North Oakland United Soccer Camp



Possibly the single best activity to improve most quickly on the widest range of soccer skills is to knock a ball against a wall. What skills come into play when you spend time working with a ball & a wall? Well, just to name a few:

  • Passing & Shooting Mechanics
  • Passing & Shooting Accuracy
  • Weight of Pass / Shot
  • 1st Touch
  • Rhythm
  • Fitness / Endurance

Depending on the size of the wall, how creative you feel and how hard you care to work, you could also work on things like:

  • Volleying
  • Chipping
  • Trapping - Various Surfaces
  • Turns
  • Throw-Ins

The range of things you can do are wide and varied and limited only by your imagination. Here are a half dozen ideas to get you started:

BASIC STRIKE & TRAP: This is your basic kick and trap exercise where you strike the ball against the wall and control it as it comes back. Concentrate on settling the ball with one clean touch. As you get comfortable, start hitting the ball harder and harder. If this seems too easy for you, start checking to the ball instead of waiting for it to arrive. You can repeat this exercise with different surfaces of your body (chest, thigh, instep, even headers).

RHYTHM TOUCHES: Set up 1-2 yards off the wall. Decide on a particular receiving/passing pattern and try to go 20 consecutive seconds without interrupting the pattern. Some ideas for patterns could be:

    • Inside Right Foot (IRF) - Wall (W) - IRF - W - IRF - W - IRF - W - Etc.
    • Inside Right Foot (IRF) - Wall (W) - Inside Left Foot (ILF) - Wall (W) - IRF - W - ILF - W - IRF - W - ILF - W - Etc.
    • Inside Right Foot 1st Touch (IRF) - Inside Left Foot Pass (ILF) - Wall (W) - IRF - W - ILF - W - IRF - W - ILF - W - Etc.
    • Outside Left Foot 1st Touch (OLF) - Inside Left Foot Pass (ILF) - Wall (W) - OLF - ILF - W - OLF - ILF - W - OLF - ILF - W - Etc
    • You get the idea. Get creative and make up your own.
  • QUICK TIP: Music helps! I prefer Cuban & other Latin. But whatever gets you in the groove, go for it!

STRIKING ACCURACY: Set up a target. It could be two cones set up a yard apart, or you could draw target in chalk, or choose a particular brick in the wall… whatever you decide. Pass or strike to hit the target. Try different distances. And DEFINITELY practice with both feet.

TURNS: Strike the ball from distance (15-20 yards). As the ball is returning toward you, you check to it. Turn with the ball and attack in your new direction for 2 or 3 explosive touches. Try different turns (90 degree, 180 degree, extended touch turn, between the legs turn, outside of the foot turn, dummy) and work on using both feet and turning in both directions.

VOLLEY: Stand with your back towards the wall. Toss the ball up or over your head, turn and volley it at the wall.

SLAM: I saved the  Best for last… this EXCELLENT GAME is for 2 or 3 players.
No single game can improve kicking skills faster than slam. It is simply the enjoyment level that makes this game so successful. Here two players have put a small goal in front of the wall. Each player has three lives. Player1 plays the ball into the goal so that it rebounds out. Player2 must play a one-time ball back into the goal before it stops and then the Player1 does the same. They play until one misses the goal, lets the ball stop, can’t play it first time or gets hit by his own rebound. That player loses a life. They play until one is out of lives.

FOR VARIATION: Add a second touch, must use both feet or a different surface of the same foot, change the size or height of the goal, allow the ball to stop for young players, play three at a time in a rotation.

There is competition, offense and defense, soccer problems that have to be solved with Technique, Insight & Communication, a lot of repetitions with different angles, speeds and distances.

  • TECHNIQUE: All kicking skills.
  • INSIGHT: Each player must be aware of the position of the opponent. If he is far back, gently pass the ball so that he cannot get to it it time. If he is close to the goal slam it and make him chase. Read the angle that the ball will come out of the goal, get in position early.
  • COMMUNICATION: In this game there is so much contact with the ball in a time restricted situation that the players will have to focus on concentrating and reading the opponents intentions.