INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Thigh control

Players should be comfortable dealing with balls at whatever height they arrive – and that means being able to control a ball that’s too low to chest or head, and too high for the feet.

What this session is about

  1. Better ball control.
  2. Good first touch.
  3. Creating time.

What to think about

  • Move into position to intercept the ball early.
  • Use the soft, fleshy part of the thigh, about halfway up the top of it – and stay away from the knee.
  • Withdraw thigh slightly upon impact to cushion the ball and allow it to fall gently.
  • A good service is vital.

Set-up

  • 1 ball per player.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Each player holds the ball up about chest or neck high, and allows it to fall, controlling the ball with the thigh. Try 10 times before using the other thigh.

Now have players throw the ball up above head height and control the ball using the thigh.

Practice the technique by having players serve themselves.

Practice the technique by having players serve themselves.


Development

1 ball between 2 players. Set up 2 cones 5 metres apart with a server kneeling at one of them.

The receiving player jogs towards the server from the other cone, controls the ball with the thigh and returns it to the server on the second touch.

The receiving player returns to their start position, moves around the other side of the cone and repeats the drill using the other leg.

After, say, 10 attempts, the players switch roles.

Players move towards the ball and control with their thigh before passing.

Players move towards the ball and control with their thigh before passing.


Game situation

Two teams of no more than 4v4 play tennis on a court (approx 15 x 8m depending on number of players, age and ability) with a net halfway.

One player from Team A serves the ball from deep in their half across the net by bouncing and volleying it.

Using any part of their bodies apart from the hands, players from Team B combine to control the ball, juggle, pass and return it over the net, but must only let the ball bounce a maximum of three times. Teams score points every time the ball is returned over the net and into the other half of the court successfully..

Play a game of soccer tennis to finish.

Play a game of soccer tennis to finish.


What to call out

  • “Kill the ball instantly, don’t let it bounce up high off the thigh”
  • “Relax – be a cushion”
  • “Stay balanced and be light on your toes”
  • “Keep your head steady”
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