Objective: To improve first touch. Age group: U7 – U14 Set up: Mark out a short, wide pitch with big (about 10 yard wide) goals at either end and a centre line. Divide your players into two teams of 3 or 4. Each team defends a goal. How to play: The game starts with each […]
Ball Control and Footwork
These drills will give your players “Mastery of the Ball”. It is your first duty as a coach to give your players the soccer skills to be effective players. Ball control is the key to that. It’s about being comfortable on the ball, instant control, able to change feet, and move the ball where you want.
No matter how young your players are they should practice ball manipulation. This is the ability to push, move, drag or manipulate the ball and become its master, says Tony Carr, Academy Director at West Ham.
This is the most basic shielding move – but probably the most useful. The player simply steps over the ball to put either one or both legs between the ball and an incoming opponent.
Strikers playing with their backs to goal must move around to create space to receive a pass to feet. However, once this pass is made, a striker must ensure he controls the ball and uses his body to shield the ball from defenders.
The direction of modern football seems very much about making it become as free-flowing and multi-dimensional as possible. The game is increasingly being built around ball retention, superior technique, lightning-quick passing and the ability to utilise wide open spaces on the pitch.
Using this simple set up to practice ball control is an excellent way to teach young players of all age groups how important being able to control a ball is. It is one of the keys to winning football matches, says David Clarke.
We’ve already looked at the basic step across used to shield the ball from an oncoming opponent, where you teach your players to simply step over the ball to put either one, or both legs between the ball and the opponent. But what happens next?
This session looks at core ball control skills. You only need six players to complete the session, though it can easily be expanded to meet your needs. With lots more players you could have a number of grids working at the same time.
Get your players running down the street on the way to school beating lamp posts…
Good players can bring the ball under their control in an instant – no matter how it arrives to them.