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Practicing on Your Own: Wall Ball Part 1

Simply put, wall ball is practicing your soccer skills using a wall to stop the ball and to return the ball to you.As a coach, I believe that wall ball (also known as “wall soccer”) is one of the best ways for players to train. It is especially effective for practicing passing, kicking, and receiving skills, and is particularly useful because wall ball can be played alone – as the name implies, all that is required is one player, a ball, and a wall.

Almost any solid wall will suffice. I use the term “solid” wall because it is generally not a good idea to use a wall with windows or such – even the best players sometimes make errant kicks. Also, most chain link and iron fences can damage balls and will produce unnatural return bounces. Still, you can usually use racquetball or handball courts, wood fences (providing they do not splinter), cinder block and brick walls, and even many dirt mounds or embankments, etc.

You can also use any ground surface, though the ideal surface is grass or a surface similar to the type you normally play games on.

Wall Ball Practice Drills

Passing and Receiving
  • Begin by standing a few feet away from the wall.
  • The exact distance may vary depending on the surface of the wall and the ground you are using.
  • Using the inside of one foot, pass the ball with pace off the wall.
  • Control the return bounce by setting it up to the opposite side as the previous pass.
  • Players should progress from 3-touches, to 2-touches, to 1-touch
  • Repeat with opposite foot
  • Continue for several repetitions with each foot
  • Coaching Point
  • Notice how the player adjusts his body position in the video above.
Kicking (stationary ball)
    • Set-up standing several yards from the wall.
    • A good starting distance is the distance your league uses for the penalty mark (12 yards / 11m for high school and up).
    • Using good kicking form, drive the ball to the wall with the instep of your foot.
    • Concentrate on locking your ankle, bringing your knee through, and landing on your kicking foot.
    • Bring the ball under control and stop it to your opposite side.
    • Repeat drive with opposite foot.
    • Continue for several repetitions with each foot.

Coaching Points

  • The closer you are to the wall, the faster the ball will return to you.
  • Closer is better for practicing your receiving skills.
  • Further is better for practicing your kicking skills.

Be sure to check out Part 2 for more wall ball games you can do.

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  1. It’s interesting how you said that wall ball is a great way to practice kicking and receiving skills. You could probably include a portable soccer wall as well which would help you practice taking shots at a target. That way you get the feel for how a ball will curl and curve when you kick it certain ways and then it will come back so you can go again.

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