Ball control is one of the most important skills in soccer.
Its what separates winners from losers, good players from average players.
When watching a professional soccer player play the first thing you notice is that the ball seems to stick to his foot..
But, how do they control the soccer ball so well?
Well I can tell you that ball control doesn’t just come naturally.
It is a skill and it is a skill that needs to be practiced. AKA .. Get up and put some work in!!
First touch is one of the basic skills in soccer and its importance cannot be emphasized enough.
A good first touch gives you incredible advantage over your opponents offensively and, most importantly – it buys time.
Gives you more control in the moment to make the right pass, dribble, or shoot. Control on the field is key. Be the leader and make everyone else around you adapt.
How can you improve your first touch?
Juggling the soccer ball is the first thing that comes to mind. This was my least favorite aspect of the game because it takes the most patience to improve….
…but the things that take the longest usually have the largest reward
- Time yourself and keep count on how many times you can juggle the ball.
- Use every part of your body – feet, thighs, shoulders, head.
- Then focus on just one part and see how long you can go
- Every soccer player has weaker areas – for some it’s the head, for others it’s the chest. This is why it’s important to train each of them individually
**Note : Remember be patient with this step. Practicing by juggling will boost your efforts tremendously. All training will lead to you eventually making the team.
Advanced Soccer Touches
The inside soccer touch –
The inside touch will help you shield the ball on the soccer field. This means that the opposing team member will have a hard time tackling you and taking the ball away from you, which in return means you’ll have enough space to pass, cross or shoot. Lock your ankle, move your leg outward and make sure to touch the ball with the middle of the inside of your foot. Adjust the angle to receive the ball easily.
The outside soccer touch –
This is great for accelerating past defenders. For example, if your team is pulling a counterattack, your goal is to receive the ball and move as fast as you can towards the opposing team’s goal. Using this touch you can also cut to the side or turn and then pass the ball. This is how it’s done: lock your ankle, move your leg inward and touch the ball with the outside of your foot. Ideally, you’d want to touch it with your better foot, but you won’t always have the opportunity to do so. This is why it’s important to train both of them, like we previously described.
The sole touch –
Perhaps the toughest touch to master, the sole touch is a quite advanced soccer technique that we see world class soccer players using every day. They use it to move in all directions, beating defenders in the process. It involves both foot and the entire body, which is why it’s so difficult to properly execute. To perform this touch you need to put your foot on the ball, albeit lightly, roll it to the side and then perform a hop with your other leg, while turning your body to the side at the same time. This swift move won’t work every time, but when it does it can be absolutely deadly. You’ll create space out of nowhere and give yourself a great chance to shoot, pass, cross, score or accelerate in any direction you like. Read more about advanced soccer touches here.
Additional Soccer Tips
The soccer tips below should help you understand the game itself and the point and main focus of ball control. While these are pretty conventional things that look effortless when done by professional, they take a lot of hard work to master. Most importantly, you need to think in order to execute them, until they become second nature. For deeper insight on becoming a better player check out Matt Smith’s Epic Soccer Training.
Keep the soccer ball close
Look at the way Messi plays soccer. The ball seems glued to his foot. This is because he uses small, choppy touches to control it. Every player would do it if they could, but if they did it all the time they’d lose pace. This is why using small touches is a double edged sword, but once you master it you will be able to it fast and when moving.
Keep your eyes on the soccer ball
Keep your eyes on the ball at all times. Whether the pass you’re about to receive is played to you through the air or along the ground, how good you control the ball will depend on how focused you and your eyes are on it. If an opponent is guarding you, you will have enough time to hold him off, receive and control the ball properly.