One very simple yet effective tool for improving soccer footwork is sticks. Whether you purchase some, use kindling, or use fallen twigs (make sure they are straight) you can create a great training course with them.
Have sticks that are 4-5 feet long and 1×1 inch and lay them down so they look like the rungs of a ladder. You can then have the players do running, hopping, and ball work.
Running – running drills can includes stepping once or twice between each stick, shuffling sideways between them (they can change direction at each turn), or running between the sticks lengthwise.
Hopping – players can hop on one foot or two feet, they can hop forward and backward, they can hop sideways, they can alternate feet.
Ball Practice – dribbling around the sticks, passing the ball through and sprinting after it, shuffling between the sticks and pushing the ball from the end of one stick to the next stick (position balls at both ends of each stick for this one), passing exercise through the channels between the sticks.
Goalkeeper Practice – goalkeepers can practice catching and saving balls while shuffling through channels or sprinting through them
The possibilities are endless. You can use your imagination to come up with an infinite supply of drills and activities that will improve the player’s speed and precision
Here’s another easy way to improve footwork soccer skills:
Set up a series of five to seven cones, flags, or other objects as markers in a zigzag and mark the beginning and end of the course with two pylons at each end.
Step1: There should be five yards between the beginning of the course and the first zigzag marker, between each of the zigzag markers, and between the final zigzag marker and the end of the course.
Step2: Have two players run the course together.
Step3: When they start, they sprint to the each marker and they must touch beside the marker with their near foot (the left foot for P1 and the right foot for P2).
You can change the angle of the turn the players make by widening out the markers, so you can have them practice turning at more acute angles.
The ability of a player to change directions quickly is fundamental to the game of soccer and this will help them learn to adjust their stride to compensate for foot placement and turning. In this drill, they need to see every marker as a ball.
Hope this helps improving soccer footwork skills.