Part 2 of "The Six Steps To Soccer Success"

First Touch…Practice Will Make Perfect.

Welcome to lesson two of our Six Steps To Success Program. Today we focus on the next key foundational skill of first touch and its importance in receiving and passing.

Soccer is a fast paced game with players constantly competing for control and possession of the ball and time and space to make the most effective use of it. Often the key determining factors in how well players receive and control is how quickly and accurately the ball is delivered to them by their team mate. Great passers like David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Kristine Lilly make it look effortless as they receive and deliver balls that make it easy for team mates around them. Their precise touches often lead to exciting shots and goals that determine some of the world’s most famous Cup games and League Championships.

These sublime skills are of course the result of countless hours of practice. The stars, aware of the importance of these abilities, will continue to refine their passing and receiving skills throughout their career. At Coerver Coaching we have some excellent drills for small groups that can quickly improve this critical part of every players game. You are never too young or too old for these drills. Try them. They will improve your game.

Watching Great Players Helps

We always recommend at our camps and clinics that players watch games whenever they get the chance. Now thanks to Fox Sports and cable we can see more world class soccer than ever before whether it is the MLS, Premiership, Italian, French, Spanish and South American league play or European and World Cup games. The world famous teams and star players in these games are models of some of the best skills in the game and we encourage you and your players to watch as much of them as possible. Ask your players to identify the key players and the individual skills and actions that make them so effective. Then use the stars as your model to make the action yours and your player’s. We think this is a great way to motivate young players and expand their soccer knowledge and skills. So Dream, Believe and Achieve. You Can Do It!

Okay now let’s get to the set of drills we want to work with to improve your first touch.

Notice in the video how the players use both feet. Two footedness is a key ability and one we stress at in all of our Coerver? drills. Watch these drills and emulate the plays. Not only will your receiving and passing improve but you will develop more confidence with both feet.

Watch the video closely to see the correct form.

The text below should help you with the set up to the drills 1- 4 we cover in the video. Again while these drills can be done at a formal practice, they could also be done in a backyard with a sister, brother, mother, father or friend. filling in if teammates are unavailable. These drills often are a good warm-up as well. It gets the players running handling the ball and keeping their head up…all good for the developing player.


Video Drill



Exercise 1

Setup

A 10- by 10- yards area.

Group of three players.

One ball to each group.

Two players with the ball are positioned on one side of the square.

The third player faces them on the other side.

Action

The player with the ball passes to the third player on the opposite lane who receives with the inside of the foot and takes the ball a couple of yards to the side in one action.

On his next touch he passes the ball back across the square with his other foot.

The pair opposite switch places and repeat the action.

Tips

Remind players that it’s important to give a good pass so it is easier for their teammates to receive the ball and control it away with their first touch.

Allow two touches to start before limiting players to one touch.

Remind the receiving player to move toward the ball.


Exercise 2

Setup

A 10- by 10- yards area.

Players in groups of three with a ball to each group.

Two players with the ball on one side of the square face the third player on the opposite side.

Action

The first player passes to the opposite player and sprints around him/her.

The receiving player taps the ball to the side, first touch, as the sprinting player comes around him/her. The sprinting player passes first touch to the next player facing him/her who repeats the action.

The end player changes after several sequences.

Tips

Receiving players can start with two touches to make the pass. Once this becomes easy, limit players to one- touch passes.




Exercise 3

Set up

A 10-by 10-yard to 15-by 15-yard area.
Groups of up to four players at each corner.
One group starts with a ball.

Action

Players pass counterclockwise to the first player in the next group and follow their passes.

The receiving player taps the ball softly by the incoming passer, runs around him to the ball and passes to the first player in the next group.

Tips

Have players cushion the impact of a received ball by drawing back their foot as the ball arrives.

Remind receiving players to move to the ball.

To increase difficulty, introduce another ball. Have two groups diagonally across from one another start with balls.



Exercise 4

Set up

A 10-by 10-yard area

Two small 2-yard gates on either side of the square as shown.

Two passers, each with a ball, at opposite corners and facing their respective gates.
Two receivers in the gates.

Action

The passers pass to their receivers.

Receivers take the ball to the opposite side of the square with their first touch and pass to the next corner player.

The receiver then returns to his/her first gate to receive the next pass from a corner player and the sequence continues.

Passers and receivers switch after eight repetitions.

Tips

Allow players three touches at first: one to receive, one to turn and one to pass. After players are comfortable, tell them to try turning with the ball on their first touch.

A good first touch gives a player more time and space during a game.

Receiving players should try to play the ball in the direction they want to go – without stopping the ball.



The Pyramid Of Player Development ©

Alright It’s Starting To Come Together!


You are on your way to coaching and playing better soccer. We know these drills will really help you improve quickly. The next step we will talk to you about is probably our favorite part of the game. Moves 1V1. We will use some of our skills developed with our Ball Mastery drills and show you how some exciting 1V1 moves can gain you the space you need to get a goal chance, pass or receive the ball.

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Charlie Cooke