Drills for receiving the ball

Here are five coaching drills that will help your players when receiving the ball on the soccer field.

Click on the headings for in-depth instructions on how to implement these five drills for receiving the ball.

1. Basic receiving skills

Receiving the ball is one of the most important skills in soccer, so it is vital to get the basics right. In this drill you must encourage your players to keep their heads up, knees flexed, heels down and produce a soft touch. A youngster must learn how to receive the ball as early in his development as possible.

2. Under pressure

Players need to learn to control the ball when they are being tightly marked by defenders. This drill shows players how to make a small amount of space when they are being put under pressure. Forwards must learn to run at an angle in order to have the option of going right or left quickly or or look for a pass around the corner.

3. Creating space before receiving

This drill focuses completely on making space before receiving the pass. In an area 20 yards by 20 yards the receiver must work hard to move around and constantly create the space to receive a pass and return it.

4. Passing and receiving with fitness element

This drill teaches players to pass, volley and head under pressure, with a sprint between each one. Players must repeat this drill three times, with one minute rest between repetitions. Start them on passes, then volleys, and finally headers.

5. Chesting the ball

Your players must be comfortable receiving at any height, so should be capable of controlling a ball that is too low to head and too high for the thighs.  They must be coached in moving into the line of the flight of the ball and making their chest a platform for control.