What Are The 3 Most Important Skills In Soccer?

What Are The 3 Most Important Skills In Soccer?

This is a question that a lot of parents, soccer players, and coaches constantly argue about. And the fact that it is just limited to 3 skills it can be heated debate.

But the truth is that they are all right!

While it may sound easy to answer it is also hard because different positions in soccer require a different set of skills. 

You have the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards who play different roles and need specific skills.

However, there are basic skills that all players will need to possess regardless of the roles they played on the field.

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My take on this debate

The 3 most important skills in soccer are the core or basic skills you should learn when start playing soccer

As a beginner, your kid will need to develop basic skills in order to lay a good foundation to build.

Once these basic skills are mastered your kid can move to specialized skills training.

Believe me, it may take weeks of training and commitment to develop these basic skills.

1. Passing 

Passing can be defined in soccer as when you kick the ball to another teammate.  Soccer is a team sport and passing the ball to a teammate is very important.

Why is passing important?

Ball procession. Passing is important because it enables the team to keep the ball. Remember that if the opponent has the ball they will likely score a goal against your team.

Secondly, passing keeps the ball moving towards your opponent’s goal as your team tries to score goals.

Thirdly, passing is a way of getting around the defenders (even the goalkeeper) without having to confront them in a one-on-one situation. This is especially true for players who are still not confident with their ball-handling skills.  

Lastly, passing is an efficient way to conserve precious energy while forcing the opponents to run after the ball. When a player tries to keep the ball but ends up losing it to the opponent his or her team will make every effort to regain the ball.

This requires a lot of effort and wastes a lot of energy needlessly, besides, your teammate will not be impressed with you.

Accurate ball passing

A bad pass can result in giving away the ball to the opponent, a mistake that should be avoided at all costs. 

To pass the ball effectively it has to be accurate so that it gets to where your teammate is. 

Knowing which part of the foot to pass with is also important.

Watch this amazing passing YouTube video by rom7ooo below:

There are also a variety of passes including short and long passes. The video above is mostly long accurate passes.

If you want to train your kid in the skill of ball passing you will find 5 Simple Soccer Passing Drills For Beginners + Training Tips and 11 Soccer Wall Passing Drills For Beginners useful and fun.

2. Dribbling 

Dribbling is basically how you control the ball when it is passed to you and you try to run with it until you pass it to another teammate.

I have to admit that when I hear the word dribbling, Lionel Messi comes to mind. He has perfected the art of dribbling and it is a joy just watching him maneuver through his opponents.

Why is dribbling important?

Dribbling is an important part of playing soccer for the following reasons.

Firstly, dribbling allows a player to move around opponents in one-on-one situations to allow for better positioning to score or to pass to a teammate.

Dribbling draws more than one opponent that will create empty spaces for your teammates to have the opportunity to score – if you pass to them.

It also develops players’ creativity and confidence on the field as they take on more opponents.

Watch this YouTube video by Fad3nHD to see Lionel Messi’s dribbling skills.

Too much dribbling is bad

Unless you are Lionel Messi, too much dribbling can be counterproductive especially if you are a beginner.

The more you hold on to the ball the more likely it is going to be taken from you.

It can create a selfish habit that you will never pass the ball to your teammate and I can assure you that not everyone will be impressed with you on their team.

How to dribble a ball effectively

Dribbling is a skill that can be learned by doing drills and playing in scrimmages.

To be good at dribbling you have to use both feet when controlling the ball as you raced forward. My post 5 Tips On How To Improve Your Weak Foot In Soccer (Plus Drills) provides tips and drills on how to train your weak foot.

You also need to develop your ball mastery skills so that all parts of your feet are familiarized with the ball. You can check my post 7 Simple Ball Mastery Drills In Soccer or you can download it here.

Basic dribbling drills for beginners are the start. check out my post 5 Soccer Dribbling Drills With Cones For U10 or you can download it here.

3. Shooting (Striking)

Every now and then you would find yourself in front of the goal with the ball at your feet. You can choose to dribble past the goalkeeper or just aim at a spot and shoot.

Shooting is a strong kick aimed at getting the ball past the goalkeeper and into the goal.

You cannot shoot to a teammate as a pass because most likely it will be too strong to handle.

Why is shooting important?

A well-timed shot from any position on the field can find its way into the back of the net regardless if you are a goalkeeper, defender, or midfielder.

It exploits an opportunity when the defenders and the goalkeeper are least expecting an incoming ball towards their goal.

Shooting is an efficient tactic that bypasses passing and dribbling that uses up too much time and energy to score a goal instead.

Characteristics of good shooting skills

Timing is important because shooting opportunity does not present themselves all the time. If you are lucky you might have 2 chances but you have to work hard for it to come.

Shooting from the lace area of the foot produces the most powerful and accurate shots in soccer.

Choose great accuracy over sheer power.

When it comes to shooting I would rather choose to be more accurate than fire a powerful shot into the goal. But that is just me, if you can combine both you will be a force to reckon with.

Christiano Ronaldo ultimately has both accuracy and power as shown in this Youtube video from Genius Production.

In my post How To Kick A Soccer Ball + Beginners Drills & Bonus Tips, I covered various types of kicks and drills for beginners as well.

A goal with a target is best for practicing accuracy.


As I said, passing, dribbling, and shooting are the 3 most important skills in soccer, and if you mastered them, other skills will be easier to acquire.

Do not train for the fancy footwork but start with the simple drills I provided and you will never go wrong.

Be safe and enjoy soccer

Download my other drills here

One thought on “What Are The 3 Most Important Skills In Soccer?

  • April 12, 2022 at 9:22 am

    Thanks a lot for sharing such a great piece of article! I found it a good helpful write-up with a good sound and explanation. Here I got a number of concepts that is definitely helpful for every soccer enthusiast who wants to be a better soccer player. Please keep sharing more updates!


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