Drills to Improve Soccer Ball Control Skills

In today’s game of soccer spaces become tighter and the pace is higher.

Getting and keeping the ball under control is an important skill a football player has to learn and in response to this, an essential skill a coach should teach players of all positions is to develop the ability to handle the ball with a constructive first touch to promptly decide on the following move (dribble, pass or shoot) without giving the opponent the chance to gain possession.

The drills in this section will increase your players’ comfort level on the ball working with various parts including the feet, thigh, chest and head which are all relevant to skills the players will need on the field.

Drills - Ball Control

Key Coaching Points for Ball Control:

We’ve polled coaches and here are the key coaching points they recommend when it comes to ball control:

  • tay on toes and be ready to adjust
  • move towards the ball to control early and to be in an open body position
  • move into line of flight of the ball and present controlling surface
    eyes on the ball with head up to select next option (use peripheral vision)
  • relax and withdraw the part of the body contacted to kill momentum of the ball
  • cushion the ball into the desired direction and away from pressure (a bad first touch might result in losing possession)
  • be aware of opponents and teammates positions to determine next move (pass, shoot or dribble) know your next move before you receive the ball

Drills By Age: U6-U8,  U9-U12,  U13-U16,  U17-Adult