Soccer drill to improve control and feel for the ball

This simple soccer (football) drill will increase your players’ “feel” for the ball, making them more comfortable with passing and receiving.

This soccer drill works on:

  • Improving ball familiarity and touch.

What your players need to think about

  • Receiving – cushion ball on impact out of feet, making an angle for pass.
  • Flicking – place middle toes underneath middle of the ball to lift it.
  • Chipping – “stab” at bottom of ball where it touches the ground. Strike below the centre using short back-lift and no follow through.
  • The kicking leg should follow through in a straight line to be accurate.

Soccer drill to improve your players' feel for the ball

How to run the drill

  • In pairs, players stand opposite each other a few yards apart. Both pass and “flick” the ball with their right foot. Player A passes to player B’s right foot. Player B gently flicks, or lifts, their ball over the moving ball to player A.
  • Both players control their new ball and repeat the drill.
  • Reverse the drill so that player B passes first and player A flicks their ball. Once players are comfortable, get them to speed up, making sure they use a maximum of two touches when receiving the ball – one to receive, one to pass. 
  • Ensure players practise with their left foot, too.
  • Repeat flick soccer drill but with a new partner.

How to develop soccer drill

Repeat the drill, but this time, rather than flick the ball, player B chips their ball to player A. Younger players may find the chip pass too difficult at first.

If so, be prepared to move straight into the game situation, encourage players to practise the chip pass at home and revisit this session in a couple of weeks.

Play it in a game

Play 3v1 keepaway in a 10 yards by 10 yards grid. Award a point to the attackers for completing a specified number of consecutive passes. The defender earns a point for stealing the ball or knocking it out of play, or if the attacking team hit the ball out of bounds.

Progressions include limiting the number of touches each member of the attacking team has, reducing the number of attackers, increasing the number of defenders, or increasing the number of consecutive passes the attackers have to make.

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Click the link to see a drill to coach chip kick passing skills.