The worse a players' first touch, the less likely they are to have the time to get their head up and make their second touch a damaging one. Here are 6 great activities for improving first touch with your players. MORE
Shielding the ball (U9 game)
BALL CONTROL 5
Shielding the ball
KEEP IT SAFE
“Keep your body between ball and opponent” • “Use touch to keep opponent at arms length” • “Keep the ball close to you”
Set up a 15 x 15 yards area. Split your players into shielders and catchers – here we’ve started with five shielders and two catchers. Give each shielder a ball.
When you say “go”, the catchers have 30 seconds to try and win as many balls from the shielders as possible.
When challenged, a shielder should keep his body between the ball and the catcher to stop him getting the ball. The shielder’s aim is to keep hold of the ball and try to make the catcher move on to another player.
Only one catcher at a time can try to win the ball from a shielder (they can’t double up).
If a shielder loses his ball, he stands out of the area until the 30 seconds is up. Rotate catchers and shielders so that everyone gets opportunities in both roles.
How many players do I need?
You need players to keep the ball and players to try and steal it. We used seven players in the game but you can experiment.
Players concentrate on keeping the ball away from the catcher.
Simple movements with the foot will keep the ball under control.
Watch out for a second catcher on the other side.