Progressive Turning Practice

Turning is an important skill to develop because players often receive the ball with their back to pressure and need to have the ability to control the ball around that pressure and move the ball forward.

As with all soccer skills, they developed over time through a number of training sessions but below is one example of a practice that will lead your players through the learning process.


Each player has a ball except the first player in one of the lines. That player runs to show through the gate to receive a pass from the teammate across from them. That player then turns using one of four techniques:
  • ‘Opening the Gate’ to go back through the gate using the inside of the foot and then the outside of the foot of the same foot to play away
  • Inside of the foot across the body
  • Outside of the foot
  • Cruyff turn behind the standing
These techniques are progressively more difficult so focus on each one to make sure the players understand them before moving on to the next one.
There are many other ways to turn but these are the first ones I focus on.

Three players start in the middle while the rest of the players are spread out around a circle. Three of the outside players have a ball. The players in the middle check toward one of the outside players with a ball. The ball is past to the inside player who uses one of the turns practiced in the warm-up. After turning the ball is passed to another outside player and the pattern continues. Change the inside players every two minutes.

As a progression or additional movement you can ask the outside players receive the ball and perform a turn before dribbling back to the edge of the circle.



One player stands with his back to a cone that serves as a defender. He checks back toward the ball and turns around the cone before shooting on goal. The passer then runs out to the cone and the pattern continues.

This can be done with two goals to create a lot of turning and shooting opportunities.

You can have the shooter then become the goalkeeper to add a challenge to the shooter.



The three players from each team in the middle attempt to control the ball and pass it to their target player who then tries to turn and score.

At first, have the defender stay behind the target player until he has his first touch and then allow the defender to try and stop the target from turning and scoring.

Encourage the target to move and create space in front of him to receive the ball.

You can progress to allow an additional attacker to join the target and create a 2 v 1.

What are your favorite exercises and games to work on turning with your players?

Have a great day!


One Comment

  1. great material keep it coming