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Develop players’ first touch

That old joke about a player’s second touch being a tackle to try to win the ball back is not always funny. Especially if it’s your players losing the ball. Watching the Premier League over the last week it is clear that a player’s first touch has never been more important with fast passing and receiving the key to the best teams I have watched.

And it is such a big development phase for young players. It makes the game so much easier if the first touch gets the ball under control and the next pass becomes the most important objective because the touch has made that easier. We all know the game is chaotic in certain phases of play and that is made the more so if a player cannot control the ball with their first touch.

it is the opposition players you want to be the ones in a chaotic phase because your players can take advantage of that. Watching one and two-touch play is a joy and that is down to good first touches of the ball.

So help develop your players’ first touch 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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