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Key Football Skills for Midfielders and Drills to Improve Them

Posted on February 26, 2021 by Rudy

Midfielders are the players in a team that have a key role in implementation of designed tactics. These players have huge responsibility in judi bola and must possess a wide range of skills in order to ensure fluid play and hold the control over the ball. Midfielders must work constantly to improve these skills. What are the key skills and how can the midfielders improve them?


Passing is the ability of a player to pass the ball to a teammate’s feet or into an empty space. Precision is necessary for the successful performance of passing in football. With a right passing game, the team maintains possession of the ball and conquers the space towards the opponent’s goal, and creates a chance to score. It is essential for a midfielder to be able to make both a short and a long pass as well as a pass into an empty space.

The drill that can improve passing skills for midfielders is passing by numbers. The players organize themselves into two groups of six or eight players, with each one of them having the number from one to six or eight. Both groups occupy the same space and limited area on the training field. The goal is to pass the ball in numerical order. The focus is to move around all the time, and not to stand in place. This creates a more complicated environment for players. As the players must move around and among themselves, this drill enhances the demand of developing appropriate vision of the play and effective communication between them.

Ball control

Ball control is the ability of a player successfully to control the ball with different parts of the body, such as the feet, legs, chest or head. Great ball control will allow the player to retain possession of the ball, successfully protecting it from opponents. This is a crucial part of the ball possession game. It will also allow them to improve their dribbling abilities.

The most effective exercise to improve control of the ball is to move the ball between the cones. Arrange a few cones in a row, or in a scattered manner, and run with the ball between and around them. The ball can be controlled either only with a dominant foot or with non-dominant foot, or with both. Players should practice doing this drill as fast as possible, and with different parts of the foot.


Shooting is the skill of kicking the ball in order to score a goal. When it comes to shooting, two aspects are crucial to pay attention to: the strength of the shot, and the shot precision. Many famous midfielders have made a name for themselves during their careers, with remarkable shots from a distance. Players like David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are football legends well known by their shooting ability.

One simple drill that can gradually help midfielders improve their shooting, especially when it comes to young players, is the shooting competition. Set up two teams on opposite sides of the playing field. In front of each team, there are several cones placed in a row, followed by the goal at the desired distance. Each player, one by one, should dribble with the ball around those cones, and shoot the ball into the goal. Team with most goals scored at the end wins. Points are awarded in the following way:

  • 1 point for scoring
  • 2 points for scoring before opposing player
  • 0 points for missing the goal

Decision Making

This is a vital skill for midfielders. This represents the level of tactical knowledge of players and helps them pick the appropriate solution out of many alternatives available on the playing field. This is especially important for midfielders, as they are under constant pressure by the opponents and must think fast and make the right decision.

Decision Making is often improved with practicing 1 on 1 situations. Players have multiple choices available here, to dribble, to shoot, and to pass toward a teammate. With practicing these situations, midfielders are getting better experience and feel more confident when with the ball.


Playing in the midfield is highly demanding when it comes to physical preparation and fitness. Midfielders are involved both in offensive, and defensive tasks. They have to cover great distances and to be able to maintain their desired pace throughout the entire game. Endurance is the capability of long-term mental or physical work. Represents the ability of a football player to continue playing at the same level, despite exertion, stress or fatigue during a match.

Shuttles are great endurance exercises. Place three cones at a distance of 10, 20 and 30 meters. The player runs at maximum speed until the first cone and after reaching it returns to the start line. When it gets to the starting line, go for a run toward the second cone. After reaching the second cone, once again the player returns for a moment to the start, and then makes a final run to the third cone. All the runs must be done at maximum effort and speed. After the final run to the third cone, the player slowly returns to the starting line, which should relax muscles gradually. This drill can greatly influence players’ stamina and endurance level and help them develop their fitness level.

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