First touch to stop losing the ball

It can be so frustrating when you put so much effort into passing and moving and getting players into great situations to attack the opposition goal and they are let down by a poor first touch and then lose the ball.

Lots of things can affect first touch like nerves, the state of the pitch, poor passes and loss of concentration when players are receiving the ball. But you do want to make sure your players have practised the first touch on receiving the ball and get them to react if they lose it.

At every level around the world a poor first touch is the most common ailment to affect players of every age. It leads to the second touch usually having to be trying to win the ball back rather than getting the ball under control and in the best position to pass or shoot.

For the coach it is frustrating and for the player a knock to their confidence. Nothing is better for the team and the players involved than keeping possession of the ball and showing good technique under the pressure of match play.

So cut down those first touch losses with the sessions here:

Start your session with my warm up The importance of first touch emphasises the repetition of first touch and getting a pass away with the second touch. This is a warm-up that has its emphasis on coaching touch and technique.

Then move on to One touch pass which will improve your players’ vision and technique to play one-touch passes. With this skill under their belts, your players will be able to mount efficient attacks.

The first touch tactic is worked on in Touch on the move which is a term used to describe a player who, when receiving a pass, makes a first touch that puts the ball into space (not allowing the ball to stop rolling).

Every player has to touch the ball before the team can shoot in the 4v4 first touch game. It helps players to be more comfortable with the skill and to anticipate when they can use it to the best effect.

In my skills curriculum there are sessions for each age group that develop first touch like First touch control that are the best ways to work with youth players.

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