer, it’s always good to know how to improve football skills at home. Some teams only get to train once a week, which is nowhere near time to develop core skills such as touch, control and passing. But using the many hours of free time you have at home to hone your skills will pay dividends if you keep at it. 

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of seven tried-and-tested activities you can perform in your garden or yard to improve your game. With enough practice and repetition, you’ll be able to develop everything from your raw pace to your hold-up play. 

1. Use Football Rebounders in the Garden

Football rebounders are versatile training tools that simulate real-game scenarios. Place the rebounder in your garden and work on your passing, shooting and receiving. You can adjust angles to challenge your control and reaction time, making it an excellent way to refine your technique.

Football Rebounder Drill

Position the rebounder in an open space, and mark a spot five to ten yards away from the rebounder.

From the marked spot, pass the ball towards the rebounder. Control the rebounding ball with your feet and use alternate feet for each pass. Aim for 10-15 passes in a session. Start with basic passes and gradually increase the difficulty. And focus on controlling the ball close to your starting position.

2. Agility Ladder Drills in the Garden

Agility ladders, simply laid out in your yard, are crucial for developing quick feet. Perform lateral shuffles, forward and backward runs or hopscotch drills to enhance your speed and foot coordination. These drills not only improve agility but also aid in injury prevention and develop raw pace from a standing start.

Agility Ladder Drill

Lay out the agility ladder flat on a level surface. Begin at one end of the ladder, and quickly step into each square with both feet, moving forwards as fast as you can. Make sure to push yourself out of your comfort zone. And focus on light, rapid steps.

Lateral Shuffle

Another possible drill is the lateral shuffle, which is easy to perform in small gardens, yards and driveways. Stand sideways to the ladder, and move laterally, stepping in and out of each square.

Maintain a quick pace and stay on the balls of your feet. Repeat each pattern for two to three sets — 30 seconds per set.

Keep your movements controlled and agile, and gradually increase speed as you get more comfortable.

3. Solo Ball Control

In a confined space like a garden, focus on ball control. Techniques like juggling, dribbling around cones or simply controlling and guiding the ball with different parts of your feet can significantly improve your touch and control, which is vital for any footballer.

In many ways, kicking a ball around in a small garden on your own is a great way to improve several aspects of your game, including close control and touch. Staying in control of the ball in such a confined space isn’t a simple task. But you’ll improve over time. 

Solo Ball Control Drill

In your garden or yard, set up a series of cones or markers in a zigzag pattern — spaced about two to three feet apart.

Start at one end of the course with the ball at your feet. Dribble through the markers, using quick touches to manoeuvre around each cone. Focus on using both the inside and outside of your feet.

After completing the course, turn around and dribble back to the start. This time, incorporate quick changes in speed and direction. At the end of the course, pick a spot to aim a controlled shot or pass, simulating a precise finish in a game. The addition of a Samba football goal will create a fantastic mini training pitch. 

4. Partner Drills

If you have a family member or friend to join in the home-based fun, you can try some passing drills. Focus on short, quick passes or long-range throws, adjusting for accuracy and timing. This not only improves your skills but also fosters teamwork and communication.

Two-Person Passing Drills in the Yard

Place a series of cones or markers about 5-10 yards apart in your garden or yard to create passing lanes. Stand opposite your partner, each at a cone. Pass the ball back and forth, focusing on accuracy and controlling the ball when you receive it.

After a few static passes, start moving side to side between two cones. Continue passing while on the move, aiming to keep the ball within reach of your partner.

Finally. rogress to one-touch passing, where you pass the ball back immediately upon receiving it. Concentrate on the timing and weight of the pass.

5. Strength and Conditioning Activities

Use your home's outdoor space for fitness routines that complement your football skills. Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges and planks are great for building core strength. Incorporate short sprints or interval running in your yard for endurance and speed. A set of football hurdles is a must-have for effective strength and conditioning drills at home. 

A Few Strength and Conditioning Drills You Can Do at Home

Bodyweight Squats

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Perform squats, keeping your back straight and chest up.
  • Do 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.


  • Step forward into a lunge, alternating legs.
  • Keep your upper body straight and knees at 90-degree angles.
  • Perform 2-3 sets of 10 lunges on each leg.


  • Standard push-ups to strengthen the chest, shoulders and triceps.
  • 2-3 sets of 10-15 push-ups, depending on fitness level.


  • Hold a plank position to strengthen the core.
  • Aim for 30 seconds to 1 minute, doing 2-3 sets.

High Knees

  • Run in place, bringing your knees up high.
  • Do this for 1 minute in 2-3 sets.

Shuttle Runs

  • Set up two markers about 10 meters apart.
  • Sprint from one marker to the other and back.
  • Perform 3-5 sets of these shuttle runs.

6. Tactical Understanding and Mental Skills

Studying game tactics and watching professional matches can be as crucial as physical practice. Use your rest time to watch and analyse games, understanding different positions and strategies. Mental resilience is key in sports, so practice visualisation and positive thinking to keep your morale high.

7. Freestyle Fun

Let’s face it; if football isn’t fun, you’re not doing it properly. You don’t always need football equipment and a clearly defined training set-up to improve your touch, control and overall technique. In fact, all you need is a quality training football

Juggling: Keep the ball in the air using your feet, thighs, and head. Start with low numbers and gradually increase.

Wall Passes: Use a wall to practice passing. Control the return with one touch, alternating feet.

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If you want to try all seven of these simple ways to improve your football skills at home, browse The Soccer Store’s selection of premium football products today.